​​​                                        WE RISE TO RESIST


                                        Edited by Paula vW. Dáil (Lead Editor)

                                                         and Betty L. Wells

                                        Contributor Biographies and Relevant Links 

Paula vW. Dáil, Ph.D., lead editor and contributor for this book, is an emerita research professor of social welfare and public policy. She was senior researcher and founding director of the Center for the Study of Poverty at Virginia Tech University and director of the Child Welfare Research and Homelessness Research Projects at Iowa State University.  Widely published in the social sciences, she is the author of several hundred scholarly works, has written a nearly equal number of general public media statements regarding social welfare and public policy issues, and is the recipient of multiple awards for her research, graduate teaching, and non-fiction writing. Her books have won two international book awards, an Independent Publishers Book Award, a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and twice been awarded the Non-fiction Book of the Year prize by the Council for Wisconsin Writers.  In February, 2019 she completed an invited chapter on women's leadership for a United Nations UNESCO publication.   

First Publication: a letter to the editor of the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper written when she was seven years old.  She pleaded the case for spending the newspaper's annual Christmas Fund to purchase shoes for the poor children of Hispanic migrant workers. The letter appeared on the front page of the newspaper's Sunday edition. 

Current Project: working with the Archdiocese of New York City on The Cause for Sainthood for Dorothy Day, founder of The Catholic Worker Movement - historically one of America's most important social welfare initiatives. The completed application will be submitted to the Vatican in the fall of 2021.


Ari Belathar is a gender-queer Mexican poet and playwright living in exile.  After facing illegal imprisonment and torture at the hands of the Mexican National Army because of her work as a student activist and independent journalist, she escaped to Canada.  She currently lives in Massachusetts.

Michelle Bowdler
is the Executive Director of Health and Wellness at Tufts University.  In 2017, she received a Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Writing Award.  She is an advocacy partner for the Rape Kit Project http://www.everykitcounts.org. and lives in Massachusetts. https://michelle-bowdler.comPublications:  "A Word with You" http://therumpus.net/topics/michelle-d-bowdler/;  "Eventually, You Tell Your Kids: An Essay"  http://www.lefthooks.net/2017/10/26/1680/  nominated for a Pushcart Prize;  "Why Donald Trump's Words Matter" https://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/author/michelle-bowdler/

Tayler Bowser is a 2017 graduate of Carroll University with majors in biology and professional writing. She is currently serving with AmeriCorps in Sitka, AK. Her home base is rural Wisconsin. email: taylerbower@gmail.com 

Sandra J. Callaghan was a union steward and unit vice-chairperson and served as president of her local school board for three years. She is retired and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Darilynne L. Campbell teaches high school English in an urban, inner-city school.  She is married, has two children, and lives in Indiana. reallifereading@gmail.com

Angie Carter, Ph.D. is a sociologist, scholar and activist.  Originally from Iowa, she now works as an assistant professor of environmental and energy justice.   

Cassi L. Clark has a background in public administration and writes about topics that include educational programming.  She is an Indie BRAG Medallion Award winner and lives in Denver, Colorado. www.cassiclark.com; @cassiclark

Alexandria A. Cunningham is a 25-year-old traumatic brain injury survivor. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her partner/caregiver and engages in disability advocacy.  http://bit.ly/2j3Ssjq; email: alex.cunningham1014@gmail.com

Rachael Eliason is a transgender woman whose writing explores diverse social topics and characters.  She addresses LGBT issues and also writes science fiction and fantasy under the pen name R.J. Eliason.  She has also spoken to schools, colleges and at LGBT centers on a wide range of issues.  She lives in Iowa.

Janine P. Geske, J.D. is a retired Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice and world-wide legal authority on restorative justice.  She was a Marquette University Distinguished Professor, occupying the Association of Marquette University Women's Chair in Humanistic Studies an an interim dean of the Law School. Her pioneering efforts in restorative justice have earned her world-wide acclaim, and numerous prestigious national and international awards. She resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. https://en.wikipedia.org/wikw/Janine_P_Geske; American Inns of Court: www.innsofcourt.org/content/DeFault.aspx?D=3039

Ashley Goff is a 25-year-old preschool teacher who is finishing her undergraduate degree in Early Elementary Education at the University of Maine-Augusta.  She was inspired to travel from Maine to join the 2017 women’s march in Washington, DC after taking a women’s studies class that dramatically changed her perception of the world and “how women live in our world.”  

