Writers, Designers and Contributors

Voices Education Project and the War and Peace Resource Center Voices Education Project amplifies the voices of veterans and civilian witnesses to war and violence in order to heal the wounds of war and lay the basis for a more peaceful world. The War and Peace Resource Center, a program of Voices , is a global … Continued

Voices Education Project and the War and Peace Resource Center

Voices Education Project amplifies the voices of veterans and civilian witnesses to war and violence in order to heal the wounds of war and lay the basis for a more peaceful world.

The War and Peace Resource Center, a program of Voices , is a global humanitarian and pedagogical organization whose work is to create peace through arts and humanities and the power of “story-telling.”

Reverend Barbara Kaufmann

Called “The spirit behind the Words and Violence Project” Reverend Kaufmann is an award winning writer, poet and author. She is a member of the Wisconsin Society of Sciences, Arts and Letters, a member of Wisconsin Regional Writers, and Fellowship of Poets. A minister, shaman, and nurse. Barbara is active in the healing arts and is a longtime human activist and peacemaker. She has written for anthologies, magazines, newspapers, journals, poetry collections, specialty books and programs, grants, businesses and corporations. Her work as a Sister Cities Executive Officer and Grant Writer and Administrator led her to Russia where she and colleagues developed the network and social infrastructure for the decommissioning of chemical weapons and building of decommissioning facilities in cooperation with military,civilian leaders and Physicians for Social Responsibility under the START II Treaty. She is an artist and wordsmith in love with “story” and art in the service of humanity. Her website “One Wordsmith” features humanitarian “story.”

For the Worlds and Violence education packet Barbara initiated the project, acted as executive chief writer and editor, and wrote the following: Dedication; Introduction; Preface: Weapons of Mass Destruction: New Violence and WMD; Sensationalism, Inflammatory Words and the History of Tabloid Journalism;and The Princess and the Toads: A Fairy Tale, case study.

Marilyn Turkovich

Director of Voices Education Project, War and Peace Center, Marilyn is an educator,teacher, and formerly a curriculum coordinator, principal, director of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest’s Urban Education Program in Chicago, chair of Columbia College-Chicago’s Education Studies Department, director of the college’s master’s degree program in Multicultural and Global Education, chair of the Committee for Teaching about Asia for the Association of Asian Studies, and the Textbook Committee of the National Council for the Social Studies. Marilyn has participated in Fulbright Programs in India and National Security in Education programs in Indian and Brazil. She had a fellowship to Japan through the Japan Foundation and has written cultural materials for the Peace Corps program, Independent Broadcasting Associates, the Asia Society, UNESCO, Women for Guatemala and the Mexican Fine Arts Museum. Also, she has designed training materials for the corporate world and study and activity guides for media companies.

Marilyn was responsible for the presentation design of the Words and Violence education packet and for the section, “Starting at the Beginning: Exercises that Help Us Look Differently at Words.”


Rachel Mary Berkeley Portman

A special thank you to English composer Rachel Portman for her contribution “Alex’s Father” from the score for the film Lake House starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. Rachel sent a personal note to Rev. Kaufmann to let us know she fully supports the “Words and Violence” programming and is honored to have her work featured in the Voices’ educational curriculum. 

Rachel is the first female composer to ever win an Oscar in 1996, for the film Emma. Classically trained in composition and orchestrating, Rachel was educated in music at the University of Oxford. Now a Hollywood composer, Rachel began composition writing at age 13-14, and later won the British Film Institute’s Young Composer of the year award as well as the Carlton Television Award for “Creative Originality for Women in Film.” She lives in London with her film producer husband Uberto Pasolini and her 3 children.

Writers of In-Depth Reflective Articles

Yasmin Alibhair-Brown”We Need New Codes to Define the Perimeters of Free Speech”
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown   (born Yasmin Damji  is a Ugandan-born British journalist and author, who describes herself as a “leftie liberal, anti-racist, feminist, Muslim, part-Pakistani…a very responsible person.” Currently a regular columnist forThe Independent and the Evening Standard,  she is a well-known commentator on issues of immigration, diversity,   and multiculturalism. She is a founder member of British Muslims for Secular Democracy.

