Civics for Cynics began when three women from very different backgrounds – a nurse/writer/podcaster, a business and marketing consultant/co-owner of a veterinary practice and an artist/teacher/small business owner –accidentally became kick-ass foreign affairs advocates. Once we learned how easy and effective it is to make significant differences in the world – we wondered why everyone wasn’t doing it.
We get it – most people are as disengaged and cynical about United States politics as we once were, but here’s what we know for sure:
- If more people took part in the political process and lobbied, advocated and voted for the changes we want to see in the world – the world would be a better place for everyone.
- Becoming an engaged citizen is easy once you know what you want to change, how to make change happen and how important your voice, vote and advocacy efforts really are.
- We can bring out the inner-advocate or humanitarian in anyone no matter who you are, what you do or what you’re passionate about.
Jeanne Faulkner is a writer, podcaster, registered nurse and global maternal health advocate in Portland Oregon and CARE’s (global humanitarian organization) advocacy co-chair for Oregon. She’s the author of Common Sense Pregnancy (Penguin Random House, 2015) and host of, Common Sense Pregnancy & Parenting – a podcast about pregnancy, parenthood, politics, feminism and healthcare. Jeanne has written for dozens of publications and organizations including Fit Pregnancy, Shape, The Huffington Post, The Oregonian and Every Mother Counts. She’s passionate about issues that support or prevent women from living to their fullest potential. She’s travelled to Peru, Haiti, Malaysia and all around the United States to report and write on issues that impact global poverty, maternal health and foreign affairs. Fun Fact: Jeanne worked for 20 years as a labor and delivery nurse and has been at the bedside for thousands of births. She reads a lot, knits a little, and lives with her family and dogs in a hundred year-old ex-bordello.
Lora Gordon was born and raised in New York but has lived in Portland for more than 20 years. She spent decades working in business development, creating strategic plans for the legal industry. After many travel and volunteer experiences in low-income countries, Lora went looking for ways to impact sustainable change that could benefit the people she met in deeply impoverished countries. She’s passionate about girls education and animal rights and she’s part of an organization that rescues and fosters dogs and cats at risk for euthanization at animal shelters. Fun fact: Lora was a ballet dancer for 16 years, appeared on Days of Our Lives and worked for Sting. Lora also works as co-owner of a thriving veterinary practice, dances hip-hop and has travelled extensively all over the world.
Brenda Rose lives with her family in Vancouver WA, just outside of Portland OR. She is an artist and designer, and co-founder of ROCK U – band camps and classes for adults and kids. Brenda’s been advocating for just a couple years, and was fortunate to be invited in 2016 to participate in an intensive year-long advocacy fellowship. This included traveling to Benin in West Africa to learn about maternal health programs led by USAID, CARE, Benin government agencies and NGO’s, and receiving specialized training in how to effectively advocate to government representatives. She’s passionate about social justice, maternal health, food security and foreign aid serving as an investment in global development and global security. Fun fact: As a wild youngster, Brenda once traveled with friends across the length of California, hitchhiking and train-jumping.