Results and Impact

The OpEd Project received seed funding from Echoing Green in summer 2008.  Since then, over 12,000 people - the vast majority of them underrepresented, and overwhelmingly female—have come through our doors, experiencing at least one day and in some cases a full fellowship year with us.  They have produced tens of thousands of ideas (op-eds and much more), reaching hundreds of millions of viewers, readers and listeners.

During this same time period, the demographics of our nation's key opinion forums - where expert ideas are tested and vetted, and history is sourced—have shifted significantly, to become more inclusive. Most notably, the representation of women in our nation's most influential forums has increased by at least 40%


examples of Impact from our community

Carol Anderson, Emory PVF 2014-2015, wrote a response to the crisis in Ferguson, which went viral in the wake of the grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown. It became The Washington Post’s most emailed op-ed of the year, and sparked a bidding war for Anderson’s book, White Rage, published in May 2016. Anderson was named to Politico's list of the 50 most influential “thinkers and doers and visionaries changing American politics,” and The New York Times named White Rage one of 100 Notable Books of the year. Since then, Senator Al Franken said that it is the "one book every American should read" and passages from the book were read aloud on the Senate floor during Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing.

“After years of being ignored, people now listen to what I say, mostly because I learned how to perfect an evidence-based argument through The OpEd Project. I have a new sense of what it’s like to matter to the world, and my experience has infused me with a sense of duty that I fulfill through thought leadership, oped-style. There’s power in my pen and I know it.” 
— Chandra Bozelko, New York City Alum. Chandra has published more than 70 op-eds since attending Write to Change the World in major national outlets including, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and more, and three of these pieces have caused identifiable policy reversals. Chandra is now a Mentor-Editor. 

After her op-ed on the mortgage crisis ran in The Denver Post, Manisha Thakor was repeatedly cited in The New York Times, which further established her as an expert. With help from our partner SheSource.org, she was booked on CNN and CNBC alongside Suze Orman and Jim Cramer, and now appears regularly as a finance expert on television.

Zeba Khan had never published an op-ed before coming through The OpEd Project program with Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow in mid-2009. She was matched with an OEP Mentor Editor, and later that fall she was the runner-up in The Washington Post's "America's Next Great Pundit" contest to win a 13-week column in The Post -- beating out nearly 5,000 other aspiring writers.

“I emerged with the sense that I both could and should participate in the nation’s ongoing discussion on its op-ed pages. Some of the language I used in my San Francisco Chronicle op-ed came directly out of the seminar.”

— Cindy Cohn, Legal Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Bess Kargman, 22, felt she wasn’t knowledgeable enough to write about anything when she came to The OpEd Project pilot session. Two weeks later, Beth’s op-ed on plagiarism in the college admission process ran on the front page of the Washington Post Sunday Outlook section. It was the most emailed article of the day. Bess was accepted by Columbia Journalism School on the strength of that op-ed, her only published piece of work at the time. She is now a journalist.

 

“Even though I am a writer, I never believed the pen was mightier than the sword. I spent most of my adult life feeling helpless in the face of endless war. On September 21st, my husband Hamada’s family in Mosul was drone-attacked by missiles in the middle of the night and four of them died and others were injured. We’ve been devastated, but what made it harder was that the U.S. government and U.S. media refused to even acknowledge the attack took place until 5pm Friday when the New York Times editor told the Pentagon they were going to print my article. The threat of this article is what it took for the Pentagon to admit the attack happened, to even consider investigating civilian loss.”
— Zareena Grewal, Yale PVF 2012-2013, published an op-ed in The New York Times, "When War Comes Close to Home" with the help of her OpEd Project mentor, Zeba Khan.