"We believe in the power of story to heal the world."

Maureen Dunphy is the author of Great Lakes Island Escapes, a writing instructor and writing coach, and an editor through Dunphy Consulting Services. She earned an MFA in writing from Goddard College and currently resides in Royal Oak, Michigan.

Joy Gaines-Friedler earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Ashland University and a Masters in English Literature at Oakland University. Her poems and essays have appeared in more than 100 literary magazines and anthologies. A Pushcart nominee, Joy has received awards from many publications and was the 2016 First Prize winner of The Poetry Society of Michigan’s Margo Lagattuta Award. Joy has taught for non-profits and universities for more than 20 years. She is the author of two poetry collections: Like Vapor (Mayapple Press, 2008) and Dutiful Heart (Broadkill River Review Press, 2013).

Lynne Meredith Golodner is an award-winning author and entrepreneur with thousands of articles and eight books to her credit, including The Flavors of Faith: Holy Breads (2013). She has taught writing since 1996, specializing in finding unique ways for youth to access and connect with words, and empowering adults and youth alike to confidently find their voice and learn how to use it to change the world. Her boutique public relations firm, Your People LLC, uses storytelling, relationships and higher purpose as the keys to building organizational success. In 2016, Lynne created One Earth Writing, a 501c3 public charity that connects teens across racial, religious and socioeconomic divides through writing. A Fulbright Specialist with a three year-term beginning April 2017, Lynne is a graduate of the University of Michigan (BA in Communication) and Goddard College (MFA in Writing); she lives in Huntington Woods, Michigan with her husband and four children.

Writer and educator Christina Stansell-Weaver teaches courses in the field of Communication and has written historical essays detailing mergers, acquisitions, and corporate strategies of profit and nonprofit businesses. With a passion for equality, Christina designs her classes to promote peaceful and respectful communication among people from different backgrounds and interests. She believes promoting learning and understanding of diverse perspectives is crucial to developing thoughtful citizens who will positively contribute to their communities.

An award-winning lecturer, Christina has taught at the University of Louisville and Eastern Michigan University, focusing on Gender Communication, Nonprofit Organizational Communication, Interpersonal Communication and Public Speaking. Christina holds an M.A. in Communication from Eastern Michigan University. She lives in South Lyon, Michigan, with her husband, 10-year old twins, and two dogs.