I’m a person that believes activism is a life well lived. As a 9 year old, peace sign buttons prominently displayed, I attended the first-ever Earth Day celebration by imploring my father to drive me to my older sister’s middle school so that I could participate. Two years later, captivated by Franco Zeffirelli’s film Brother Sun, Sister Moon, I wanted to be Saint Francis of Assisi, at least in a rudimentary secular way, devoted to animals, social justice, and environmentalism.
By the time I was in graduate school, my art was dedicated to depicting the impact of environmental tragedies, the Exxon Valdez spill in particular. One large canvas, titled 20 Tons, was painted with tar; a sculpture titled Street Value contrasted the monetary worth of black market cocaine versus the appraisal assigned to the death of marine life. Activism has always been deep in my DNA and 50 yrs later is an inevitable offspring.
I received substantial encouragement along the way. Dr. Greg Miller, Chair of the Department of Psychology at UCLA, described 50 yrs later as very powerful…beyond impressive. United States District Judge Lucy Koh, of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals congratulated me upon completing 50 yrs later too. Catherine Ross, Professor of Law at George Washington University wrote that she was in awe and invited me to give two lectures at her law school, the first to law faculty, and the second in her class The Child, Family and State. Associate Dean Susan Karamanian, who hosted the first talk, sent me an email describing my presentation as a riveting performance. Lou deBaca, a former United States Ambassador, now Director of the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing in the Department of Justice, asked for a transcript of my talk as well.
Joan Meier, another a professor of law at George Washington University, and Founder and Legal Director of Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project, put me in touch with Meg Garvin, a professor of law at Lewis and Clark, and Executive Director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute, a nationwide advocacy group. Lecturing opportunities, training for police officers, district attorneys, and judges, as well as expert witness work were all discussed, propelling me once more into the world of activism, this time as an advocate for victims of childhood sexual abuse.
I do not claim to have answers. My goal instead is to provide insight, through my art, lectures and writings, into the manifestations of trauma that spring from childhood sexual abuse, as well as effective ways to prevent it.