PEOPLE AND PROGRAMS
PEOPLE AND PROGRAMS WITH WHICH I HAVE DIRECT INVOLVEMENT OR EXPERIENCE, AND WHOSE EFFORTS AND COMMITMENTS I SUPPORT.
Sage Institute for Creativity and Consciousness of Taos, New Mexico
I have served as a member of the Board of Directors of Sage Institute since 2008, along with award-winning writers and teachers Sean Murphy and Mirabai Starr. Our Advisory Board includes Ram Dass, Natalie Goldberg, Andrew Harvey, Sharon Salzberg, John Nichols, Jo Ann Barefoot and Father William Hart McNichols, among others.
“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, creative writing and the arts, and yoga, We believe in consciousness, creativity, and meditation as vehicles for personal and political transformation in our world.”
PAWS for Empowerment of Pittsburgh, Pennsyvlvania
Established by Crisis Center North in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania in 2011, the PAWS FOR EMPOWERMENT program is a nationally-recognized, award-winning program that employs both canine and feline advocates in animal assisted therapy, legal advocacy, and courtroom accompaniment for survivors of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). Canine advocates, Penny, Ari, and Rune, along with feline advocate, Thea, provide animal-assisted therapy support to help clients better express their emotions, facilitate healing and manage their court appearances and testimony. PAWS also serves to educate veterinarians and animal service providers addressing the intersection between animal abuse and Intimate Partner Violence, as well as assisting with emergency animal care stipends for pets of families impacted by Domestic Violence.
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 PAWS Advisory Board since its formation in 2016, and is responsible for the PAWS FOR EMPOWERMENT name of the program.
Famed mural artist Michael Pilato and The Public Art Academy made the decision in 2012 to have my image replace that of Jerry Sandusky, former Penn State football coach, in the Inspiration Mural in State College, PA, where Penn State is located, following Sandusky’s conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse . I am deeply honored to have my image in the mural, replacing that of Sandusky’s, in honor of my years of activism addressing both sexual and domestic violence. Thank you, Michael, for the inspiration you embody as global artist and an activist, your commitment to community service and development and the many blessings our years of friendship have offered. See Michael’s his work at PILATO MURALS, and watch his TEDx PSU Talk, Connecting Communities of the World Through Art: Michael Pilato at TEDxPSU, in which he discusses the Inspiration Mural in depth, as well as the evolution of his international career as an artist and activist.
Jennifer Rickards is the creator of this brilliant storytelling project, which uses 3×5 notecards to collect anonymous stories of moments that have changed people’s lives. Jen also happens to be one of my dearest friends, whom I met in Sixth Grade Reading Class when we bonded over Shakespeare’s line: To be or not to be, that is the question… Jen and I have been asking and answering many of life’s questions with one other for decades now, and I’m excited to support her efforts with Three By Five, which I love. The stories are obviously brief, but riveting and resonant, and the array of them speaks to the power of one moment to change us.
Join the lineup of stories by sharing anonymously a small moment that altered the path of your life by recording it on a 3”x5” notecard and either:
Mail your 3×5 card to: PO BOX 308, ETNA, NH 03750
Email a photograph of your 3×5 card to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of Taos, New Mexico
The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of Taos, New Mexico, established in 1954, is one of the oldest artist residence programs in the United States with the mission to “Support the artist and the creative process”. Located on 15 acres in the heart of Taos, a four-hundred-year-old multicultural community renowned for its popularity with artists, the Foundation offers three months of rent-free and utility-paid housing that serves as a haven for visual artists, literary artists and music composers of national and international origin.
My time as a Fellow at The Wurlitzer Foundation in 2008 was life-altering, and I have been honored to serve as Juror on the Selection Committee for Poetry applications for the foundation several times since 2012.
Equine Spirit Sanctuary of Taos, New Mexico
The Equine Spirit Sanctuary is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing horses and people together. ESS is a licensed horse rescue with the State of New Mexico, with the goal of improving the lives of horses through programs combining horse rescue, rehabilitation and education. Their programs for people include therapeutic riding with Internationally-accredited PATH instructors and equine-assisted learning and therapy. These programs are designed to honor the intrinsic value of horse and human relationships. ESS also offers clinics on horse care, training, health and nutrition. Ruth Bourgeois, the ESS founder and director, is a continual inspiration to me for her dedication and how she handles both horses and humans.