Laura Burton”I’m not immune to the lure of celebrity gossip, but it harms us to read this bilge”Laura Barton is a feature writer for the Guardian.
Mike Green

“Black Journalists Call For Public Forum on ‘Talk Show Hate’”

Mike Green is a former award-winning columnist, editorial writer and Web editor with 14 years media experience. He is currently the CEO of Vizitnow3D, Inc. in Medford, Oregon.
Barbara Kaufman

“Weapon of Mass Destruction: New Violence and WMD,””Sensationalism, Inflammatory Words and the History of Tabloid,” “Shocking Secrets Revealed: Illegal Means Used to Carve Up Live Humans for Human Consumption,””Bullying: Not Just for Playgrounds Anymore,””Speaking of Violence: Words in the Wake of Tucson’s Tragedy,” “Wisconsin Weekend Rally: More Philosophy Than Politics,” and “Power to the People Works When People Claim the Power”
See biographical text above.
Melik Kaylan

“Gossip as an Instrument of Power

Melik Kaylan has worked as a journalist based mostly in New York for twenty-five years. He is a former editor at the Village Voice, contributing editor at Spy magazine, associate editor at Connoisseur magazine, Arts editor at Forbes.com, editor-at-large at Regan Books. Published widely in the US and UK in the above publications and the Wall Street Journal, Vogue, New York Times, the Times of London, the Spectator, and others, he won Cultural Awards in Italy and Turkey for print and television work on antiquities smuggling. He has been to the Middle East numerous times, to Iraq five times, to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma, the Caucasus. His Travel and Leisure article on Tbilisi, Georgia, is included in the 2008 Best American Travel Writing collection. He has scuba dived for bodies with the NYPD scuba unit (New York Magazine), dived with the Cousteau ship in the Red Sea (Forbes.com), searched for Inca treasure in Ecuadoran mountains (Outside magazine), investigated the murder of a fellow journalist in Peshawar, Pakistan (the Spectator). Currently, he writes for the Wall Street Journal about culture. 

Robert Koehler

“Project Bugsplat”

Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist, contributor to One World, Many Peaces and nationally syndicated writer. His new book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound (Xenos Press) is now available. Contact him at koehlercw@gmail.com or visit his website at commonwonders.com.

David Korten

“A Crumbling Cultural Story”
David Korten (livingeconomiesforum.org) is the author of Agenda for a New Economy, TheGreat Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, and the international best seller When Corporations Rule the World. He is board chair of YES! Magazine and co-chair of the New Economy Working Group. This Agenda for a New Economy blog series is co-sponsored byCSRwire.com and yesmagazine.org based on excerpts from Agenda for a New Economy, 2nd edition.

Forbes Everett Landis

“The American Public Must Demad Honest Journalism: Does The American Dream Have to Die with Michael Jackson?”

Paul Peachy
“Targeted by Gay-Hate Paper”
Paul Peachy is a journalist and writes for the Independent, UK.

Dan Pearce
“Memoirs of a Bullied Kid,” and “You Just Broke Your Child. Congradulations.”
Dan Pearce is a writer and an artist who has been involved in a number of various careers. He is the founder of Single Dad Laughing and author of a new book, The Real Dad Rules.

Matt Semino
“Power to the People Works When People Claim the Power”
Matt Semino is a New York City based attorney and legal analyst who reports on headline-grabbing legal news, cases and policy topics. Matt has written extensively on high-profile trials and offers an authoritative voice on the intersection of law with popular culture and society. He has appeared as a legal analyst on MSNBC and HLN’s Dr. Drew Show. His commentary has also been featured through such national media as The Los Angeles Times, Forbes, CNBC, FOX, CBS and Bloomberg News online.

Jeremy Rifkin
Putting it all in Perspective: The Empathic Civilization
Jeremy Rifkin is the founder and president of the Foundation On Economic Trends. He is recognized as an economist, writer, public speaker, political advisor and activist. Rifkin’s work explores the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment.

Deborah Schaeffer
“Shocking Secrets Revealed: The Language of Tabloid Headlines” and “An Overview of the Language of Prejudice”
Deborah Schaffer received her Ph.D. in linguistics from The Ohio State University Ohio State University. She is currently professor of English at Montana State University-Billings where she teaches linguistics, composition, and special topics in literature. Her research interests include conversational analysis and other areas of sociolinguistics socio-linguistics, the study of language as it affects and is affected by social relations.

Rachel Schaeffer
“An Overview of the Language of Prejudice”
Dr. Rachel Schaffer has a Ph.D. in linguistics from The Ohio State University. She is a professor of English at Montana State University Billings, where she teaches linguistics, composition, and genre literature courses. A linguist by training, she shifted her research interests to mystery and detective fiction a number of years ago and has published articles on Dick Francis, Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, Craig Johnson, and other writers. She is currently a member of the editorial board of Clues: A Journal of Detection.

