Pauline Dempers on Nama Skin is Proud

The Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice is the sponsor of The Peace Writer project which documents the lives and stories of woman working for peace all over the world. Women are paired with professional writers and videographers and enabled to tell their stories. The following excerpt is the story of Pauline Dempers … Continue reading Pauline Dempers on Nama Skin is Proud

Phillippa Yaa De Villiers on If Love Were Bread

"...writing is so much more than words on a page. Writing contains their [the writer's]concerns, their social context, and their history." Phillippa Yaa De Villiers An actress, a screenwriter, playwright, novelist, and poet Phillippa Yaa De Villiers grew up in South Africa. The daughter of an Australian woman and an Ghanian father  who was adopted by a white … Continue reading Phillippa Yaa De Villiers on If Love Were Bread

Sonia Nieto on Culture as Transmutation

My identity is always changing everyday. The person who I was when I was a child is different from the person I was as a young adult and the person who I am now. And those shifting identities have to do with your own individual experiences and the sociopolitical context in which you live. Sonia … Continue reading Sonia Nieto on Culture as Transmutation

Rosa Parks on Being a Regular Person

The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.   Rosa Parks Christened "The First Lady of Civil Rights" Rosa Parks made history on a February day in 1955, when she refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man. Because this was against the segregation laws of Alabama, Rosa Parks was … Continue reading Rosa Parks on Being a Regular Person

Elizabeth Barrett Browning on Love and Work

 If marriage be a contract, look to it then, Contracting parties should be equal - Just.  Elizabeth Barrett Browning Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) or "Ba," as she was known as a child, was a child of privilege growing up in a wealthy household supported by the slave labor on sugar plantations in Jamaica. A precocious … Continue reading Elizabeth Barrett Browning on Love and Work

Helen Keller on I Hesitate to Write

"I am only one, but still I am one." I cannot do everything, but I can still do something;  and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do." Helen Keller Perhaps you have seen the movie The Miracle Worker. Perhaps as a child you read a book about the … Continue reading Helen Keller on I Hesitate to Write

George Sand on the Working Man

How I wish I could impart to you this sense of the intensity and joyousness of life that I have in my veins. To live! How sweet it is, and how good, in spite of annoyances, husbands, debts, relations, scandal-mongers, sufferings, and irritations! To live! It is intoxicating! To love, and to be loved! It … Continue reading George Sand on the Working Man

Barbara Kingsolver on Receiving Grace

Barbara Kingsolver has written numerous books and won many awards. She is the founder of the PEN/Bellwether Award for socially conscious fiction. Her most recent work is Flight Behavior, in which she combines her background in biology, her concern for social justice, and her experience living in rural Appalachia and raising sheep.  In a NPR interview Kingsolver … Continue reading Barbara Kingsolver on Receiving Grace

Barbara Ehrenreich on Special Costs

Barbara Ehrenreich is a well-known investigative reporter and social commentator. She has been called a myth buster and a muckraker for her unflagging devotion to uncovering the silent and contradictory spaces in our national persona. A chemist with a doctorate in cellular immunology, Ehrenreich has chosen to focus her life's work on changing the national discourse on … Continue reading Barbara Ehrenreich on Special Costs

Maxine Greene on a World of Possibility

Maxine Greene is best known as an indomitable fighter for the valuing of the arts and social justice in education. She has been Philosopher-in-Residence at the Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education since 1976. In 2012 she founded the Maxine Greene Center for Aesthetic Education and Social Imagination. She is the author of numerous books that challenge … Continue reading Maxine Greene on a World of Possibility

Carolina Maria de Jesus on Rats and Cats

"A woman's tongue is a candlewick. It is always burning." Carolina Maria de Jesus (1914-1977) spent most of her life in a favela in Sao Paola Brazil. To support her three children she collected cardboard and other trash, but many days her children had little to eat. She attended school until she was eight years old where she discovered … Continue reading Carolina Maria de Jesus on Rats and Cats

Jean Kilbourne on Women’s Image

Jean Kilbourne is a feminist author, lecturer, and filmmaker, critical of the media and advertising, who has published three books and four films. One of her main focuses is the effect of advertising on women's images of themselves. "Why 6,000,000 women who used to carry a little red book now carry a little red lipstick," says an … Continue reading Jean Kilbourne on Women’s Image

Rose Winslow on Hungry for the Vote

"God knows we don’t want other women ever to have to do this over again.” Rose Winslow  was brought as a baby to the United States by her Polish parents so that she could grow up in a free democratic country.  Her father labored as a coal miner and steel worker and as a child … Continue reading Rose Winslow on Hungry for the Vote

Sandra Steingraber on Making a Difference

Sandra Steingraber has been called a "poet with a knife". She is a renowned ecologist, a cancer survivor, award-winning author, mother, and poet. She is the Rachel Carson of our times calling us to wake up and rid our earth of the toxins that affect the development of our children. Like Rachel she has been attacked by … Continue reading Sandra Steingraber on Making a Difference

Lisa Delpit on Teaching

 "We do not really see through our eyes or hear through our ears, but through our beliefs." Lisa Delpit is Director of the Center for Urban Educational Excellence. She is the author of numerous books on educating children of poverty and color and on improving teacher education. As a child she experienced segregation growing up … Continue reading Lisa Delpit on Teaching

Victoria Woodhull on the 47%

Victoria Claflin Woodhull, the first woman candidate for the presidency of the United States, ran for office in 1872, sixty years before women had the right to vote. The first woman stockbroker, opening a brokerage firm on Wall Street with her sister in 1870, and first woman newspaper publisher, Woodhull was born poor, received only three years of … Continue reading Victoria Woodhull on the 47%

Leymah Gobwee on Peace

Women wake up--you have a voice in the peace process! Leymah Gobwee won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011. Inspired by reading Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and theologian John Yoder, and Kenyan author Hizkias Assef, this mother of four brought the women of Liberia together to face down a corrupt government and end war.  Through public singing and praying in … Continue reading Leymah Gobwee on Peace

Susan B. Anthony on the Right to Vote

I wonder what Susan B. Anthony would say in this age of voter identification and suppression? This is what she said at her trial for voting illegally in 1873. ...the United States Constitution, the supreme law of this land, says, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States...are citizens; no State shall deny or abridge the privileges … Continue reading Susan B. Anthony on the Right to Vote

Margaret Atwood on the Need to Scratch

Award-winning Canadian author Margaret Atwood was born in 1939.  She has written upwards of twenty books, numerous short stories, and poems. Her writing has consistently crossed genres and poked at sacred cows. Atwood characterizes her writing as social science fiction. In the historical novel Alias Grace, Atwood tells the tale of Grace Marks, a young … Continue reading Margaret Atwood on the Need to Scratch

Beatrice Potter Webb on Ruling the World

Beatrice Potter Webb  (1858-1943) is best known for the work she did as a social reformer and economist with her husband Sidney Webb and for coining the term collective bargaining. Together they published the book The History of Trade Unionism and traveled England trying to break down the poor laws. In 1895 they founded the … Continue reading Beatrice Potter Webb on Ruling the World