Cassandra Alvarado is a current resident at A New Way of Life Reentry Project in Watts, California. Cassandra, like many other women convicted of a drug offense is now banned from receiving any governmental aid for herself due to the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. Although Cassandra is now sober and has served her debt to society, she is being punished again by the state for having a history of substance abuse. She currently receives only $300 a month. However, if she wasn’t a part of the welfare ban she would receive $550 a month, food stamps, a stipend for school, and child care. Although there is a tough road in front of Cassandra she is determined to overcome these obstacles and is currently in the process of enrolling in school.
Michelle C. Bligh is an Associate Professor in the School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences at Claremont Graduate University. She received her doctorate in Management and Organizational Behavior from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Her research interests focus on organizational culture and the role of leaders in influencing and changing corporate cultures, particularly in post-merger organizations. In addition, her research interests include charismatic leadership, interpersonal trust, and political and executive leadership.
Janet Farrell Brodie is Professor of History and Dean for the School of Arts and Humanities at Claremont Graduate University. She has been the Chair of the History Department for the past 15 years. She received her B.A. in history from UC Berkeley and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Her areas of interest and specialization include Cold War secrecy, American social and cultural history, women’s history, and environmental history. She is currently writing about nuclear culture after World War II—particularly biological, environmental, and medical radiation research.
Susan Burton is the founder and executive director of A New Way of Life Reentry Program in Los Angeles, California. Susan and her story of perseverance in overcoming overwhelming odds is an inspiration to women across the United States, particularly formerly incarcerated women and women in recovery from addiction to alcohol and drugs. Susan was recently nominated as a CNN hero in the category of “community crusader.” She has been a Soros Justice Fellow, a Women’s Policy Institute Fellow, and a former Community Fellow under the Violence Prevention Initiative of The California Wellness Foundation. Susan is a longtime Board Member of the Los Angeles Sober Living Network that provides housing for thousands of people in Los Angeles who would otherwise be homeless.
Cecilia A. Conrad is Vice President and Dean of Pomona College. She received her masters and doctorate in economics from Stanford University and her bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College. Prior to joining the faculty at Pomona College, Professor Conrad taught at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina and at Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, New York. Her research focuses on the effects of race and gender on economic status. Recent publications include "African Americans and High Tech Jobs: Trends and Disparities in 25 Cities," Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, 2006; "A Mixed Record: How the Public Workforce System Affects Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Labor Market," Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, 2005; African Americans in the US Economy with John Whitehead, James Stewart and Patrick Mason, Rowman and Littlefield, 2005; "Building Skills for Black Workers: Preparing for the Future Labor Market," Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and University Press of America, 2004; and “The Complexities and Potential of Theorizing Gender, Caste, Race and Class, ” with Rose M. Brewer and Mary C. King, Feminist Economics, Vol. 8, #2 (July 2002): p. 3-18.
Maria Davidson is Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and Affiliate Faculty in Women and Gender Studies at The University of Oklahoma. Her most recent publications include Critical Perspectives on bell hooks (Routledge 2009) co-edited with George Yancy, and Black Feminism and Continental Philosophy (SUNY Press 2010) co-edited with Kathryn T. Gines and Donna-Dale L. Marcano. Her research areas include Black Feminism, Africana Thought, and Rhetorical Theory and Criticism.
Sister Terry Dodge is the executive director of Crossroads, Inc. which provides transitional housing, education, career and counseling services and support to women released from prison. The accommodations are modest, but the mission and the program’s success rate spectacular and grand. This is a long-term transitional facility where women are taught how to adjust to life outside prison and its regimen. They attend AA, are taught to read and write if they don’t know how to do so, learn how to apply for jobs, how to open bank accounts, how to engage in communal living, how to cook and socialize. They are shown how to get their birth certificates, a driver’s license, and any of the other pieces of paper that legitimize those of us who have not spent years in prison. They open up emotionally, sometimes learn how to engage with their families again and are encouraged to build new lives away from their old haunts and habits. Many of these women live with tremendous guilt and heavy hearts, but as she says, as a community, we owe them some mercy to help get them back on their feet. And, as she points out, we certainly owe it to ourselves to make sure they don’t end up back on the streets or behind bars, given that is the one scenario in which everyone loses. In 2010 Sister Terry was one of the recipients of the Minerva Award and was honored alongside Oprah Winfrey and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
John Erickson is a Dual-Degree Master’s student in Applied Women’s Studies and Women’s Studies in Religion and will be graduating this Spring, 2011. While at CGU, John focused his scholarship around feminist and queer theory and early women’s movement. In addition he focuses on the men involved with women’s suffrage and the impact they had in the women’s movement. John is interested in exploring news ways to investigate both the public and private lives on the men and women involved in the women’s movement both in the past, present and how we can learn from them to construct new and better ways to include men in feminism today. After graduation John plans on pursuing a PhD in Women’s and Gender Studies and continuing his work as both a feminist scholar and activist in the non-profit and academic sectors.
