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

2012 Peace Writers

Stephanie Chiu holds an M.A. in peace and conflict studies from the University of Sydney, where her thesis explored violence among the Bosnian diaspora in southwestern Sydney and the potential of restorative justice to advance reconciliation. For several years, Chiu has been a facilitator and manager of a restorative justice program for victims and offenders of crime, and has witnessed firsthand the power of dialogue to transform conflict and relationships. She also believes in the power of stories of inspirational individuals to nurture ideas about what is possible and provide a catalyst for change. Chiu has traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan to work with Afghan refugee women on education, health and livelihood programs and to help establish a network of independent community radio stations serving women throughout Afghanistan. In Australia her work has included supporting homeless people, implementing humanitarian responses for refugee youth and managing campaigns to address global poverty. Chiu lives in Fiji.

Chiu worked with Alice Nderitu of Kenya and wrote "A Leopard's Tail."

Sara Koenders holds a B.S. in cultural anthropology and an M.A. in conflict studies and human rights, both from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. She has written extensively about social inequalities and the human and political dimensions of violence, conflict resolution and peacebuilding. For her bachelor’s thesis she researched local politics and political participation in an indigenous town in post-conflict Guatemala. Her master’s research in Brazil focused on the coping strategies of women trying to raise their children in a Rio de Janeiro shantytown marked by violence, fear and insecurity. Koenders was also a civic integration consultant in her home country the Netherlands, and she worked to raise awareness about life in conflict situations. In 2010, she worked as a peace writer with Woman PeaceMaker Vaiba Kebeh Flomo of Liberia and wrote the narrative “The Bullet Cannot Pick and Choose.” Since then she has been advancing her research on urban violence and security in Brazil.

Koenders worked with Nancy Sánchez of Colombia and wrote "The Right to Speak."

Updated 8/13 - Koenders is a recipient of the 2013 Drugs, Security and Democracy Fellowship through the Social Science Research Council. Her research is on the impact of favela "pacification" on local relations, violence, insecurity and drug trafficking in Rio de Janeiro.

Alison Morse is a freelance writer and educator. She received her M.F.A. from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., where her thesis, a novel-in-progress about the war in the former Yugoslavia, won the Outstanding Thesis Award. Her articles, short stories and poetry have been published widely in print and online. She also teaches ELL to adult immigrants from all over the world and is a passionate advocate for immigrant rights. Writing is Morse’s second career. For 20 years prior, she was an animator for documentary, artistic and commercial projects and a teacher of animation. Wanting to express the content most meaningful to her with the least amount of technical interference, she turned from moving images to words. Now she uses character, setting, plot and narrative time — tools familiar to her as an animator — to tell stories that promote peacebuilding and human empowerment. In 2011, Morse worked as a peace writer with Woman PeaceMaker Wahu Kaara of Kenya and wrote the narrative “The Strength of Mothers.”

Morse worked with Ludmila Popovici of Moldova and wrote the narrative "A Circle of Support."

A freelance writer and editor, Sigrid Tornquist believes that putting words to an experience can be a catalyst for change. Most of her varied work experiences have been focused on respecting and elevating the opportunities and rights of people whose value is often not recognized by society at large. She has worked with children with disabilities, senior citizens in a resident setting and in the community, and for an elementary school with a high at-risk student population. Tornquist has a B.A. in writing from Metro State University and is currently pursuing her M.F.A. in writing from Hamline University, both in St. Paul, Minn. She spent several weeks in Cameroon writing about the Birth Attendant Training Program class offered annually by the Life Abundant Program, which seeks to empower communities to combat the high mortality rates of women and children. In 2010, Tornquist’s column “Perspective,” in the magazine Specialty Fabrics Review, was awarded Gold in the category Best Regular Column, given by the Minnesota Magazine & Publishers Association. That same year she worked as a peace writer with Woman PeaceMaker Sarah Akoru Lochodo of Kenya and wrote the narrative “Empowered to Hope.”

Tornquist worked with Radha Paudel of Nepal and wrote the narrative "Miteri Gaun: Let Us Live Together."