October 24, 2011
VOICES is a non-profit arts, education and social justice organization active throughout the United States. It was founded in Chicago in 2007 by a group of activists, artists and educators, led by historian Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove, who together edited the book Voices of a People’s History of the United States (Seven Stories Press). VOICES came together as a result of enthusiastic audience response to occasional readings from the book Voices, held across the country starting in 2003, and to ongoing requests from readers and audiences for educational material and more performances. This evident hunger for a history in which ordinary people can participate and recognize themselves, their forbearers, their neighbors and their fellow workers, motivated the founding of VOICES.
Today VOICES employs live performances, as well as educational programs based on primary source materials, to illustrate the struggles that ended slavery and Jim Crow segregation, advanced women’s rights and gay liberation, created unions and the eight-hour work day, protested war and the genocide of Native Americans, and worked to right the wrongs of the day. By giving public expression to rebels, dissenters, and visionaries from our past—and present—VOICES seeks to educate and inspire a new generation working for social justice.