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Keynote Speaker: Dora E. McQuaid
October 9, 2018
12:00 noon – 1:00 pm
3rd Floor, Courthouse Annex, Bellefonte, PA

I will be returning to Centre County, Pennsylvania to serve as the Keynote Speaker for this Domestic Violence Awareness Month event sponsored by Centre Safe (formerly the Centre County Women’s Resource Center) and Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna.

I’m honored and excited to be returning to Centre County to once again share my work with the members of the extended community and to honor local victims and survivors of domestic violence, as well as the Centre County organizations that are dedicated to assisting and supporting survivors in healing and reclaiming their lives, as I did for the many years that I taught at Penn State and made State College my home.

District Attorney Bernie Cantorna will also speak during this public event and the Centre County Commissioners will declare October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Anne Ard, Executive Director of Centre Safe, and Dawn McKee, Centre Safe Special Projects Coordinator, will discuss resources available for survivors of domestic and sexual violence and the powerful public exhibit of the Centre County An Empty Place at The Table, honoring the Centre County community members whose lives were cut short in domestic violence-related homicides since 1998 with personalized place settings showing that “domestic violence leaves an empty place at the table”. McQuaid will do a book signing of the scorched earth following the event inside the courthouse.

Centre County is the county in which Penn State/University Park Campus is, where I did both my undergraduate and graduate programs and then served as faculty in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences from 1999 through 2006. In honor of my activism addressing domestic and sexual violence, my image replaced that of Jerry Sandusky, former Penn State football coach and convicted pedophile, in the Inspiration Mural following his conviction in 2012. Given my history at Penn State and within the State College and University Park campus communities, the opportunity to return to honor survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence is always an honor. This particular event is even more meaningful for me as it is being held in the SAME courthouse where I took my abuser to court decades ago for a Protection From Abuse order and the same courthouse where Jerry Sandusky was convicted. This is the first time I will have the opportunity to speak at this particular courthouse, and to also offer a book signing of my book, the scorched earth, which I wrote after confronting my abuser, fighting for my safety and healing from the history of violence I had known to that point in my life. To be able to return to this courthouse to honor other survivors decades after I confronted my abuser there is an honor beyond words.

Please come join us and show your support of survivors of domestic violence.

Printable PRESS RELEASE here.
Printable FLYER here.
If you are need in support for issues of either domestic or sexual violence, please refer to this COMPREHENSIVE LISTING OF INTERNATIONAL RESOURCES FOR SURVIVORS.
All peace to each one of you.
I am overjoyed and honored to have been chosen for induction into the Unionville – Chadd’s Ford School District Wall of Honor.

I am proud to have grown up in the Chadds Ford/West Chester area of Chester County, Pennsylvania, with its history of revolutionaries and artists, where I graduated from Unionville High School before moving on to complete both my Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees at Penn State, University Park Campus. To be chosen as one of the three Unionville – Chadds Ford alumni to be inducted into the Hall of Honor this year, especially as the FIRST poet and the first ACTIVIST in the history of the program, is an incredible and unexpected acknowledgment of my efforts and life choices. I offer my congratulations to the other two 2018 Inductees, Jean Russell and Harry Hammond. I’m humbled by the support of so many people, including the faculty members of both the Unionville – Chadds Ford Middle and High Schools who encouraged my writing, especially Betsy Strickland Hickman who nominated me for this honor, and the classmates who have offered their support and encouragement over the years, all of which has helped me to stay true to myself and my own path. Thank you to all of the teachers, classmates and alumni who have supported me in pursuing my dreams as a poet and activist in service of justice, healing and empowerment.


Dora is an acclaimed poet, activist, speaker and university teacher whose work embodies the intersections of the arts and activism, service and empowerment. Her unique blend of art, emotion and advocacy has earned numerous literary and service awards and honors, including a Pennsylvania Governor’s Pathfinder Award and a Pushcart Prize nomination for poetry, among others. In honor of her international activism addressing domestic and sexual violence, Dora’s image was painted into a prominent position in the Inspiration mural near Penn State, where it notably replaced that of former football coach and convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky in 2012. Dora’s published works, including her groundbreaking collection of poems, the scorched earth, are used across the country as tools for training, instruction and healing. Dora has dedicated her life to the empowerment of others, and to using her voice as a means of social justice and change.


Award-winning poet/activist and author of the scorched earth

www.doramcquaid.com and on Facebook: Dora E. McQuaid

Unionville to Induct Three Alumni To Wall of Honor, Southern Chester County Weekly, July 10 2018

View the Unionville – Chadds Ford School District Wall of Honor Program here.



BANNED BOOKS WEEK: September 23 – 29 2018

This week is the annual Banned Books Week, celebrating our First Amendment Right to read in the United States. In honor of this week highlighting the disruptive and galvanizing power of the word, writing and stories, I wanted to share this article on Madeleine L’Engle’s perspective on that power. L’Engle wrote one of my favorite books, A Wrinkle in Time, which has won an array of awards and has also been on the list of most frequently banned books since its publication in 1962. You know a story has power when people spend 55 years trying to keep you from reading it.

As L’Engle says: “The first people a dictator puts in jail after a coup are the writers, the teachers, the librarians — because these people are dangerous. They have enough vocabulary to recognize injustice and to speak out loudly about it. Let us have the courage to go on being dangerous people.

Read the full article here: Dare to Disturb the Universe: Madeleine L’Engle on Creativity, Censorship, Writing and the Duty of Children’s Books.

To learn more about Banned Books Week and to find resources and events in your community, please click here.

For the TOP 100 BANNED BOOKS (1990-1999), check out the list here compiled by the American Library Association. The link to the Top 100 for 2000-2009 is also available on this page. Every year, I am astonished by the books that make this list, some of which changed my life.

All peace to each one of you.


Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who came forward and accused Brett Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, has been forced to leave her home as a result of death threats since her story went public without her consent on Sunday September 16, 2018.

Dr. Blasey-Ford alleged that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school during a party in the early 1980s, when he pushed her into a bedroom, attempted to remove her clothes and covered her mouth until another male classmate separated Blasey-Ford and Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh has categorically denied these allegations since this story broke and, in the meantime, Dr. Blasey-Ford’s life has been endangered by her willingness to come forward with her experience of Kavanaugh in an attempt to share her experience before Kavanaugh is confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice.

And we wonder why victims of sexual assault, especially victims of childhood sexual assault, are hesitant to report their experiences.

All peace to each one of you, especially those of you who are survivors of childhood sexual assault.



All peace to each one of you today.


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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.