Introducing Rhonda Cooksey

By Rhonda Cooksey

Hello. The Women’s Center is now open, and I am excited to join the staff as the new Blog Editor for summer term. I have an MFA in Creative Writing and Media Arts from UMKC and am currently a doctoral student in English and the Social Science Consortium. I am president of the English Graduate Student Association and the recipient of the Farnsworth Fellowship for Colonial/Postcolonial studies in English for the 2021-2022 academic year. Promoting non-judgement drives my writing, whether fiction, nonfiction, academic, or social. Even in the 21st century, women face judgement every day, and we need to see that change. For my dissertation, I research the myths and rituals behind representations of racial justice in 19th century print culture such as fiction, journalism, laws, and sermons. What I discover makes me want to fight for social justice, and the rights of women tops my list of issues that American society needs to address. Our society is askew because of white, male-centric control, and the only way to restore balance is with equality. It is time to move past gender and racial judgments and work together to create an America with equal opportunities and justice for all.

On a personal note, I have two cats and two dogs, all rescues, and so many indoor and outdoor plants I stopped counting. I am a Greater Kansas City Master Gardener and avid proponent of sustainable permaculture, which comes in handy since my family just moved to a farm field. One good thing about the lack of trees—the sunsets are amazing.