Dear NüVoices community,
We’ve launched our Patreon platform, and we’d be honoured if you’d consider supporting our work as a patron for as little as $1 a month. Benefits include a custom newsletter, access to an online chat community, free books, shout-outs on our podcast and one-on-one career development sessions.
If you’d prefer to make a one-time donation, that would be greatly appreciated as well. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 2018, NüVoices is an international collective gathering veteran and emerging writers, journalists, translators and artists to celebrate and support the diverse creative work of self-identified women working on the subject of China (broadly defined). We welcome the involvement of people of all genders, including those who identify as non-binary, and the many good men who already support our mission and contribute to our cause. NüVoices is trans-positive.
Our directory featuring nearly 600 female experts on Greater China is a popular tool for journalists and event organizers and has significantly boosted women and minorities’ representation in media stories and conference programming globally.
Our bi-weekly podcast regularly features women and minority voices on a range of topics. Our online magazine NüStories regularly publishes narrative essays, shorter articles, multimedia projects and other original content.
We are a 100% volunteer organization and with your support, we can bring more amazing content, events, and training opportunities to your screen and cities.
We will use the funds to bring speakers to events around the world, purchase podcasting equipment, and pay for online hosting and event spaces. We hope to reach a place where we can also pay contributors for their time and effort.
Messages from board members on what NüVoices means to us:
Joanna Chiu – As an immigrant from Hong Kong growing up in Canada, I was always drawn to the dramatic story of modern China and yearned to work as a journalist in the country. I attended events and read many books about China, but struggled to imagine a career path. The seminars often featured only male speakers, and many of the books were written by (white) men, too. Yet in my first years working as a correspondent, I realized that people whose jobs relate to China include many very talented women, non-binary individuals and people of colour. But the lack of representation continued. Colleagues and I shared stories of being sexually harassed on the job, belittled and treated as the “help” for our male counterparts. A group of women decided that a simple way to address the excuses we often heard for the lack of recognition (“There aren’t enough qualified women China experts”, or “They’re all busy,”) would be to start a crowdsourced experts’ directory. Financial Times journalist Lucy Hornby and I discussed the initiative on a podcast, and the list blew up overnight. With the ever-growing directory, everyone has access to hundreds of experts all over the world whose important work is often overlooked. By including more diverse perspectives on China, we think everyone benefits. With the explosive international response, a supportive community emerged organically. A group of us launched NüVoices at a bookstore party in Beijing, and soon, others stepped up to start regional chapters of their own around the world, from NYC to DC to Sydney, London, Shanghai and Hong Kong. From the start, our members have included many supportive men, like David Chu, our website designer, who support an end to unchallenged hierarchies. Our first podcast featured two Chinese women who work as “news assistants” for foreign media in China. They rarely get credit, despite doing much of the journalistic legwork. Such important conversations happen every day across the worldwide NüVoices community in our various online spaces, and before COVID-19 hit, our chapter members met regularly at social and educational events, too. With the support of NüVoices members, we hope that no young person interested in devoting their career to understanding China will feel unwelcome or unseen while pursuing their dreams.
Jessie Lau – One of my favourite things about NüVoices is meeting and working with diverse writers and creators on original content for our digital magazine NüStories. As a journalist interested in China stories from intersectional feminist perspectives, I find it really rewarding to collaborate with new creators (particularly Chinese writers and artists) on original pieces that provide interesting takes on topical issues and run a magazine that aims to amplify minority voices. Since we launched in 2018, we’ve published a variety of content ranging from reported features, opinion pieces and historical analysis to fiction. Highlights include a personal essay by a Chinese adoptee returning to China to find her biological family, a listicle on how to rock your broadcast appearance by China correspondent Sophia Yan, a visual gallery by Chinese artist Su Yang that explores the impact of plastic surgery, an interview with a Uyghur activist, photography from the frontlines of the Hong Kong protests and the launch of our NuProfiles, a series featuring in-depth conversations with diverse women working on China subjects. As an early-career journalist and freelancer specializing in China issues, I’ve also found the NüVoices network to be incredibly supportive and useful for my own reporting and career-building. In London, we have a very active chapter. I’ve learned so much through working with our dedicated volunteers and partner institutions like Young China Watchers to host events and projects that highlight women and add value to the global discussion on China. In general, it’s also really special to have access to a community of women creators in the China-watching world who can provide professional and personal advice, and having this support network – as well as being a board member – has empowered me to be more ambitious with regards to my own work and career.
