What's Your Word — stories

On Words and Women

Marissa Southards

Tags inspiration, personal reflection, stories, the awakenings project

In photographing The Awakenings Project, I’ve learned so much more about myself, and women, than I ever thought I was capable of in this lifetime.  From a photographic standpoint, some of the images are truly breathtaking and powerful, but from a woman’s standpoint, I remain truly, and deeply humbled. I’ve always said one of my favorite parts of this project has been hearing the stories.  Women are so much more than what society labels us as.  We are Warriors, like Marsha S (word: Warrior, Awakenings II).  Her story of the challenges she has overcome with her daughter and the strength...


What's Your Word: Vulnerable/Dignity

Marissa Southards

Tags #WhatsYourWord, stories, the awakenings project

What's Your Word: Vulnerable/Dignity
Few women possess the quiet strength that Ashley Moore wields. There is something saged about her eyes, her smile, and her statuesque frame. It’s as if she holds keys, waiting to give them to the chosen. 

What's Your Word: Wisdom

Marissa Southards

Tags #WhatsYourWord, awakenings, stories, TAP, the awakenings project

What's Your Word:  Wisdom
Welcome to the first #WhatsYourWord of 2018!

What's Your Word - P*ssy

Marissa Southards

Tags #WhatsYourWord, personal story, stories, the awakenings project

Of all the participants in The Awakenings Project, few have left indelible marks on the project by their sheer presence and will. One of those fearsome women is, Jennifer McCoy.  After hearing about the Awakenings Project through social media invite via her friend and Awakenings Project creator, Marissa Southards,  Jennifer, affectionately known in certain circles as just “McCoy”, sat for the initial cycle of The Awakenings Project, AI. Her word? Pussy.  Yes, PUSSY.     In eloquence that only McCoy can give, hear her reason for why she chose such a provocative and evocative word:  “My word was “pussy”. I...


What's Your Word - Survivor

Marissa Southards

Tags #WhatsYourWord, personal story, stories

I had the honor of photographing Laurie in December 2016, as part of Awakenings I.  When she first chose her word, I knew immediately, it was truly one that she had not only earned, but also honored.  Having known Laurie for several years in my activist life, I also came to adore Laurie as a dear friend as well.  Coming to learn her story and the things she’s come through in her life, as a child, as a wife, as a mother, and as a woman – I’ve only come to respect her more. M.   Hearing about the Awakenings...

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