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