Michael Spies
“Sympathy for the Devil: Final Thoughts on Tiger Woods”
Michael Spies holds an MFA from Columbia, and has freelanced for the Village Voice, among other publications. He’s recently completed his first book, which is a memoir about the relationship of class and masculinity in New Jersey, which will be sent to publishers soon.

Charles Thomson
“One of the Most Shameful Episodes in Journalistic History”
Charles Thomson is an award winning writer specializing in music and celebrity journalism. Charles is best known for breaking numerous global exclusives about Michael Jackson. In March 2009 he was the first journalist to break concrete news of the star’s 50 concert comeback, working with The Sun to snap exclusive pictures of Jackson arriving at a private airstrip in Luton to announce his UK gigs. A soul and funk music specialist, Charles’s interviewees have included calypso pioneer Eddy Grant, MOBO winner Sway DaSafo, Grammy Lifetime Achievement winner Jack Ashford and ‘Godfather of Soul’ James Brown. In November 2009 Charles won a prestigious Guardian award for his article ‘James Brown: The Lost Album’, which appeared in JIVE magazine. Charles is also known internationally for challenging biased and inaccurate reporting. He has been interviewed by radio and television stations including Sky News, BBC World Service and KPFA-FM.

Joe Vogel

“Am I the Beat You Visualized?” The Cultural Abuse of Michael Jackson”

Joe Vogel is the author of three books, including Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson (Sterling, 2011). He writes about popular music and culture for The Huffington Post and PopMatters. He currently resides in Western New York where he is an instructor at the University of Rochester. Visit his website at www.joevogel.net.

PoetsConrad Aiken”One Star Fell and Another”Aiken was Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress (now the U.S. Poet Laureate) from 1950-52. His other honors included the Bollingen Prize, the Gold Medal in Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a National Medal for Literature. Aiken’s critical essays are compiled in A Reviewer’s ABC (1958); his Collected Short Stories appeared in 1960. As editor of Emily Dickinson’s Selected Poems (1924), Aiken was largely responsible for establishing her posthumous literary reputation.

Maya AngelouAnd Still I Rise”

Maya Angelou is considered one of the most important African American authors and orators of the twentieth century. Her achievements span over seven decades and showcase a wealth of talents, beginning in the early 1940s when she became San Francisco’s first female cable car conductor. Angelou then emerged as a singer and dancer in the 1950s and became an editor and writer in the 1960s. In the 1970s she began exploring her talents as an actress, director, poet and screenwriter.

Emily Dickinson479” and “There is a Word”

Emily Dickinson, regarded as one of America’s greatest poets, is also well known for her unusual life of self imposed social seclusion. She lived a life of simplicity and seclusion, she yet wrote poetry of great power; questioning the nature of immortality and death. Her poetry is thought to have the quality of mantras.

Raymond FossEchoes of Words,” “Visual Words,”  and “Visual Words 2”

Raymond Foss sees himself as a poet who does law to support his family. He lives in Claremont, New Hampshire and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire and a Master of Public Administration degree. He graduated from Franklin Pierce Law Center in 2004. Raymond started writing poetry while serving on the Barrington, NH School Board in 2000 and began to write more seriously when he received accolades for his verse.

Barbara KaufmannYes, Words Can Kill” and “Could Use a Little Help Here, Humanity!”

Although the first time she had to say “I’m a poet” at a reading she almost choked on it, Barbara can’t remember a time when she wasn’t a poet—with words or paint or photography. Her poems have been published in anthologies, magazines, in Looking Back: History Through the Eyes of Those Who Lived It, newspapers, journals, Harmony Annual Peace Concert programs and performances, international peace forums, Russian-American Citizen’s Summit, Moscow, Highground Viet Nam Veterans Memorial Newsletter, Quiddity, Wisconsin Poets Calendar and the chapbook “We’re All In This Together.”

Letitia Elizabeth LandonThe Power of Words”

1802-1838 Born London, England Letitia schooled at Chelsea and began contributing to a weekly literary magazine called Literary Gazette, eventually becoming one of its editors. She published several poetry collections including The Fate of Adelaide and The Improvisatrice. In addition to poetry, L. E. L., as she was known to her readers, wrote several novels, although poetry was her first literary language. Her gently romantic style was very popular in her time.

Jan MainzerMasks”

Jan Mainzer is a senior lecturer in Art History at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York.  Jan has been at Marist since 1993.  Her research interests focus on the history of the relationship between “craft” and “fine art.” 

