Voices of Resilience

Building Community in Times of Crisis

And Finding the Strength to Persevere

A Message from Vital Voices President and CEO Alyse Nelson

Vital Voices was founded for women leaders and because of them. For 23 years, we’ve backed leaders on the front lines of change. This crisis doesn’t change that. But it does require that we adapt as an organization.

And so, in direct response to conversations with our network, we’re remodeling our support to ensure that we’re as effective, responsive and forward-thinking as possible.

As you read this, leaders in our network are reacting to spikes in gender-based violence; reworking small businesses to sustain economic shock; lobbying governments to protect the most vulnerable; and providing lifesaving care and supplies to affected areas.

Their communities will rely on them now, more than ever. And they can rely on us.

Together with our network and partners, we are immediately launching the Voices of Resilience Initiative — a comprehensive, updated approach to our work with four distinct aims:

  1. Provide direct, critical resources. A new fund will provide urgent financial support to leaders in our network whose nonprofits or social enterprises are most at-risk. Our team will also deliver digitized programming, guaranteeing uninterrupted access to technical skills training.
  2. Connect our global network virtually. Creating a space for solution sharing is crucial at this moment. That’s why we’re going virtual — integrating a collaboration and shared learning hub that will enable our network of 18,000 leaders across 182 countries and territories to come together, exchange solutions and continue to innovate.
  3. Amplify women’s voices. We will elevate unheard stories from the ground in a dynamic new daily podcast series. By sharing what’s working and what isn’t in diverse communities, we can accelerate global progress and shine a light on women’s leadership in crisis.
  4. Mobilize collective action. Vital Voices leaders often initiate influential international campaigns, from #BringBackOurGirls to Arab Spring solidarity movements. We have no doubt that our network will be a source of bold, creative action, so we’re ready to provide the support our leaders need to realize plans for collective action.

Vital Voices invests in women leaders to improve the world. We have two decades of proof that our strategy works. These might be unprecedented times, but our resolve is steady. With this refined approach, we’re ready to get to work.

In solidarity,

Alyse Nelson


As a part of our ongoing efforts to support the women leaders in our global network, we’ve gathered resources, trainings and skill-building initiatives into an online platform for their continued leadership development.


Stories of Resilience

Voices of Resilience: Panmela Castro

Graffiti artist and GBV activist Panmela Castro joined the Vital Voices podcast from Brazil to talk about how the country's handled the COVID-19 crisis, and her flexibility in adapting her work.

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Voices of Resilience: Claire Russo

Former Marine and Congressional Candidate Claire Russo described the trauma she endured in her personal and professional life after being sexually assaulted while in the armed forces, and how her mist...

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Voices of Resilience: Emily Courey Pryor

Data 2X Executive Director Emily Courey Pryor joined the Vital Voices Podcast to talk about gender data, emphasizing that data is not only technical, but inherently political.

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Voices of Resilience: Mona Sinha

Business leader and philanthropist Mona Sinha joined the Vital Voices podcast for a passionate conversation about women's role in investing in causes that matter, and why authentic representation will...

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Voices of Resilience: Cynthia Richie Terrell

On the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, Represent Women's Cynthia Richie Terrell joined Alyse Nelson on the Vital Voices podcast to discuss what a representative democracy looks like, and idea...

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Voices of Resilience: Joelle Abou Farhat on Women’s Strength

VV Engage Fellow Joelle Abou joined the Vital Voices Podcast in the wake of the explosion at the Beirut port that ravaged the city to reflect on women's power and strength.

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The Next 25 Years

Vital Voices President and CEO Alyse Nelson reflects on the 25th anniversary of the UN Fourth World Conference on Women - how it inspired a movement and an exciting announcement today.

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Voices of Resilience: California Governor Newsom Chief of Staff Ann O’Leary

Ann O'Leary, California Governor Gavin Newsom's Chief of Staff, joined the podcast to offer first-person perspective on the state's response to COVID-19 and the economic drawbacks of the pandemic.

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Voices of Resilience: Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on Inequities in COVID-19

Internationally renowned leader and GAVI Board Chair Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala joined the podcast to talk about leadership in crisis and the inequities laid bare by the pandemic.

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Voices of Resilience: Neysara on the Transgender Experience in COVID

Human rights activist Neysara talked about the unique impact COVID-19 has on people who are transgender in India.

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