Amy Richards, Founder/President Soapbox, Inc. | Founder, Third Wave Fund /

ORIGIN: What sets your soul on fire?
Amy Richards:
Surrounding myself with smart women who are making a big impact. Being outside my comfort zone and learning—and adapting.

ORIGIN: What labels have been used to describe you and how do you use them for good?
Thoughtful, energetic, smart, determined. I tried to own and further those qualities and often mustered them up when they were dormant and something wasn’t going my way. I’ve been called a “baby killer” and I’ve been told I should die and that I’m ruining women’s lives. Those accusations hurt for sure—and I pause when such labels are applied to me—but because they come from people I don’t necessarily respect, I have an easier time moving beyond them. The harder labels are those that come from people I love and trust, like when a friend called me “PC,” as in politically correct. I was hurt because it seemed a misunderstanding of what motivates me. I’m motivated by injustice, which is embedded and constant and wrong—not by a vernacular soundboard. In college, a group of guys labelled me a “righteous little beaver.” Again, I was slightly pissed because it seemed offensive and misdirected, but when I learned that beavers swim upstream, I realized that maybe it was fitting after all.

ORIGIN: Any relating to your body or appearance? How did you transform them?
Cute. Initially used it to try to accomplish things and ultimately realized that it was more a hindrance than a help.

ORIGIN: Why is it so important that we empower women + girls right now?
As the Canadian prime minister said, “Because it’s 201[6].” But our world loses out when the leadership doesn’t reflect the led—when a minority makes decisions for the majority. Empowering women isn’t for women, but for the world.

ORIGIN: What causes are you passionate about?
Reproductive rights, politics, income inequality, violences against women.

Amy Richards is a writer, producer, and the president of Soapbox, Inc. Amy has written three books, including Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future. For the past 25 years, Amy has lectured at more than 300 universities and community forums and has been featured on or in most mainstream and feminist media. Amy is a founder of the Third Wave Fund and and is on the founding boards of the Sadie Nash Leadership Project, MAKERS, and Chicken & Egg Pictures. | | |

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