The first time we met poet Catherine Willoughby, she talked about the power of rhyme: The way it evokes deep emotions, aids learning, and can connect us to a subject on a very human level. We knew we had found the right person.
Catherine caught our eye with her touching piece on the need for connections in the time of a global pandemic. We were looking for a fresh, compelling, and empathetic voice to speak to a critical compliance topic: speaking up and reporting misconduct. And, as a women-owned and -operated company, it’s our mission to support women in both the compliance and the creative fields.
We were looking for a fresh, compelling, and empathetic voice to speak to a critical compliance topic: speaking up and reporting misconduct.
Clients were telling us that the usual message — “Speak up because it’s the right thing to do” — wasn’t doing enough to cut through the personal and emotional barriers that keep many good and ethical employees from reporting misconduct. We wanted to speak to those barriers directly and send the message that choosing to speak up can actually make real change in the workplace and the world.
Spoken word poetry is meant to be experienced out loud, rather than read on the page. It has roots in the Harlem Renaissance, the Beat Generation, and the Civil Rights Movement, as well as oral traditions around the world going back millennia. It is a natural, powerful way to connect with audiences.
In 2017, we released Don’t Stand By, created in partnership with Gary Turk. When we shared Don’t Stand By with people in the compliance industry, more than once I watched them reach for tissues or quietly blink away a little something caught in the corner of their eye. When one client played the video at an all-hands meeting, she described it as a “mic drop moment.” We went on to work with Gary on two more spoken-word poems, We All Pay and Our Private Lives. The style has proved so popular that we have seen other companies starting to experiment with the form.
When one client played the video at an all-hands meeting, she described it as a “mic drop moment.”
Rethink is always looking for fresh voices and fresh ideas, and we are proud to now bring both a new voice and a new product to our compliance colleagues. Welcome to the Rethink family, Catherine. We couldn’t be happier with what you’ve brought to the table so far, and we can’t wait to see what you’ll do with us next!
We hope you enjoy Your Voice Has Power and that it can be a compelling addition to your program.
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