A professional writer and editor since 1993, I discovered my love of teaching in 2010 when I began volunteer facilitating classes for women in prison under the auspices of Austin nonprofit Truth Be Told. Every semester, I witness how the simple act of writing and sharing from the heart can awaken personal wisdom and potential and plant seeds of empathy and compassion among strangers. I aspire to bring these experiences into the community by hosting similarly inspired workshops in the free world.

My interest in harnessing the power of expressive arts — writing, authentic movement, visual art — for self-discovery work has led me to deepen my knowledge in this area by attending conferencesworkshopscourses and webinars. In October 2015, I co-presented with a Truth Be Told graduate a breakout session about the power of writing and owning one's story at the 16th annual Adult and Juvenile Female Offenders Conference in Hartford, CT. We also presented at the "Vision Summit: Looking Toward the Future of Re-entry," hosted by the Travis County Sheriff's Office in Austin in November 2015.

In December 2016, I left behind a 20-plus-year career in journalism to work toward prison reform and improve support systems for citizens returning to society after incarceration. In particular, I want to use my skills in workshop facilitation, writing, public speaking, event planning and project management to bring more gender-responsive, trauma-informed programs to women's correctional facilities. I also want to help build better support networks for women who are cycling out of jail and prison. My full-time job at the moment is researching exactly how I will do this. 

When I'm not fighting for Truth and Justice, I enjoy taking walks with my three-legged blue heeler, Martha.

Martha Jean in Orange Bandana

Martha Jean in Orange Bandana