FROM BROOKLYN TO LEFT COAST: LOOKING FOR HOPE IN DARK TIMES

I'm Brooklyn-born, but a Left Coaster by choice and adoption—my heart is in Oregon, but my life now is in San Jose, California, which advertises itsself as the capital of Silicon Valley but, fortunately for me, is surrounded by a good many square miles of open space where I can run my dog.

 

I write because I have to. Whenever I try to move away, words and stories always call me back.

 

I'm blessed with a wonderful family, both nuclear and extended. My wife is a United Methodist pastor and my daughter is a student at the University of California at Davis, majoring in political science.

 

Which reminds me: I'm surely among the world's most overeducated person. I have a B.A. in classics (Latin and Greek) from Reed College, an M.F.A. in playwriting from Carnegie-Mellon University, and a Ph.D. (Permanent head Damage) in Jewish Studies from a joint program at the University of California Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union. Oh, and my wife Rebecca has a Ph.D. in theology from the GTU—in fact, she's the one who dragged me down from Oregon to California.

 

I'm grateful too for the decades I have spent with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in Oregon, helping them develop a program to maintain their languages and culture; I'm currently working on a dictionary of the language they call Ichishkiin.

 

And I'm also blessed to be working for Islamic Networks Group, a Muslim-founded interfaith organization working to combat bigotry and racism in all their forms.

 

Finally—though this should really go at the top—I'm a practicing Catholic Christian and a passionate social justice advocate and organizer.

 

I could say more about myself, but you'll be better off reading my books, the first of which, Speaker for the God, is now available at a special reduced price on preorder and will launch on January 4, 2020.

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