No storyteller worth her salt comes without a story of her own, and author Mary “Crash” Batson has quite a humdinger.
Born into an isolationist Christian cult, Batson gave up her world to follow her heart, which prompted a globe-circling journey through prisons of the mind and prisons of the body, and then back home again, to where her heart had been waiting all along. While learning to fly on the midwestern winds, this barnstormer-in-training spread her wings and now serves others as they do the same.
A nature lover by birth, Mary worked with environmental activism at the German headquarters of the Eco-Ethics International Union for many years, then went on to form the EcoRes Forum, an online platform for hosting global dialogues on the ethical, political, and sociocultural aspects of climate change. Closed after an initial 3 year series of discussions, the Forum is being resurrected in 2015 to promote an exchange on the reality unfolding around us, and how best we can face our inner demons and work together as we pass through this time of the Great Turning.
Inspired by her hero brother’s early incarceration, since 2013 Mary has immersed herself in the world of restorative justice, becoming a mediator, serving on Neighborhood Accountability Boards for first-time, non-violent offenders, and volunteering with prison rehabilitation and reentry initiatives like the highly successful Reaching Out From Within, as well as efforts to abolish the death penalty both locally and across the nation.
As part of rebuilding the web of community, Mary continues to follow the thread of her writing. Her book Going Home, inspired by the death of her brother, is a finding-myself journey of spirituality with a homespun twist. Amid stories about grandmas and fresh biscuits, rocking chairs and talking trees, Mary weaves tales that remind us of comfort, home, and hope. Based on her personal journey, she also shares stories about finding ourselves, finding others, and finding Spirit, and offers workshops and talks on these themes.
Having faced the challenges she now spins yarns about, this wingwalker wannabe is not afraid to take her readers there with her, with the hope that even one might be inspired to find her voice, take a leap of faith, and learn to love (herself!) again.
Additional publications include Going Home: The Tour, a collection of award-winning songs and stories from the Going Home stage show with Bob Sima, Gran’s Apple Butter Blog, recently birthed blog God of Many Faces, and articles in On Purpose Woman, Chesapeake Taste, and Mother Earth News. Several ideas are in the works, including a children's series which will complete Mary's vision – Front Porch Rambles and Backyard Swings. Next up: My Turn to Fly: From Heart of Stone to Wings of Flight and Gran’s Big Book of Short Stories.
All in all, Mary is proud to carry on Gran's tale-spinning, apple-peeling tradition, with a little skydiving thrown in for good measure. Come on by Gran’s front porch – they love company, and that's where Mary does her best work.
MA, Intercultural Communications (Germany, 2002)
BA, Political Science (Honors, Magna cum Laude) (USA, 1999)
Certified Mediator & Volunteer, Ctr for Conflict Resolution, Kansas City, MO (2013- )
Reiki Master Practitioner (2008- )
Leader/Facilitator, Women's Circles (2010- )
Leader/Facilitator, Personal Growth Workshops (2011- )
Personal Coach/Mentor (2010- )
Trained Facilitator, Awakening the Dreamer Symposium (2011)
Facilitator, E-conference Series, EcoRes Forum (2006-2009)
Intern, Centre for Peace and Development Studies (Conflict Resolution), Limerick, Ireland (2001)
13+ years communications (publishing, nonprofit)
2011 Transformational Author Experience Award
2010 Marquis Who's Who, International/World
2007 Marquis Who's Who, Emerging Leaders
2007 Marquis Who's Who, International/World
2006 International Professional of the Year