Allie Fernandez is a Master's student in Applied Women's Studies and will be graduating this Summer, 2011. While at CGU, she has completed internships with Human Rights Watch in Los Angeles, CA and Women Thrive Worldwide, in Washington, D.C. In addition, she is a certified volunteer with CAST (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking), having completed a 40-hour training. While at CGU, Allie has secured a Friedman Grant and most recently, the Fernandez Prize. She hopes to continue her work by moving to Buenos Aires for a year, after graduation, to work with women's rights groups in the area and then continuing her studies here at CGU in the Cultural Studies' Doctoral Program.
Rebecca M. Fernandez has spent the last 7 years engaging in girls social justice programming, from design to implementation. Currently she is leading a Scripps Academy College Club program that exposes underrepresented 8th grade girls in L.A. County to the college experience while preparing them for the rigors of applying to and entering the liberal arts college, focusing on the first-generation experience. Rebecca earned her B.A. in Women's Studies from Vassar College in 2001 and M.A. in Applied Women's Studies 2010, with a focus on Issues in Girlhood, and is currently a graduate student at CGU in the School of Community and Global Health, focusing on Girls & Women's Health Education and Promotion.
Edward Flores is Adjunct Professor in the Women's and Gender Studies program at Claremont Graduate Univeristy. He received his BA in Sociology, with three minors (business management, technology, and international studies) from the University of the Pacific. He also studied abroad twice, once in Bolivia and once in England, and later received an MA in Social Research from the University of Warwick (UK). At USC, Edward earned his Ph.D. in sociology, with research interests in immigration, race, gender and Latino studies, and he has published in the journal Ethnic and Racial Studies. He is interested in examining faith-based outreach to male Latino ex-gang members at a Jesuit-influenced site, Homeboy Industries, and a Pentecostal-based site, Victory Outreach.
Margaret Grogan is Dean for the School of Educational Studies. Her current research focuses on women in leadership, the superintendency, the moral and ethical dimensions of leadership, and leadership for social justice. She also edits a series on Women in Leadership for SUNY Press. Originally from Australia, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ancient History and Japanese Language from the University of Queensland. She taught high school in Australia, and was a teacher and an administrator at an international school in Japan where she lived for 17 years. During that time she received her Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Michigan State University. After graduating from Washington State University with a Ph.D. in Educational Administration, she taught in Principal and Superintendent Preparation Programs at the University of Virginia for 8 years.
Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Ph.D. is founding director of the Women’s Research and Resource Center (since 1981) and Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies at Spelman College. She is also an adjunct professor at Emory University’s Institute for Women’s Studies where she teaches graduate courses in their doctoral program.
At the age of sixteen, Guy-Sheftall entered Spelman College where she majored in English and minored in secondary education. After graduation with honors, she attended Wellesley College for a fifth year of study in English. After a year at Wellesley, she entered Atlanta University to pursue a master’s degree in English. Her thesis was entitled “Faulkner’s Treatment of Women in His Major Novels.” A year later Guy-Sheftall began her first teaching job in the Department of English at Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1971 she returned to her alma mater, Spelman College, and joined the English Department.
Guy-Sheftall has published a number of texts within African American and Women’s Studies which include the first anthology on Black women’s literature, Sturdy Black Bridges: Visions ofBlack Women in Literature (Doubleday, 1979), which she co-edited with Roseann P. Bell and Bettye Parker Smith; her dissertation, Daughters of Sorrow: Attitudes Toward Black Women, 1880-1920 (Carlson, 1991); and Words of Fire: An Anthology of African American Feminist Thought (New Press, 1995). She co-edited an anthology with Rudolph P. Byrd entitled Traps:African American Men on Gender and Sexuality (Indiana University Press, 2001). She has also completed with Johnnetta Betsch Cole a monograph, Gender Talk: The Struggle for Equality inAfrican American Communities which was published by Random House in February 2003 and most recently coo-edited with Cole in August 2010, Who Should Be First? Feminists Speak Outon the 2008 Presidential Campaign? In 1983 she became founding editor of Sage: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women which was devoted exclusively to the experiences of African descent.
