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🌟 Join SPEAK on Giving Tuesday! 🎤

This Giving Tuesday, November 28th, please consider donating to SPEAK to help us continue fostering powerful voices and promoting the art of debate, public speaking, and advocacy!

📚 About SPEAK:

SPEAK is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit dedicated to empowering individuals through educational programs that use debate as a powerful tool for enhancing professional and public speaking skills.

At SPEAK, we believe that everyone’s voice is unique, powerful, and deserves to be heard. Our programs cover a range of essential skills, including non-verbal communication, thorough research, argument structuring, and confident presentation in front of an audience. We proudly work with participants of all ages, offering eight-week courses, day-long seminars, and individual hour-long sessions.

🌍 Our Journey:

SPEAK’s impact began in the spring of 2015 with its flagship program at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility (CRCF), Vermont's only correctional facility for women. Since launching our first program at CRCF, SPEAK has grown. What began as a student group at Vermont Law School has now evolved into an independent organization through collaborations with the University of Vermont, the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, and the tireless dedication of our volunteers. SPEAK has expanded its reach beyond Vermont, hosting programs for various schools and organizations both locally and internationally. We promote powerful voices by giving our students the tools to advocate for themselves, grow their careers, strengthen relationships with colleagues and friends, and be engaged citizens.

💬 Why Support SPEAK:

At SPEAK, we believe that everyone possesses a unique and powerful message to share. By supporting us, you contribute to an initiative that empowers individuals to find their voices, equipping them with the skills needed to make a lasting impact in their communities and beyond.

SPEAK’s programs have had a profound impact on participants’ ability to advocate for themselves, engage with diverse perspectives, and navigate critical conversations.

“SPEAK helps build confidence and it helps to lift people up. There is a huge stigma around criminals. We wear a scary face. SPEAK drastically helps to soften that mask." - Former CRCF Student

SPEAK has built a network of current and past volunteers deeply committed to using public speaking and debate as tools for change. Volunteers have carried SPEAK’s values with them as they have gone on to build their careers in teaching, public service, advocacy, and law.

“For me, debate was the first place where I really felt like my voice mattered… Debate isn’t just about teaching you what public speaking is or a particular set of skills – it’s about teaching that intrinsic value, that your voice matters.” - Former SPEAK Instructor

And SPEAK’s network continues to expand through meaningful partnerships with organizations like the University of Vermont’s Liberal Arts in Prison Program. We often hear participants at our CRCF programs suggest we come more frequently or for longer, and they leave with excitement to come back the following week. It is not only the incarcerated individuals that are benefiting, as our UVM student participants also find the classroom experience a rewarding one. Here are just a few testimonials from the work being done this semester:

The SPEAK program was my first time entering a United States prison, and it’s an experience I think everyone should have. Just the preparatory courses gave me an entirely new outlook on what it means to be incarcerated. I’m so thankful to Justin and the SPEAK program for giving me the chance to both share my passion for debate, and bring something valuable to the lives of the women in CRCF." - Emily, SPEAK Volunteer My favorite part about debate is the challenge. It’s been such a pleasure and new challenge to take on a teaching role through SPEAK, and I love seeing the power of debate in another environment." - Maggie, SPEAK Volunteer

To continue carrying out its mission, SPEAK needs your help!

🎉 How You Can Help:

This Giving Tuesday, consider making a donation to SPEAK. Your support enables us to continue providing transformative educational programs and expanding our reach to empower even more individuals. Together, we can amplify voices and create positive change.

Where will your donation go? These gifts will help SPEAK to grow through strengthening its curriculum, hiring organizational and program leaders, and expanding its network of support to those who need it most. But we need your help to make it happen!

💙 Join the Movement:

Be part of a community dedicated to encouraging powerful voices. Together, let's make a difference in the lives of those eager to share their unique perspectives.

🌐 Learn More & Donate:

Visit our website to learn more about SPEAK and make your contribution:

One of our very generous donors has already offered to match contributions to SPEAK up to $5,000 for our Giving Tuesday fundraiser. Please consider donating to help us reach our goal and build sustainable SPEAK programs into the future!

  • Click the donation link

  • Give what you can, knowing it'll be DOUBLED for our Giving Tuesday Fundraiser.

  • Please feel free to spread the word - share this post and encourage others to join in!

Thank you for being a part of our mission to promote powerful voices!

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