June 4, 2009
My current passion is working with a group of Sudanese refugees known as the Lost Girls of Sudan. I am collaborating with award winning filmmaker Deborah Fryer, writer Leah Bassoff and a group of 3 Sudanese undergraduates--Inne, Nakwa, and Atilio to gather oral histories about important stories about the Lost Girls' flight from civil war in Sudan.
I also have worked as a Fulbright researcher in Tanzania on conservation and human rights issues with Maasai communities in the Serengeti region and in Kenya as a project director for Operation Crossroads Africa. I first became passionate about global equity, Africa and women as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya. When I was accepted to the Peace Corps in 1987, my father stopped talking to me and refused to acknowledge that I was going to Kenya which seemed far off and scary to him because of the U.S. media's negative focus on AIDS/ poverty and unrest. It was painful, but I persevered and teaching in Miranda near Kisumu Kenya changed the course of my life. This summer is my 20 year Peace Corps reunion.
My journal title is "women on the verge" which has a double meaning for me. It is partly a riff on Almodovar's film title "Women on the Verge of a nervous breakdown" because being a mother, writer, and activist is a tricky balancing act and can leave one feeling on the verge. The second meaning of "Women on the Verge" relates to global women being on the edge and starting to see the positive effects of empowerment.