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Power to Empower: Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman joined us as the inaugural guest for the Vital Voices Podcast new series: Power To Empower. She spoke about transformation, triumph, and having hope for the future.

Introducing Power to Empower Podcast Series: Amanda Gorman on Transformation and Triumph

October 2020 – Amanda Gorman is an accomplished poet, activist, HERlead fellow, and most recently, a Harvard University graduate. In 2017, Amanda became the first-ever U.S. Youth Poet Laureate. As an advocate for youth empowerment and a variety of social issues, Amanda utilizes the lyrical device of poetry to convey complex messages and inspire social change. As the inaugural guest for the Vital Voices Podcast, Power To Empower series, Amanda spoke with Vital Voices President and CEO Alyse Nelson about transformation, triumph, and having hope for the future.

In their lively conversation, Amanda explains her multi-faceted relationship with poetry, both as a form of self-expression and, at one point, a form of speech pathology. For Amanda, poetry and creative writing were outlets for self-expression; as she started to perform poetry, it became a vehicle through which she approached her greatest insecurities. It is through the performance of poetry that Amanda encourages listeners to begin their own journey of completing internal work. In emphasizing the power of turning our vulnerabilities into strengths, Amanda references her own inspirations: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton and the works of Black, lesbian activist and writer, Audre Lorde.

Amanda also shares with us her latest works. She recently hosted and co-wrote the PBS Kids special on Race and Racism, which she felt called to participate in following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Even more recently, she launched a social unity campaign called Vote for the Future, which encourages bi-partisan civic engagement through verbal performance.

Amanda Gorman truly is a force for change and the quintessential example of a vital voice.

This podcast series is inspired by the Vital Voices: 100 Women Using their Power to Empower – edited by Alyse Nelson with artwork by Gayle Kabaker and published by Assouline.

Listen to her episode here:


This post was written by Annalysse Mason.