Wilfred OwenIt is Sweet and Right to Die for Your Country”

British poet and soldier, and one of the leading poets of the First World War. His shocking, realistic war poetry on the horrors of trenches and gas warfare was in stark contrast to both the public perception of war at the time, and to the confidently patriotic verses written earlier by war poets. He was killed in action at the Battle of the Sambre a week before the war ended. In a moment of ghastly irony, the telegram from the War Office announcing his death was delivered to his mother’s home as her town’s church bells were ringing in celebration of the Armistice.

Sylvia PlathWords”

Born to middle class parents in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, Sylvia Plath published her first poem at age eight. Sensitive, intelligent, compelled toward perfection in everything she attempted, she was, on the surface, a model daughter, popular in school, earning straight A’s, winning the best prizes. By the time she entered Smith College on a scholarship in 1950 she already had an impressive list of publications, and while at Smith she wrote over four hundred poems. Known for her poignant depictions of psychic pain, Sylvia was plagued for years with depression and finally took her own life at age 30.

Nelly Sachs”People of the Earth”

Nelly Sachs was born into a secular Jewish family in Berlin. She conceived the ambition to become a writer as a young woman, but her early publications attracted hardly any attention. After the rise to power of Hitler, she witnessed the terrible fate of her fellow Jews. Only the intervention of the Swedish writer Selma Lagerlof enabled her to leave for Stockholm and escape being sent to a concentration camp. In exile, as she tried to come to terms with the traumatic events of the recent past, she developed the unique poetic idiom for which she is famous. Individual experience hardly seems to exist at all in her poetry, as personal life blends into the mythic story of humanity, especially of her Jewish ancestors.

Robert William ServiceWords”

Freemason Robert William Service was born in Preston, Lancashire, England. (1874 – 1958) was a poet and writer, sometimes referred to as “the Bard of the Yukon.” He is best-known for his writings on the Canadian North, including the poems “The Shooting of Dan McGrew”, “The Law of the Yukon”, and “The Cremation of Sam McGee”. His writing was so expressive that his readers took him for a hard-bitten old Klondike prospector, not the later-arriving bank clerk he actually was. He lived in Europe, Hollywood, Canada, on the French Riviera and wrote in South Africa, Afghanistan, and New Zealand. He died in Lancieux, France.

Annie SextonWords”

(1928-1974) Anne Sexton American poet from Massachusetts was known for her highly personal, confessional verse. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967. Themes of her poetry include her suicidal tendencies, long battle against depression, and various intimate details from her own private life, including her relationship with her husband and children.

Gerri StoneOne Story, One Song,” and “Writer’s Circle”

Gerri’s poems have been published in literary journals including Wayne Literary Review, Patterson Literary Review, and Reverie; in the anthology, At the Edge of Mirror Lake; and her newest poem collection Freeing the Heart.  A member of the Detroit Unity Poets & Authors Society, she conducts workshops on poetry and the creative process.  She and her husband Leroy live in metropolitan Detroit, Michigan where she works as an Administrative Assistant.

William Charles Wentworth”Words”

Wentworth was an Australian poet, explorer, journalist and politician, and one of the leading figures of early colonial New South Wales. He was the first native-born Australian to achieve a reputation overseas, and a leading advocate for self-government for the Australian colonies.

JennaWhittakerTouching Words”

Jenna Whittaker holds a Master’s Degree in English Literature.  She is currently a graduate student at Indiana University-Bloomington, where she also works as an Associate Instructor of Composition.  Jenna specializes in Renaissance Literature, but she considers herself a generalist who loves the written word in its myriad forms. Poetry holds a particularly special place in her heart. She enjoys horseback riding, photography, and dancing.

Writers of Case StudiesCharlene Burgess, U.S.A.All the Right Stuff

Charlene grew up in the Midwest lived on the West Coast and now resides in Oregon where she works as an Administrative Assistant for a non-profit organization. She is a mother and grandmother and pet mom. She likes poetry in the form of words, music, the ocean, the moon and friendships. She is passionate about making a difference through love and compassion.

Nancy J. Caldwell, U.S.A.
Street Bum, Angel or… 

Nancy Caldwell currently resides in Southern California.  She is an artist and writer who still enjoys dancing.

Jan Carlson, U.S.A.The Caricature

Jan is a lifelong observer of the media and its manipulation of public opinion. A resident of the Midwestern United States, she is a grandmother, wife and full-time employee. A student of music and its relationship to human emotion, Jan is an avid reader of philosophy, history, mythology and ancient cultures.

