I'm currently writing about the work of three people I consider the most important social justice fighters of our time--Sister Helen Prejean, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Wangari Maathai.
I'm drawn to them as the daughter of a whistleblower and a person wanting to understand how one turns outrage into action to effect major social change.
How much can an individual accomplish when confronting established power? What must a citizen do to have a reasonable chance of success in taking on City Hall? Are these three women ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances, or extraordinary people? Have they dedicated their lives to fights they cannot win, or have they been smart enough and strategic enough to have a reasonable chance of success?
I am beginning to have some answers, though the choices Aung San Suu Kyi is making now seem to challenge some of my assumptions about her.
I created this site to make some of my shorter publications about their efforts available and to invite commentary as the project continues to grow. I have interviewed hundreds of people in the U.S., Kenya, Burma, Thailand, and the U.K. in my search for information and perspective.
I'm Professor Emeritus and former Dean of DePaul University School for New Learning (the undergraduate college for adults). I earned a PhD in literature from The University at Albany with an emphasis in medieval British literature.
In the 80s I co-founded and served as editor of Washington Park Press, a regional publishing house in New York's Capital District. Among works we published are O Albany! by William Kennedy, Albany Girlhood by Alice Kenney, and Mayor Corning by Paul Grondahl.
I've consulted about higher education for adults in the U.S as well as internationally, first at University of Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa, and more recently at Tangaza University College, Nairobi, Kenya, where I first became interested in Wangari.
I'm mother of three, grandmother of one. I'd be pleased to hear from you.