She’s Got It Covered

Newsweek cover designed by Narya Marcille
The cover of the Newsweek Special Edition focusing on feminism was designed by URI alumna Narya Marcille ’05.

A Newsweek special edition released early this year celebrates the commitment and achievements of women past and present in the fight for equality. The cover line reads “She Persisted.”

URI alumna Narya Marcille, a 2005 bachelor of fine arts grad, created the cover design, which features five nationally recognized women who are paving the way today for gender equality, civil and human rights, racial equality, and justice for all.

The “She Persisted” cover design is reminiscent of a celebrated poster Marcille created last year for the Women’s March on Washington, which is where the story begins. Marcille’s 2017 “Women Unite” poster was a big hit—the Library of Congress requested a copy for its permanent archives, and Marcille sent a copy to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who was featured in the poster. Justice Ginsberg likes it so much she displays it in her chambers.

The powerful poster also caught the attention of a Newsweek editor, who asked Marcille to design the “She Persisted” cover. Landing the job was a coup for freelance graphic designer Marcille, a stay-at-home mom of two young children. “This was a huge opportunity for me,” says Marcille. “I’m eager to see what comes next.”

Marcille says she worked for a week on the illustration, including an all-nighter on Christmas. The art director for Topix Media, which publishes Newsweek’s special editions, chose the women he wanted on the cover, and Marcille created the images.

The five women, all linking arms, are Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren; Ellen Pao, former interim C.E.O. of Reddit who rattled patriarchal Silicon Valley when she filed a gender discrimination suit against her employer—a powerful venture capital firm; Malala Yousafzai, a Pakastani education and women’s rights advocate who, at the age of 17, became the youngest person to win the Nobel Prize after surviving an assassination attempt by the Taliban; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi, a Nigerian novelist and feminist; and Gina Rodriguez, an American actress of Puerto-Rican descent best known for her role in the comedy-drama series, “Jane the Virgin.”

“They’re all incredibly strong and determined women,” she says. “They’re in charge of their lives.”

Behind the women are dozens of protesters with raised fists, some carrying posters that say, “Fight Like a Girl” and “The Future is Female.” One poster has a woman’s raised fist inside a gender symbol for women. They are all standing in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C, under a turbulent pink sky—a “feminist color,” says Marcille.

“We’re at an age where women are being celebrated,” she says. “It’s thrilling.”