Guy-Sheftall is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, among them a National Kellogg Fellowship; a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for dissertations in Women’s Studies; and Spelman’s Presidential Faculty Award for outstanding scholarship. She is a member of the Board of Trustees at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has been involved with the national women’s studies movement since its inception and provided leadership for the establishment of the first women’s studies major at a historically Black college. Beyond the academy, she has been involved in a number of advocacy organizations which include the National Black Women’s Health Project, the National Council for Research on Women, and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, on whose boards she serves. In her role as Director of Spelman’s Women’s Center, she has also been involved with the development of student activism around misogynist images of Black women in hip hop as well as a broad range of social justice issues, including reproductive rights and violence against women. She teaches women’s studies courses, including feminist theory and global Black feminisms.
Keeonna Harris is currently in the Applied Women’s Studies Program at Claremont Graduate University. She completed her undergraduate degree in Sociology with a minor in Women’s Studies and graduated with the honor of Outstanding Undergraduate in 2009 from California State University San Bernardino. Her experience in the McNair Scholars Program as an undergraduate combined with her personal experience in dealing with the prison system has fueled her interest in conducting research about the true function of the prison system and the notion of punishment. Although, writing a thesis is not a requirement of the Applied Women’s Studies Program, Keeonna is currently conducting research on a formerly incarcerated woman and the barriers that she is currently facing because of her incarcerated status and how that will affect her life chances. In addition to her academic endeavors, she has been actively involved in community efforts that have encouraged the empowerment of women. She founded and was president of “Future Feminists of America” at California State University San Bernardino. She volunteered at A New Way of Life Reentry Project this past summer; which is a non-profit organization that helps formerly incarcerated women transition back into the community and aides women in breaking the cycle of entrapment from the criminal justice system. Her commitment to trying to make a change in a world that has not fully tried to understand the needs of women of color; has prompted her to start filming a documentary which will explore how the criminal justice system has targeted women of color which has led to the mass incarceration of women. These activities bring together her academic and activism together a dream fulfilled!
Marsha Sampson Johnson
Marsha Sampson Johnson is a writer, speaker, and advocate for diversity and inclusion. She is known for her keen insights and high-impact presentations on leadership and navigating careers. Johnson uses her experiences in major corporations, non-profits, small businesses, and government to connect with a wide range of audiences.
As the former Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for the Southern Company in Atlanta, Georgia, Johnson has led division operations, customer services, call center operations, talent management, human resources and corporate diversity.
Johnson is a member of the International Women’s Forum, and serves on the boards of directors of The Atlanta Women’s Foundation, the Women’s Forum of Georgia, and the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation based in Birmingham. Alabama.
She holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Government from Jacksonville University; and is a graduate of Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program.
After graduating from Austin College, Laura McFerrin started her own business, Benchmark Legal Media. Her enthusiasm for filmmaking and this project is tremendous and she hopes it's the first of many projects to come. She is the filmmaker of March On.
Jenell Navarro is a doctoral candidate in Cultural Studies at Claremont Graduate University. She is a Cherokee scholar who works on revolutionary hip hop among Native American artists and in Latin America, and is finishing up her dissertation titled Battling Imperialism: Revolutionary Hip Hop in the Americas. She is also a member of the Southern California Native Feminist Reading Group where she works with other Native Feminist scholars to imagine new forms of sovereignty and liberation. She currently teaches at California State University, Long Beach as a lecturer in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her major fields of interest are Women of Color Feminism, Postcolonial Studies, and Hip Hop Studies.
Zoe Ann Nicholson
Zoe An Nicholson is the author of Matri, Letters from the Mother, and The Passionate Heart and The Hungry Heart. She holds a B.A. in Theology, from Quincy University and a M.A. in Religion from USC. She has led a very diverse life, from teaching high school, building and operating a bookstore, to working in high tech. She is widely known as one of the women who fasted for 37 days for the ERA in 1982, in Springfield, Il. Currently Zoe is one of the individuals featured in the film March On.
Eve Oishi specializes in Asian American, experimental and queer literature, film and media studies. She is Co-Principal Investigator of the Race and Independent Media Project at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center and was a fellow-in-residence at the Humanities Research Institute at UC Irvine for the fall 2006 semester. Her book, The Memory Village: Fakeness and the Forging of Family in Asian American Literature and Film, is forthcoming from Duke University Press. She has published articles on Asian American media practice, feminist film theory, film history, and Asian American literature. Her current research project is on transnational media practice in the Asian diaspora. She is also an independent film and video curator.
