FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | FEBRUARY 1, 2022
A brazen act of independence when it launched in 1972, Ms. charted a new path in journalism, centering feminist voices and concerns. Today, Ms. remains at the forefront of feminist journalism as a trusted source for news, analysis, and ideas – in the print magazine, a vibrant and popular website, social media platforms, Ms. Classroom, podcasts On the Issues and Fifteen Minutes of Feminism, and daily and weekly email newsletters.
As Ms. marks 50 years, publisher Eleanor Smeal proudly announces an expanded leadership team to build out Ms.’s next generation of vision. Katherine Spillar, longstanding executive editor of Ms. overseeing its print magazine, digital platforms, and companion educational and outreach programs, will be joined by: Michele Goodwin, as executive producer of Ms. Studios, and Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, as executive director of Ms.partnerships and strategy.
Goodwin holds the chancellor’s professorship at the University of California, Irvine Law School, where she is founder and director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy and its Reproductive Justice Initiative. Weiss-Wolf has spent the past decade as a vice president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, where she continues to serve as women and democracy fellow.
“The message – and the medium – of Ms. continues to matter more than ever, as we grapple with our nation’s increasingly dysfunctional democracy,” said Spillar. “With rising authoritarianism worldwide, with persistent and systemic racial and economic injustice, an urgent global climate crisis, and with the imminent demise of abortion rights by the U.S. Supreme Court, our expanded leadership team will bring to Ms. readers and listeners the essential information and ideas to take action.”
Anchoring the 50th anniversary initiatives is the launch of Ms. Studios, a world-class vision for women-led journalism spearheaded and led by Goodwin. Combining multimedia programming – a slate of podcasts and videos, companion website, and a Writers’ Room – with Ms.’s robust print-based and digital reporting, Ms. Studios will center women and LGBTQ voices. Upcoming features include “The Articles That Built a Movement,” a series to spur conversation around the messaging and articles from Ms. over the course of its history, showcasing its prescience and impact on matters of gender, racial, social, political, environmental, geopolitical, sex, disability, and LGBTQ importance. Ms. Studios will also launch an ongoing “Women and Democracy” series, a platform for experts to mark key milestones for the Equal Rights Amendment, to examine the future of abortion rights in America, and to analyze women’s voting power, among other issues.
“This is a critical time to amplify women’s voices as well as those from the LGBTQ community, and at the same time to think critically about advancing democracy and protecting free speech for all. What better place to do that and build from than Ms.,” said Goodwin.
“Ms. ensures that those leading the fights of the day – whether organizing in their own community or arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court – help shape the national media story. This long has been Ms.’s strategy and superpower. As a kid who grew up reading and relying on Ms. magazine, I couldn’t be more moved to join its leadership today,” said Weiss-Wolf, who will develop “Women and Democracy” programming, as well as work to deepen Ms.’s institutional strength and influence.
Ms. is also thrilled to announce its forthcoming book, Fifty Years of Ms., to be published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House, in early 2023. It will be a cornerstone of the 50th anniversary, including a series of major events and book talks around the country. With a foreword from Ms. founding editor Gloria Steinem, an introduction by publisher Eleanor Smeal and executive editor Katherine Spillar – and reflections and content from a global cohort of feminist thinkers, writers, and leaders across generations – this artful collection features a half century of the very best of Ms.: groundbreaking essays and reports on women, men, politics, marriage, family and culture, as well as landmark fiction, poetry, letters, interviews, cover art, behind-the-scenes photos, and selected materials from the Ms. archives housed at Smith College.
More Background on Michele Goodwin and Jennifer Weiss-Wolf:
Michele Goodwin, executive producer of Ms. Studios. Goodwin holds the chancellor’s professorship at the University of California, Irvine Law School, where she is founder and director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy and its Reproductive Justice Initiative. She is the author of six books – her latest, the timely, powerful, and award-winning Policing the Womb: Invisible Women and the Criminalization of Motherhood (Cambridge University Press, March 2020) – and hundreds of articles, essays, and commentaries. She is the host and executive producer of the popular Ms. podcast On the Issues with Michele Goodwin. In addition to writing regularly for Ms., she has published at the New York Times, Washington Post,L.A. Times, The Atlantic, Forbes, and Politico, and has been featured on HBO, NPR, ABC, and NBC News, among others. She also serves on the executive committee of the ACLU.
Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, executive director of Ms. partnerships and strategy. Weiss-Wolf has spent the past decade as a vice president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, where she continues to serve as women and democracy fellow. Dubbed the “architect of the U.S. policy campaign to squash the tampon tax” by Newsweek, her groundbreaking 2017 book Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity was lauded by Gloria Steinem as “the beginning of liberation for us all.” A regular contributor to Ms., her writing and work have been published and featured by the New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, TIME, Harper’s Bazaar, Teen Vogue, Glamour, Marie Claire, NowThis, NPR, CBS, and NBC News, among others. She is also a board member of The Feminist Press.