9 25 and 9 26 2015, Outdoor Installation, The Paseo, Taos, NM

The PASEO is a free art festival dedicated to bringing the art of installation, performance and projection to the streets of Taos, New Mexico’s historic district.” I love this annual event and often volunteer for it during its two days of programming. In 2015, I was honored and overjoyed to participate as one of the writers for the installation, Love Letter to The World, joining an incredible array of well-known poets and writers from New Mexico and Texas who met with Paseo-goers to craft love letters for them, one by one, after each person told us the story behind their need to write a letter to someone.

“Love Letter to the World, a collaboration created by Santa Fe, NM artists Edie Tsong and Michael Lorenzo Lopez, is a social project that offers the service of free love letters. Participants chose who the letter will be written to and consult with a writer on site for its content. At the PASEO in Taos, NM, Michael’s handbuilt camper was transformed into a love-letter-writing station with typewriters. Participants get to keep the original letter, and a carbon copy is displayed on the side of the camper for participants to enjoy. The letters are then declared to the world by Tsong who reads them via bullhorn from atop a ladder.”

Here I am writing a love letter to little Kaya’s cousins in Japan, who she misses.

And here I am loading a fresh card into the electric typewriter, preparing to write the next love letter.  I’m always a little excited by the possibilities of a fresh white page.

I wrote love letters for strangers for three hours last night. People were so trusting, telling me their amazing stories and what they carry in their hearts.

My heart is so full, typing love letters for strangers for hours on a beautiful Saturday night.

All peace to each one of you.



I am overjoyed to announce that my book the scorched earth has arrived and is shipping!

the scorched earth Dora McQuaid Eve Ensler domestic violence sexual violence healing empowerment jerry sandusky























The Expanded, Second edition of the scorched earth and its audio companion, the scorched earth: spoken, is NOW available!

This Second Edition, published by Baskerville Publishers, includes:

The Foreword by Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues and In The Body of the World,

A 25-page comprehensive Discussion and Study Guide and

A listing of International Resources for Survivors of both Domestic and Sexual Violence.

To learn more or order your signed copies directly from me, please visit:

the scorched earth, by Dora E. McQuaid

As always thank you all for your support and presence.
All peace to each one of you.



It’s rather fitting that I get to officially announce today that I will be joining THE EMERGING PARADIGM faculty at Amherst College with NOVAMAYA this June 2015 and I could not be more excited.

Novamaya, an educational organization, “was founded to serve aspiring leaders and change makers. We offer exceptional learning adventures through our summer and gap year programs that emphasize global awareness, local understanding, empathy, and innovative ways of looking at contemporary challenges. You will encounter bold new ideas. You will learn cutting-edge material and key life skills. You will give voice to your interests and passions. You will be empowered to bridge the gap between today’s problems and tomorrow’s solutions.”

Novamaya’s founder, Cyrus Boga, and I connected in October of 2013, at which point I was honored to join their incredible faculty. Their focus on providing tomorrow’s leaders with the education, skills and support to create positive, lasting change in our world in need of such change is a perfect fit with my personal and professional commitments as an activist, teacher, and consultant focusing on social and political justice and personal empowerment.

Novamaya is offering two separate comprehensive programs at Amherst College this summer:

Capitalizing on The Emerging Paradigm, June 8 – July 2, 2015

Program Description:  This highly interactive course examines the root causes underlying contemporary personal, societal and global issues, and the need for systemic transformation. Participants are introduced to the emerging paradigm, its challenges to existing belief structures, and the opportunities it presents for social transformation.

I’ll be joining the faculty on June 17 and 18 to present on three topics of great importance:

  • New social, economic and political models developed by women leaders,
  • The problem-solving and decision-making approaches of women leaders
  • The intersections between arts and activism.

The second Novamaya program is Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation, July 7 – 31, 2015. 

Program Description:  Many of society’s most pressing problems are being successfully addressed by social entrepreneurs who have the advantages of agility, fresh thinking and a lack of institutional baggage. This highly interactive course offers a holistic view of social innovation, focusing in equal part on the entrepreneurial environment, the venture, and the entrepreneur.

For more information, to register and to explore scholarship opportunities, please see

If you are interested in being part of creating the positive change our world needs, please consider joining us for either one or both programs.

In honor of International Women’s Day, tell one woman you know one thing about her that offers something of value to you, your community or the world. Lift up one woman today as we celebrate the incredible contributions that women make to our lives and our world.

And as always, all peace to each one of you today.


Novamaya Dora McQuaid the scorched earth amherst college



As the ONE BILLION RISING website states:  ONE BILLION RISING is the biggest mass movement to end violence against women in human history.

It is the bold vision and revolutionary campaign created by Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, to bring together One Billion people to rise and dance on Valentine’s Day all over the world to demand an end to the violence against women and girls. The United Nations statistics show that one in three women will be raped or beaten in their lifetime, with an estimated One Billion women experiencing such violence. As Eve Ensler stated, one billion women violated is an atrocity. One billion women dancing to end the violence is a revolution.

And so, that revolution began on Valentine’s Day 2013 and grows even larger and bolder again this year. Last year, women and girls and the men who support an end to the violence danced together in 207 countries around the world, creating the largest mass event ever held to address violence against women. This year, the peaceful, flash mob dance uprising is growing in both size and impact, with events happening in countries around the world, with the focus on the goals of REVOLUTION.

I was honored to have my work featured in the One Billion Rising event in my town of Taos, New Mexico, in 2013. In 2014, I served as the closing speaker for the event. This year I will be joining my Taos community again and Community Against Violence at Kit Carson Park at 2:00 pm on Valentine’s Day 2015, celebrating the release of my book, the scorched earth, that Eve Ensler herself wrote Foreword to!  Come join us and the REVOLUTION.

I’ll be wearing pink to honor my mother, who is also a survivor and who loves the color pink, even though it wasn’t the color of revolution when she first fell in love with it.

To find an event in your community, please check!/0/0/1/

To learn more about One Billion Rising and to get involved in the 2015 event, see:



“Violence against women and girls is one of the world’s most pervasive human rights abuses with ONE OUT OF EVERY THREE WOMEN experiencing violence during her lifetime. Violence affects the ability of women and girls to access the full spectrum of their human rights. Violence destabilizes countries, impedes economic progress, and prevents women from creating better lives for themselves and their families.

The International Violence Against Women Act is a key piece of legislation that would make ending violence against women a diplomatic and foreign assistance priority for the U.S. Government. I-VAWA would streamline and improve existing U.S. government efforts to stop the global crisis of violence against women and girls. By supporting health, legal, economic, social, and humanitarian assistance sectors and incorporating violence prevention and response into such programs, I-VAWA places women and girls at the center of U.S. foreign policy.

Please commit to the protection of ALL women by cosponsoring and supporting the International Violence Against Women Act today!”

To explore Amnesty International’s efforts with I-VAWA:

To review The International Violence Against Women Act:




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the scorched earth

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the scorched earth spoken by Dora E. McQuaid


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Dora’s efforts to use her voice as an means of activism and advocacy, social and political engagement and individual and collective empowerment and healing are funded, in part, by her readers. This website provides a wide array of resources to support visitors in exploring and living into their truths, and the support offered in return has allowed Dora to maintain this website as a community-driven, advertising-free space for over sixteen years. If you find that this website offers you inspiration or support, information or resources that benefit you or your community or you appreciate Dora’s voice and efforts, please consider making a contribution to keep her work and art alive. Thank you.
All peace to you.