Sage Institute for Environment, Creativity and Consciousness

Affiliated with The University of New Mexico, United States

“Sage Institute is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to discovering creative, conscious solutions for the many issues that face today’s world. We offer programs, courses and events focused on contemplative, meditative, and mindfulness practices, as well as sacred activism, yoga, creative writing and the arts.”

Dora had served as Board member since 2008.


Paws for Empowerment, Victim Assistance Canine Advocacy Program

Crisis Center North

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Crisis Center North (CCN) under the visionary leadership of Executive Director Grace Coleman for the last 18 years, is a non-profit counseling, referral, and educational resource center that serves victims of domestic violence, their children, and teens involved in violent dating relationships in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

The power of canine advocacy is harnessed by Crisis Center North (CCN) through its Paws for Empowerment Program, comprised currently of two dedicated rescue dogs, six-year veteran Penny and new canine trainee Ari, at work for victims of domestic violence. CCN has led canine advocacy in Pennsylvania through Paws for Empowerment since 2010 when the human services agency welcomed former shelter dog Penny to its team. The first four-legged court advocate in Allegheny County, Penny has played a part in CCN’s multi-faceted strategy to serve families and individuals affected by domestic abuse. Ari, the new canine team member, is now in his first stages of training.

In 2017, Paws for Empowerment was awarded the prestigious Pennsylvania Governor’s Pathfinder Award as outstanding Program serving victims of violence.

In 2016, the program’s Canine Advocacy Advisory Board was formed with leaders in the fields of victim services and canine-assisted therapy to provide expert resources and enhanced awareness.

Dora has served as a Member of the Advisory Board since its formation in 2016.

State Honors Dog Therapy Program That Helps Domestic Violence Victims, by Karen Kadilak

In Pittsburgh Courtrooms, This Soothing Dog Is A Therapist And Victim Advocate, by Natasha Lindstrom  


The Council for Hope and Healing

State College, Pennsylvania, United States

“The Council for Hope and Healing was formed in 2012 to use interactive art to create awareness and educate society about sexual abuse and the essential need for prevention. Our goal is to use art to empower and inspire individuals to take action. We are committed to promoting principles to help guide individuals and communities to protect children.”

Dora has served as member since the Council’s formation in 2012.




Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP)

Member, 2009 to present

Spirit of the Muse of the Southwest (SOMOS), Taos, New Mexico:

Member, 2002 to 2014
Mentor, Youth Mentorship Program, 2007

Performance Studies International

Member, 2003-2005

National Communication Association

Member, varying times throughout 20 years

Eastern Communication Association

Member, 2002-2006




WORDSTOCK: State College Pennsylvania’s Annual Festival of Language

Dora served as Co-Founder and Co-Director between 2000-2005.

The Women of Courage of Centre County, Pennsylvania

Dora served as Co-Founder and Co-Director between 2000-2004.

The World Poetry Circus, Taos, New Mexico

Dora served as Co-Director with Erin Bad Hand and James Nave from 2003-2005.


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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.