2013 Peace Writers
Sue Diaz is an author, educator and freelance journalist whose work has appeared in a variety of regional and national publications. The award-winning series she wrote for The Christian Science Monitor about the war in Iraq and her personal connection to it was syndicated nationally and internationally. Those pieces were the starting point for her most recent book, Minefields of the Heart: A Mother’s Stories of a Son at War (Potomac Books), which explores the impact of war on the souls of those who fight and those who love them. It was one of two books selected this year by Silicon Valley Reads, a community-wide reading program in the San Francisco Bay Area. A passionate believer in the power of story to effect change and an advocate of writing as a path to healing, Diaz has also conducted writing workshops for war veterans at the San Diego Vet Center, the Naval Medical Center and Veterans Village of San Diego.
Sally Kantar is a teacher and freelance writer. She is currently an M.A. candidate in conflict resolution at the University of Bradford in England, where her dissertation research explores the use of critical pedagogy as a tool for social change on the Thai-Burma border. She holds a B.A. in journalism, with a concentration in magazine writing, from Michigan State University, and her final narrative writing project there detailed the journeys undertaken by local refugees from their homes in Sudan to central Michigan. For the last several years Kantar has lived in Thailand, working with community-based organizations dedicated to the pursuit of justice and peace in Burma. While there she taught and developed social justice education courses in conflict and resistance studies, history, peacebuilding, teacher training and writing. Kantar also served as the editor of a collection of autobiographies of young activists affected by Burma’s civil war.
Maryam Rokhideh is a peacebuilding consultant, most recently working with International Alert in Uganda and the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa. In addition to Uganda, she has worked or conducted research in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon. Rokhideh’s varied experiences with nongovernmental organizations and research institutions have focused on sexual and gender-based violence, mediation and capacity-building. She holds a master’s degree in conflict resolution from the University of Bradford in England, where she worked with the John and Elnora Ferguson Centre for African Studies. She received her bachelor’s degree in international studies, with minors in conflict resolution and comparative literature, from the University of California, Irvine. During her undergraduate tenure, she conducted two research projects under Rotary International and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.
Rokhideh worked with Sabiha Husić of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Tara Ruttenberg is a doctoral candidate in peace and conflict studies at the University for Peace, in Costa Rica, and serves as assistant secretary to the Global Alliance for Ministries and Infrastructure for Peace, an international peacebuilding organization. With a background in international politics, Latin American studies, grassroots community development and socioeconomic justice, Ruttenberg has written on issues ranging from leftist trends in Latin American politics and the role of indigenous cosmologies in development policy, to the emerging field of wellbeing economics, sustainable surf tourism and social activism toward systems change. She has a master’s degree in international peace studies, also from the University for Peace, and a bachelor’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. Ruttenberg currently resides in Costa Rica.
Ruttenberg worked with Rutuparna Mohanty of India.