Rebecca Gorman is a member of the class of 2020 at Middlebury College in Vermont.  Believing that speaking truth to power has never been more necessary, during the past four years she has developed an increasing interest in advocacy work focused on domestic violence, rape prevention, and LGBTQ rights. Her home is in Massachusetts. email: rgorman@middlebury.com

Patti Herman, Ph.D., has focused on the well-being of young children, both within and outside of this country throughout her career.  She lives in rural Wisconsin.  

Mary E. Hunt, Ph.D
. is a world-renown feminist theologian, and co-founder/co-director of the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER) based in Washington, DC. She is active in the Catholic women-church movement, widely published, both academically and publicly, in the areas of theology, ethics, and social justice, and is the recipient of many prestigious honors and awards for her worldwide social justice efforts email: meh@hers.com; www.waterwomensalliance.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_E_Hunt ; http://www.lgbtran.org/profile.ASPX?ID=7

Reverend Sandra L. Ingham, M.Div. is a Unitarian minister. She staffed the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Association Midwest Leadership School in Beloit, WI as a lecturer in UU history & theology.  She is active in the UU Ministers Association and MOSES, a grassroots social justice organization focused on prison reform. She has served five congregations and currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Pam Kidd organizes a monthly group of local political progressives and oversees the charity Children of Zimbabwe. She is a writer for Guidepost’s Book Division and was the recipient of the 2016 Nashville Democratic Woman of the Year award. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee. http://www.childrenofzimbabwe.com

Danielle James is an award-winning author whose writing has appeared in various literary publications.  She has twice been a Harman Writer-in-Residence contest winner, a 3rd place winner in the City University of New York Labor Arts contest and a semi-finalist for the Brooklyn Non-fiction Prize at the Brooklyn Film and Arts Festival. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. www.dksjames.com; email:Danielle.james@live.com

Miriam R. Kashia
is retired from a private psychotherapy practice.  At age 71, following service in the Peace Corps in Africa, she walked across America with the Great March for Climate Action. She was arrested twice while peacefully protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline across Iowa.  She lives in eastern Iowa.

Ahna Kruzic
is a community organizer turned activist. Originally from Iowa, she presently lives in California.

Jennie Lusk is an assistant New Mexico attorney general and director of Consumer and Family Advocacy Division.  She drafted NM-specific information on the recent multi-state attorneys general brief challenging the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and coordinates the NM Coordinating Council on Immigration. She was formerly executive director of the NM state American Civil Liberties Union and lives in Albuquerque.

Erica Gerald Mason is a writer and poet who writes about creativity, happiness, love, feminism, pop culture, and current events.  Her work appears in literary journals and other publications.  She was a featured poet in the 2016 and 2017 Sundance Film Festival Indie Lounge.  She lives in Acworth, Georgia.  www.ericageraldmason.com

Rabah Omer holds a degree in veterinary medicine, and decided to study social sciences because she found a more comfortable intellectual home there.  She has studied and researched politics and anthropology, tackling research questions driven by the conviction that social affairs should be conducted to actualize the ideal that people are valued for their intrinsic worth as human beings.  Originally from Sudan, she is a naturalized Muslim-American citizen currently living in the Midwest.  Publications:  "Beyond Anger: Immigrants and Trump's Presidency" New Politics Magazine, April 2017.  http://newpol.org/content/beyond-anger-immigrants-and trumps-presidency 

"Comfort with Misogyny? Neo-liberal Feminism, Reality TV and Politics"  New Politics Magazine, November, 2017.  http://newpol.org/content/comfort-misogyny-neoliberal-feminism-reality-tv-shows-and-politics

Dede Ranahan is a 25-year advocate for mental health care. She worked for NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) for several years, including as the NAMI California Policy Director for the Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63). Following retirement, she created and currently maintains a website and blog as a safe place for families to talk about mental illness in their loved ones.  She is also blogging her book "Sooner Than Tomorrow - A Mother's Dairy" on her website.  www.soonerthantomorrow.com; email: dede@soonerthantomorrow.com.