Pamela O’Leary is the Executive Director of Public Leadership Educational Network (PLEN) in Washington, D.C. She grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Environmental Science. Pamela earned an M.A. in Applied Women’s Studies from Claremont Graduate University, serving as a teaching assistant at Scripps College and completing a graduate internship at the Office of the Focal Point for Women at the United Nations.
Sarah Smith Orr
Sarah is serving as the Executive Director of the Kravis Leadership Institute (KLI) based at Claremont McKenna College where she also teaches several undergraduate classes. She is also an adjunct professor at the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University (CGU) teaching leadership, governance, and resource development in the social sector. She is the owner of a management and planning consulting firm, Smith Orr & Associates, specializing in the nonprofit/social sector.
Through her association with KLI and the Drucker School, she has been involved in publishing for several books. She had the lead role in the conference design and conduct of the 19th Annual Kravis-de Roulet Leadership Conference focused on the Social Entrepreneur. She also had a 17-year career as a professional executive, Executive Director and top executive, of United Way
organizations in the northeast and southwest parts of the United States, in Southern California, as well as working with professionals internationally.
She is a certified trainer and a member of the Advisory Board for the Achieving Styles Institute.
She has had a founding role in multiple nonprofit organizations focused on leadership, such as Leadership California, and has received numerous awards for her community leadership. She recently completed a term on the board of the National Women’s Hall of Fame and is a founding member of the National Advisory Forum for The Women’s Museum, An Institute for the Future.
Sarah holds an Executive MBA from Claremont Graduate University and is currently completing her PhD in Education at the same institution.
Linda M. Perkins is Associate University Professor and Director of the Applied Women's Studies and the Africana Studies Certificate programs at Claremont Graduate University. She holds appointments in the School of Arts and Humanities as well as the School of Educational Studies.
Perkins is a historian of women's and African American higher education. Her primary areas of research are on the history of African American women's higher education, the education of African Americans in elite institutions and the history of talent identification programs for African Americans students. She is past Western Director of the Association of Black Women Historians as well as former Vice President of Division F (History and Historiography) of the American Educational Research Association. She is currently on the board of the National Council for Research on Women and is also a member of the Huntington Library Women's Studies Seminar Advisory Committee in San Marino, California. Perkins has received research grants from the Spencer Foundation and the Ruth Landes Memorial Foundation for research on her forthcoming book on the History of Black women's higher education.
In May 2010, Sami Poindexter graduated from the University of Redlands, Johnston Center for Integrative Studies with her BA in “Building a Culture of Peace through Feminist Theory and Activism.” During her time as an undergraduate, Ms. Poindexter became an advocate for San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services which gave her the knowledge and tools to start an organization at the UoR called Sisters Standing Together—a peer education group that addresses issues of sexual assault and dating violence on campus. Ms. Poindexter also had the opportunity to teach an undergraduate course at the UoR entitled “Ending Gender Violence: Theory and Campus Activism.” In spring 2009, Ms. Poindexter also had the opportunity to study abroad in Nicaragua, which cemented her interest in global women’s movements. Thus, as a candidate for a Masters degree through the Applied Women’s Studies program at CGU, Ms. Poindexter is focusing her studies on global women’s issues, development, and transnational feminism. This semester, Ms. Poindexter was given the opportunity to explore these issues further as a delegate to the United Nations 55th Commission on the Status of Women in New York City and she is now looking forward to applying to several international NGOs for internships.
Tammi J. Schneider teaches ancient history (covering Mesopotamia, Syria-Palestine, Egypt, Anatolia and the Aegean from the third millennium to the end of the first), ancient Near Eastern languages and literature, archaeology (primarily of Israel), and women in the Hebrew Bible (Genesis, Judges, Samuel) for the School of Religion at Claremont Graduate University. Her research draws together the varied fields of archaeology, Assyriology, and biblical studies in an effort to understand the ancient Near East, especially the interactions among various peoples. Additionally, she is interested in the role of women in the Hebrew Bible. Schneider has worked on numerous archaeological excavations including Miqne/Ekron, Tel es-Safi, and Tel Herasim, and currently co-directs excavations at Tell el-Far'ah (South) in Israel as a project director for the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity. Her publications include "Rethinking Jehu" in Biblica 77.1 (1996); Form and Context in the Royal Inscriptions of Shalmaneser II; a commentary on the book of Judges for the Liturgical Press Berit Olam series (2000); and her latest work, Sarah: Mother of Nations, published by Continuum in 2004. Currently, she is working on two books: a monograph about women in the book of Genesis and an introduction to Mesopotamian religion.
