Susan is a dedicated, passionate, life-long activist for social justice, peace, and nonviolence. Susan's areas of specialization include intimate partner violence, child abuse, sexualized violence, homelessness, community organizing, LGBTQQ issues, organizing strategies, and culturally sensitive practices.
For 20 years, Susan was the director of a comprehensive domestic violence program in southeastern Michigan, which included a 50 bed residential program for survivors of domestic violence and their children, a criminal justice/legal advocacy component, a non-residential counseling program, a post-residential component and extensive counseling and advocacy services. Other initiatives included: an award winning partnership to shelter animal companions of survivors; outreach materials in 24 languages; a videotape for survivors in American Sign Language, telecommunications device for the deaf; immediate crisis line translation into 139 languages; an older adult initiative and specialized support groups. These groups were for young people, older adults, lesbians, women of color, Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Chinese-speaking women, as well as women in jail and prison, and girls in juvenile detention. In 1992, Susan spearheaded a collective organizing campaign that passed a $3 million tax millage to build a 30,000 square foot shelter -- the only successful tax millage in the world that resulted in funds to construct a new domestic violence shelter.
Prior to that, Susan was the executive director of a child abuse and neglect non-profit that conducted prevention programs in the schools and operated a free drop in center for children, up to age six, who were at risk for child abuse.
Susan is the author of the "Survivor's Handbook," as well as numerous articles about domestic violence including "20 Reasons Why She Stays." Her most recent articles include "Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse: Facts Replacing Myths" (co-authored with three HSU students) and "The Role of Women and Girls in Harry Potter."
Susan is a nationally recognized expert on domestic violence conducting workshops and trainings throughout the country. She is the organizer and coordinator of an international internet list serve on intimate partner violence which has run for 11 years. She is a member of the Domestic Violence-Applied Research Advisory Group, a program of VAWnet which guides the work of the Applied Research Forum. It is a diverse group of domestic violence professionals consisting of both practitioners and academics which makes suggestions for and reviews research in the area of violence against women.
Susan also serves as a consultant to non-profits through her business Minerva, doing grant writing, technical writing, program development and training. Locally, she is the coordinator of Pride Parents, a member of the Humboldt County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, and a member of the Humboldt Equality Coalition (a local LGBTQQ alliance). Susan has taught LBGTQQ Issues in the Schools through the Department of Education at Humboldt State University, and teaches "Community Organizing" (formerly "Education for Action") for the WS and MQS pathways of CRGS.