Whether it was helping people in crisis, advocating for people with AIDS, or speaking on behalf of best practices in adoption, I have committed my life to working with people who have been marginalized and misrepresented. I hope to continue that commitment as a writer.
I grew up in the working class in New Jersey, one of the few white students in a predominantly African-American school. This helped me see the world through a different lens. I graduated from college in 1970 just after Kent State, and then moved to San Francisco where I immersed myself in the anti-war and women’s movement. How I see the world today continues to be informed by that turbulent and transformative time.
I have been involved in criminal justice activism for the last 12 years. In 2012, I received a California Humanities grant to create a booklet and art exhibit in collaboration with Ruth Morgan, the photographer and founder of Community Works West.
The Welcome Home Project contains compelling stories of 20 formally incarcerated individuals who turned their lives around after many years in jails and prisons. The intention of the project was to challenge the dominant narrative about criminality and bring to light the humanity of people who have spent time behind bars.
I continue to be appalled at the collateral damage of our criminal injustice system. I find hope working in partnership with the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights through the First Unitarian Church of Oakland and with the Interfaith Coalition for Justice in our Jails.
When not working, writing, or being with friends or family, I can be found in my garden – moving things around in a never-ending quest for beauty and completion. I love hiking and kayaking at Pt. Reyes where I go to enrich my soul. The creative spirit occasionally calls me to perform solo theater pieces. If you are interested, here is one from my 70th Birthday: https://vimeo.com/286243529. Enjoy!