I left the US at age 16 to go to the Dominican Republic as an exchange student, and in doing so I stepped outside my white upper-middle class bubble for the first time.
That year I talked with my Dominican host family about their experiences during the US military takeover in the 1960s and made new friends who later immigrated to the US and Canada. Through these experiences and through reading I learned empathy for the struggles of people who are forced to leave their homes for economic or safety reasons.
Later I worked as a research interviewer and then as a social services case manager. In these roles I have had the privilege to hear first hand about the lives of people from many different walks of life. Studying sociology as a college student allowed me to see my own and others’ experiences in a larger context, and to see individual struggles in relation to larger social issues. I studied Conflict Transformation holistically in combination with sustainable development, organizational management, and social justice education.
Through my work I have embraced intentional solidarity in global peace work. I have always learned about the world first from direct experience. Personal development and reflection have been a necessity and a privilege I’ve pursued in many phases of life. I am gratified when I can help anyone learn a new skill or idea. I enjoy coaching and teaching through the use of experience and reflection.
When I moved to Austin, Texas, the resilience of the plant life, despite the punishing environment; and the wide skies and relaxed people won my heart. My husband and I have a little girl and, like parents everywhere, we want our daughter to feel secure and loved. My desire for work-life balance has led me to pursue independent work.
I am a writer, editor, coach and de-escalator. I write with accuracy, sensitivity and sincerity, to engage supporters and members and transform position-based views into creativity and understanding. I offer my services to help peacebuilding organizations create a new lens through which to see our experiences as humans, and to create more peace in our world. My clients are mission-driven service and advocacy organizations, businesses and non-profits who need to produce written materials in English with a peacebuilding lens. I also see mediation as a transformative experiential learning opportunity.