Gabrielle E. Roesch-McNally, Ph.D. studies resilience and climate change adaptation in diverse ecosystems lives. She lives in Oregon.

Rebecca Roth
is a life-long activist who entered college as an adult returning student, earning two degrees in Special Education.  After teaching for 23 years, she retired to do volunteer work and spend time with grandchildren.  She lives in New Mexico.

Heather K. Sager, Esq. is a lawyer and native of Queens, New York who has worked in some area of politics, government, or reproductive health for more than 10 years. She serves on the New York Abortion Access Fund Board of Directors, which led her to the intersection of policy and communication in New York politics.  She now lives in Indiana and works in public health. 

Kathy Steffen is an award-winning novelist. She speaks at writing programs across the country and teaches fiction through the University of Wisconsin Extension program.  She writes from her home in rural Southwest Wisconsin. www.kathysteffen.com

Nikki Stern is the author  of "Because I Say So" and"Hope in Small Doses"  which was an Eric Hoffer Montaigne Medal finalist for non-fiction works that inspire, provoke and redirect thought.  She wrote the 9/11 Memorial Mission Statement, was the NJ Governor's Families Advocate and was involved with Families of 9/11, which the conflict transformation NGO Search for Common Ground recognized for its effective community organizing.  Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, and Humanist Magazine. She lives in New Jersey. www.nikkistern.com.  Publications:  http://nikkistern.com/because-I-say-so/

Abigail Swetz is a Master’s degree student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison LaFollette School of Public Affairs, but at heart, she remains a public-school teacher.  Her students inspired her to write the solo performance work "An UnCommon Core: The Spoken Word Journey of one Middle School Classroom" which she performed at the Kansas City Fringe Festival and the empowerHER Reading Series in New York City.  In 2017 she was recognized as the GSAFE Educator of the Year and as a University of Wisconsin Rockwell Cooperating Teacher. Her creative efforts around LGBTQ issues have earned her several awards. She and her wife live in Madison, WI.

Mariya Taher, M.S.W., M.F.A. has been recognized for her work to end gender violence, an effort she has been engaged in for nearly ten years, focusing on research, policy, program development and direct service.  She was a 2014 Woman’s Policy Fellow for the Women’s Foundation of California and an adjunct lecturer at San Francisco State University. She lives in Massachusetts.  @mariyataher83.  Publications:  "Because I Was Harmed" http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/04/27/483713242/because-i-was-harmed

"A Prescriptive Identity? Not My Birthright"  http://scoundreltime.com/a-prescriptive-identity-not-my-birthright/

"Don't Let Them Divide Us"  http://msmagazine.cpm/blog/2017/05/18/dont-let-divide-us

Alice A. Thieman, Ph.D. is a retired cognitive psychologist and former professor at Iowa State University. She is an active volunteer and is involved with an Indivisible group initiative committed to resisting the Trump Administration policies. A great-grandmother, she lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Ruth Burgess Thompson
is a 56-year-old lifelong democrat, Iowa state employee and AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) member.  She is heavily engaged in volunteer work with Planned Parenthood and the Iowa Democratic Party and is also a disability rights advocate. She lives in Des Moines.

Scott Thompson is a 56-year-old Ph.D. student majoring in Rural Sociology at Iowa State University.  A former mayor, he teaches sociology at Des Moines Area Community College and Grandview University. He volunteers at Planned Parenthood, and both the Polk County and Iowa Democratic Party organizations.  He lives in Des Moines, Iowa.

Betty L. Wells, Ph.D. is a professor of sociology and extension sociologist at Iowa State University. She is a founding and supporting member of the Women Food and Agriculture Network.

Danielle M. Wirth, Ph.D. teaches Ecofeminism at Iowa State University and Environmental Science and Policy at Drake University in Des Moines.