Social Work

Fearless Writers Program

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Fearless Writers gives high school students regular opportunites for free expression, to write about their lived experience, to collaborate and lead research on issues that matter most like neighborhood segregation, gun violence, the lost history of Black Toledo, and the consequences of COVID-19. The program serves Toledo area high school students, with a special emphasis on Toledo Public Schools. Fearless Writers is proud of their long-standing relationship with the AVID program at Rogers High School. Fearless Writers also involves University of Toledo students as writing mentors from medicine, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work, and English. Both university and high school students have regular opportunities to publish and present at local conference at The University of Toledo and BGSU.

Our Vision

Fearless Writers take on the tough social issues of our community by bringing a diverse group of young people together to write together and learn from each other.

Our Mission

To create a creative community that allows for free expression, nurtures confidence in voice, and supports collaborative, youth-led research that works to counter neighborhood segreation and implicit bias that is the consequence.

Our Values

Every voice deserves to be heard. Young people hold a unique position in our community and their observations are important to better understanding how marginalization happens in big and small ways.

A High School Social Justice Creative Writing Group

In the United States most of us that go into the health care professions have had very little experience with economic diversity. Public schools and private schools in the United States have been historical homogenous, which has created social separation which contributes to implicit bias and health disparities.

Fearless Writers is a unique opportunity for interprofessional students to mentor high school students while also learning about the diverse lived experience of a variety of neighborhoods in the surrounding community of The University of Toledo. Participants of Fearless Writers have an opportunity to share creatively, write together, and use their collective voices to confront social injustice. Fearless Writers is a collaboration between the social work program at The University of Toledo and The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Toledo Public schools. 

Students involved in the program have had opportunities to present at local conferences and have been a part of publications. Several Fearless Writers groups meet weekly to write and give feedback for an hour. If you enjoy writing and chances to be creative and are interested in learning from local youth, please contact Dr. Heather Sloane.

Current Project

Fearless Writers started a new project this year for University students with busy schedules and are retired community members. 

The writing focuses on Discovering the Impact of COVID-19 on Women Inspired by the Poetry and Life of Emily Dickinson and has writing prompts that meld social science information with poetry. This project joins Fearless Writers to narrative medicine, healthcare humanities, and narrative/interpretive research efforts throughout the country and add Fearless Writers to a thriving movement of community writing centers in the United States (NYWriters Project, New Orleans Story Project, Mighty Writers) who share a commitment to exploring injustice through creative writing.  

The students who were selected for this project are participating in research, theory, and writing group method primers before working through select social science and poetry prompts.

  • Participants will be committing to writing 2 poetry and one social science prompt monthly November 2022 – March 2023.
  • Participants must attend one live or virtual group 1 time per month over the five-month period.
  • Participants must give virtual feedback to 24 short/raw writing pieces online within this timeframe.
  • Participants must attend at least one research analysis meeting in the months of May 2023 – July 2023. 

Volunteers Needed

Fearless Writers is currently looking for UToledo student volunteers to be a part of creative writing, social justice groups at Rogers High School. If you are looking for a way to give back to the community and be engaged in social justice work, we would love for you to join us. Starting in the spring semester 2023 we need volunteers to work with high school students on Mondays from 9:55am-12:10pm and on Tuesdays from 12:14pm-1:55pm. There are two groups each day – Monday seniors and juniors and Tuesdays Freshman and Sophomores. The seniors and juniors are doing creative writing informed research on social justice leadership and the importance of pride to a city’s resilience. The freshman are free writing and the sophomores are writing autobiographical encyclopedia entries inspired by the book Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. We would love to have you join us!

Get in touch and find out how you can be a part of Fearless Writers.
Interested students should email Dr. Heather Sloane 

Last Updated: 12/1/22