Chenni Xu – NüVoices came together due to a confluence of events for many of us self-identified women working in media, the arts, academic and business in Beijing in the 2010s — an abundance of talented multicultural women reporters and news assistants, and a dearth of gender-equal representation on editorial teams, boards, panels, book deals and the C-suite, with a dash of workplace harassment. It was the perfect storm, yet we were all so aware of what was happening and how to do the work towards solving it. Once the female experts Googledocs was up, I knew I had found my group of like-minded individuals. Coincidentally, I had put together a nascent private list while at a consulting firm in response to a local Chamber of Commerce president who said he did not know “any qualified female expert to talk about China’s economy who was available” for their semi-annual conferences which advertised a key panel of over a dozen men. I quickly sent him a bevy of names, after which he replied; he had had a few of them over for dinner at his house before, and admired their work. I quickly realized we needed a coalition to both educate and provide diverse sources for everyone, and Joanna and a few of us met over lunch in Beijing one day. We wanted to create our own narratives and writings about China, and mainstream it. Soon after, the website, podcast and so many outposts of the network were born — it was time. When I returned to New York after almost seven years abroad in China, I knew that the work was far from finished. Co-board member Cindy Gao and I and many volunteers put together two events, in Brooklyn at Verso Books and at the Museum of Chinese in America in Manhattan’s Chinatown, which drew the same types of crowds as we had in Beijing and across Asia. Now, convening with our board members and volunteers across cities, we continue this effort virtually. Soon, we were regularly co-hosting our NüVoices podcast, bringing on unheard voices to tell their stories to our audience, broadening the China story beyond the usual gatekeepers. In our efforts towards coalition-building, during the summer of COVID-19 in New York, along with Young China Watchers and Chinese Storytellers, we co-created a series of web events on COVID-19 and China, and the various facets with which to view this paradigm-shifting event, which saw hundreds of virtual participants. All of us have diverse stories to tell that resonate among each and every one of our listeners. We hope to meet you all in person soon and raise a glass to you all!
Cindy Gao – I first heard about NüVoices when Joanna did a Q&A with SupChina, and I was immediately grabbed by her poise and dedication to spotlight often overlooked voices in the China watching world. I wanted to get involved but wasn’t sure how I could contribute, coming from a non-journalistic or creative background, but immediately, Joanna encouraged me to meet others in NYC, like fellow board member Chenni Xu, to officially start the local chapter. Since then, we’ve hosted two in-person events, one on Chinese Feminism and the other on Diaspora storytelling. In June, the NYC and DC chapters presented a three-part digital summit, a collaboration with Young China Watchers and Chinese Storytellers on China and the COVID Story. The sold-out events highlighted cultural timelines, assessing diplomacy during the pandemic and navigating increased narrowing of information flow. Joanna, Chenni and I also took over the reins of the podcast we produce in collaboration with SupChina at the end of 2019. It’s been so inspiring and rewarding to talk to so many powerful women and non-binary folks about their passions, identities and how they choose to show up in this world for themselves and others. It’s been an experience I could not have imagined a year ago and I’m so thankful to have this supportive community. I’ve worked closely with other board members, chapter leads and volunteers like Jessie, Rui Zhong and Anne Henochowicz, and look forward to many more opportunities to be inspired and to inspire others to speak more, write more, do more, because all of our voices deserve to be heard.
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Photo credit: Jens Schott Knudsen