Talking about Violence against Women this Holiday Season

A conversation about intimate violence. A giftwrapped book on violence against women. These may not seem like the best holiday ideas, but just hear me out before you decide. For generations, talking about intimate violence has been taboo. That pattern started to shift with the Women’s Movement of the 1960s and 70s, and kept changingContinue reading “Talking about Violence against Women this Holiday Season”

Understanding Betrayal and Changing the World

Professors talk a lot. With students and colleagues. In classes and communities. No matter one’s career stage, there’s a whole lot of talking. Well, with one exception: Professors don’t get to say much at all on the day that they retire. That’s because there’s a tradition in academia of giving lectures or publishing a bookContinue reading “Understanding Betrayal and Changing the World”

An Unwavering Belief in a Future We’ve Never Known

I sat down in the aging office chair and regarded the towering shelf of books. A good shake and we’d surely be buried in decades of psychology texts. From the other side of a large desk, the world-renowned professor I’d just met asked, “How do you stay so optimistic?” This wasn’t the question I wasContinue reading “An Unwavering Belief in a Future We’ve Never Known”

This DVAM, Sharing Observations from Every 90 Seconds

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month — and a great time to correct misconceptions that violence against women is a special interest or women’s issue. Instead, it’s each of our issue. To illustrate our shared interest in moving from awareness to action, I’m sharing observations from Every 90 Seconds: Our Common Cause Ending Violence againstContinue reading “This DVAM, Sharing Observations from Every 90 Seconds”

Awareness to Action: Book Club Edition

I hurried out the door on Wednesday to drive across town to a book club at the home of someone I’d never met to spend the evening with people I didn’t know. After a few mishaps (read: I forgot my own copy of the book and had to circle home), I found myself in someone’sContinue reading “Awareness to Action: Book Club Edition”

Hope and the Radical Acknowledgment of the World As It Is

I woke up on that last Friday of June with to-do lists and half-memorized remarks running through my head. I was facing down a morning packed with meetings ahead of attending the Rose Andom Center‘s Summer Connections Gala where I was to receive their Building Hope Award. I’d been working on my remarks all week.Continue reading “Hope and the Radical Acknowledgment of the World As It Is”

A Rideshare on the Road to Change

The four of us left the restaurant together, having celebrated a friend’s birthday. Laughing and carrying on, we made our way to the Lyft that idled across the street. A woman smiled warmly at us from the driver’s seat. As she drove us through Portland’s nighttime streets, our banter turned to the kinds of conversationsContinue reading “A Rideshare on the Road to Change”

Since You’re Here: From Impostor to Action

I’ve always tended towards anxious thoughts. They hit a particularly fevered pitch in my first year of graduate school, many moons ago. I’d just uprooted and moved from the east coast to Oregon to join a dozen first year graduate students at the University of Oregon. Each of them seemed better prepared, smarter, more [fillContinue reading “Since You’re Here: From Impostor to Action”

Three Friends, Two Strangers, One Smashed Phone, and a Purple Balloon: A NYE Story

I don’t recall rain, which seems strange for December 31st in downtown Seattle. We had only a few hours to go until we said goodbye to a dreadful year. A year in which the dot-com crash wreaked havoc in the Seattle economy and evening news reports described businesses dumping their no-longer-needed office furniture in desolateContinue reading “Three Friends, Two Strangers, One Smashed Phone, and a Purple Balloon: A NYE Story”

Wishing you Creature Comfort this New Year

A few years back, I heard Tarana Burke speak at a Blue Bench event in Denver. In fielding questions about how she has navigated a high profile career addressing sexual assault and trauma, she spoke of curating joy in her life. I think of her phrase – curating joy – often. Growing up professionally inContinue reading “Wishing you Creature Comfort this New Year”