Women PeaceMakers
Institute for Peace and Justice

Contact: Jennifer Freeman
Phone: (619) 260-7569
Fax: (619) 260-7570

Location: KIPJ Room 121
Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110

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Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice

2009 Peace Writers

Kaitlin Barker, a life-long West Coast resident, spent the past year on the East Coast while living in intentional community in Washington, D.C., and interning as an editorial assistant for Sojourners, a faith-based social justice magazine. As an undergraduate at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, Barker traveled to Kenya to teach AIDS awareness and to Ethiopia to build homes for orphan caregivers, experiences that brought her face-to-face with both gender and economic disparities. After graduating in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in literature and English education, she set out on a self-designed graduate program of study. Barker worked with orphans in Thailand and India, learned from urban and rural women in Turkey and returned to San Diego to find the lessons didn’t end with her travels. Tutoring a resettled Burmese refugee family cemented her desire to tell the stories of forgotten people and places, and specifically, to lift up the often-muffled voices of women.

Barker worked with Rubina Feroze Bhatti of Pakistan and wrote the narrative "Harmony in the Garden."

Updated 1/13 - Barker served as assistant editor and then editor at the IPJ and completed the narrative of Raya Kadyrova of Kyrgyzstan, "If You See Something Wrong." In 2010 she co-led a student delegation from Point Loma Nazarene University to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Q & A with Kaitlin Barker - Spring 2010

Leigh Fenly is co-founder and co-president of Women’s Empowerment International, a nonprofit organization based in San Diego that has funded more than $250,000 in microfinance loans and business services to women in poverty in Honduras, Mexico, Benin and San Diego. Her work with the organization has taken her to Mexico and Honduras, where she spent time with women who have dramatically improved their lives – and even sent their children to college – by using small loans to start businesses. Fenly is a writer and journalist with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and an M.F.A. in writing from Vermont College of Norwich University. She has written extensively about social issues, medicine and science and was the former Quest Editor at the San Diego Union-Tribune. She currently works as a birth doula, assisting women and their partners to have successful and calm labor experiences.

Fenly worked with Marta Benavides of El Salvador and wrote the narrative "Being Peace."

Updated 6/10 - Fenly continues her work as a doula and with Women's Empowerment International. She has expanded her writing business to include developing website content.

Jennifer Freeman has a B.A. in political science, German and European studies from the University of Victoria in Canada and an M.A. in peace and conflict studies from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, where she studied on a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship. Freeman has worked with various nongovernmental organizations in Ghana, the United Kingdom, Canada and in Ugandan refugee settlements on issues of women’s rights and peacebuilding through sexual and gender-based violence prevention and response, supporting women with HIV/AIDS and conducting psychosocial programs for war-affected youth. For her master’s thesis, Freeman conducted research in Kyaka II refugee settlement in Uganda on gendered security, for which she interviewed Congolese, Rwandan and Burundian refugees on their perspectives of human and traditional security threats in their countries of origin and since arriving in the “safety” of asylum. Freeman was a 2008 peace writer working with Sylvie Maunga Mbanga of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the event coordinator for the 2009 Women PeaceMakers arts festival, "Bearing Exquisite Witness."

Freeman worked with Zeinab Mohamed Blandia of Sudan and wrote the narrative "A View through the Mountains."

Updated 6/10 - Freeman is program officer for the Women PeaceMakers Program.