Jean Schroedel is a Professor in the Department of Politics and Policy and Dean of the School of Politics and Economics at Claremont Graduate University. Areas of specialization include Congress and public policy, religion and politics, women and politics, and public policies affecting women and children. In 2001 Schroedel’s book, Is the Fetus a Person? A comparison of Policies Across the Fifty States, was awarded the American Political Science Association’s Victoria Schuck Prize. In 2009 the Russell Sage Foundation published a two volume collection, Evangelicals and Democracy in America, co-edited by Schroedel. She is currently completing a multi-year project examining changes in the foster care system over the past half a century.
Hugo Schwyzer received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and holds a Ph.D. from UCLA. Since 1993 he has taught courses in history and gender studies at Pasadena City College. In addition to courses on women’s history, men and masculinity, and gay and lesbian history, he developed the college’s first interdisciplinary course focusing on “Beauty and the Body” in the late 1990s, a class he continues to offer today and which focuses on the historical roots of the contemporary plague of eating disorders and distorted body image.
Schwyzer has served as a popular facilitator, workshop leader, and speaker on issues revolving around sexuality, masculinity, and transforming self-image. He has presented workshops on body image, sexual harassment, rape prevention, and the “myth of male weakness” at institutions as diverse as Fuller Theological Seminary and Brown University. He has also been a popular and frequent presenter at secondary schools across California and the West, and has appeared to talk about beauty, body image, sexuality and gender justice on nationally syndicated radio programs and on CNN.
Schwyzer is currently a featured columnist for the Good Men Project Magazine and The Frisky. His articles have also appeared in the Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, Alternet, Jezebel, and many other sites. Schwyzer has co-authored Beauty, Disrupted - the forthcoming autobiogrophy of famed supermodel Carré Otis, to be published in August 2011 by Harper Collins.
In 2008, Schwyzer was named the “hottest professor in America” by the MTV-owned site, Ratemyprofessors.com. He and his wife, a business manager in the entertainment industry, make their home in Los Angeles. They have one daugther and seven chinchillas.
Daryl G. Smith is Professor of Education and Psychology at Claremont Graduate University. She received her Bachelor's degree in mathematics from Cornell University and a Master's degree in Student Personnel and Counseling at Stanford University. In 1968, Dr. Smith moved to The Claremont Colleges Consortium as Pomona College’s Assistant Dean of Students. She later became Dean of Students at Scripps College, earned a Ph.D. in psychology and higher education from The Claremont Graduate School, and joined the faculties of Scripps and The Claremont Graduate School as an assistant professor of psychology. In 1983, Dr. Smith was appointed Vice President for Planning and Research and Associate Professor at Scripps. She became a full-time faculty member in psychology and higher education at The Claremont Graduate School (later Claremont Graduate University) in 1986.
Becca Spence will graduate in May with an M.A. in Applied Women's Studies and a certificate in Preparing Future Faculty. Her concentration is in intersectionality in subcultures and her research focuses on poststructuralist agency in the Southern California punk scene, feminism, Appalachian identity, and Mountaintop Removal, Appalachian students in higher education, the cognitive development of compassion, and extremism and body modification. She has interned with the ACLU of Maryland and The Doula Project in New York City, and she has worked as the project coordinator for Glen Haven Multicultural After School Tutorial Program and as an AmeriCorps VISTA for Cesar Chavez Middle School Service Clubs. She is currently studying gender, race, sexuality, and community on punk message boards and masculinities and femininities in anime convention culture.
Rosalinda Vint is the President of the non-profit organization Women of Substance, Men of Honor. Rosalinda is licensed by International Church of the Foursquare Gospel with a District Ministerial License. She graduated from Los Angeles Southwest College and also received a Bachelors of Science in Organizational Leadership from Biola University. Women of Substance, Men of Honor s a non-profit community service organization dedicated to providing support to young men and women that may have been incarcerated and/or in the foster care system.
Reverend Osie Leon Wood, Jr. is the current Director of the McNair Scholars Program at Claremont Graduate University and the interim Chaplin of the Claremont University Consortium. Currently he is a PhD candidate in Higher Education at Claremont Graduate University. Reverend Wood retired as Dean of the School of Business and Technology at Long Beach City College in 1995 and since that time, he has been serving both the Los Angles County and the Long Beach Community in many capacities. Reverend Wood is seeking ways to chance attitudes and lift the spirits of his community economically, socially, educationally, physically, and spiritually.