Gail Feuer, U.S.A.Letter to the Editor
Joyce Frame, U.S.A. White as the New Fallen Snow: How Michael and Vitiligo Taught Me Compassion

Joyce is a retired nurse living in Cincinnati, OH, who spent six years in the Navy after graduating from West Virginia University with her BSN. She is a busy volunteer for the Aquarium where she feeds her favorite Penguins, and the Assistance League of Greater Cincinnati to ‘provide comfort, offer hope and encourage a feeling of dignity and self worth in adults and children served through its programs. She loves tennis, reading, listening to music, and working in the yard.

Nina Hamilton, U.K.She’s Backward you Know

A retired West Midlands Press newspaper reporter, Nina is a 68 year old single mother of two sons who counts herself among Michael Jackson fans. She is a volunteer for: reading assistance in a primary school, publicity for her local British Women Graduates’ Association, writing reports for local newspapers. She likes learning piano, Bridge, and Spanish, loves playing cards, swimming, and dancing. 

Nicole Pagani-Hopkins, FranceHeartbreak in A Word

Nicole lives on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea in France. A nurse with a degree in clinical research, she considers herself a “citizen of the world,” who likes to travel and have encounters with her human brothers and sisters all over the world. She likes music, reading and art. She joined the curriculum initiative because she believes it will contribute to the spiritual awakening for humans on the planet and she wanted to be a part of that.

Emily Koenig (Pseudonym), U.S.A.Sister

The author grew up in New York City and is a faculty member of a university in the Northeastern part of the United States.

Kimberly Michaels (Pseudonym), U.S.A.When Word Slam and Pain is Invisible

Kimberly holds a degree in Information Technology and lives in Chicago where she works in IT and Data Protection. She has a strong belief in service to others and is an active volunteer in the American Red Cross. She enjoys reading and writing and has recently ventured into writing poetry.

Paula Silva, PortugalChildhood Mirrors

Paula was born December 18th, 1965 in Porto, Portugal.  She studied Modern Languages and Literatures – Portuguese and English.  Since completing her studies, Paula has worked as an English teacher.

Lauren Trainor, U.S.A.When Silence Isn’t Golden

A physician, Lauren was born and raised in New York and has been a resident of California for 30 years.  A mother, grandmother, and sister, her passions include the written word, two special boys, music and horses.  The full moon and ocean calm and inspire her.


Sheryl J. Wilder and her class in Waseca, MN, U.S.A. “Words that Hurt”

As an educator in human services, Sheryl holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. She currently teaches seventh and eighth grade students with disabilities and believes this is the age where they are beginning to use empathy. She is a proponent of creating a deeper understanding of the global human condition and empowering students to make a difference. Her students anonymously tell their stories of encounters with words that hurt.

Debra Morningstar”The Native American Talking Circle”
Native American storyteller & cultural presenter, is an enrolled member of the Oneida Tribe of Indians—WI (Turtle Clan)and professional Storyteller–Yukhika-l’atuhse? (She tells us stories). Debra has presented Native storytelling performances, cultural residencies, and workshops at festivals, schools, conferences, libraries and museums across the U.S. and Canada for the past 23 years.

Support Materials Contributors and Volunteers

Promotional Video Production
Kimberly Bonk
Information Technology Conversion, Proofreading and Editing
Jan Carlson
Proofreading and Editing
Amy Grace
Words and Violence Cover design
Barbara Kaufmann
Creator: Michael Jackson: Spiritual Messenger Hiding in Plain Sight
Jan Mainzer
Research Advisor
Gerri Stone (Video) and Barbara Kaufmann (Poetry)
Such a One: Tribute Video Production
Lauren Trainor
Proofreading and Editing
Jenna Whittaker
Curriculum Librarian, Proofreading and Editing


Kimberly Bonk
Charlene Burgess
Nancy J. Caldwell
Jan Carlson
Gail Feuer
Joyce Frame
Amy Grace
Rev. Dr.Catherine Gross at A Place in Your Heart Radio
Nina Hamilton
Nicole Pagini Hopkins
Emily Koenig (pseudonym)
Laurie Madsen
Jan Mainzer
Kimberly Michaels (pseudonym)
Paula Silva
Gerri Stone
Lauren Trainor
Jenna Whittaker


Canada Remembers World War I

Back to Learning

Nature Can Speak to Our Students