A letter from the founder
We sat together on the floor for hours, dirty, sweaty, and elated. It was the afternoon of the 2017 Women’s March. That morning my best friends and I gathered in San Diego’s downtown with thirty thousand people to step forward in love. From the living room floor we relived what we witnessed and the emotions that rose up as we walked beside other women—strangers, neighbors, and friends—all seeking a better world for this generation and the ones to follow. As we processed the event we talked about what it means to be a woman, and what our decisions will mean for our daughters and their daughters.
Maybe more than ever, we face an uncertain future. But as the next generation of women we also have agency to build something durable and good. The Women’s March reminded me of this, and it reminded me that we need companions for the work ahead. My friends and I have walked with each other for years, our conversations evolving and deepening as we grow older, strengthening our sisterhood and making us braver. The words we shared after the March acted like pebbles tossed in water, causing ideas to ripple outward as we took them back to our families and neighbors and coworkers.
Many of my friends grew up in the Christian faith, and many of us still follow Jesus. As girls and then later women in the church, we often felt restricted in what we could discuss, bound by what was deemed appropriate or “ladylike.” Yet the most nourishing conversations in my life have arrived in the middle of vulnerability and risk, among friends I trust enough to let my real insides show: doubts, rough edges, and fuck-ups included. Shining a light on those hidden places makes the darkness shrink away. I breathe a little bit easier knowing that I’m not alone, and my guess is you might, too.
I hope you find sisters, friends, confidants, and companions here. I hope you read the stories and feel known. And most importantly, I hope you keep the conversation alive.
Welcome to Our Daughters’ Daughters. I’m so happy you are here.
Peace be with you.
Leah Willis is a graphic designer, creative director, and amateur writer living in Southern California. Having a passion for the women's movement, social justice, & conversation, Leah came up with the concept of Our Daughters' Daughters in her living room late one night. Thankfully she was able to sweet talk her two insanely talented friends into being part of her vision, and thus this project was born! Leah has a deep love for storytelling, connection, people, politics, and peanut butter toast.
Founder + Creative Director | @leahwillis
Annelise Jolley is a San Diego-based writer and editor. She earned her MFA in creative writing through Seattle Pacific University and her work has appeared in Brevity, The Millions, Sojourners, and Fathom, among others. She feels lucky to love and learn from brave women, and to help create a platform for their stories.
Writer + Collection Curator | @ajjolley
Stephanie Norbeck is a graphic designer in the San Diego area and one of the thousands of women who marched in the initial Women's March in 2017. She feels deeply about the culture shifts happening in the United States and designing this website as well as being part of Our Daughters’ Daughters is the way she best knew how to respond.
Designer | @stephanienorbeck