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Carolyn Marie Fugit
Carolyn Marie welcomes you to view her written words here.
Carolyn Marie Fugit, once she gets involved, gets fully involved with anything she does. She found her way to peace and social justice by a circuitous route. She was born on Halloween and grew up in Andover, Kansas, in a Catholic family. From first grade, Carolyn Marie was active in the Girl Scouts where she worked on the Silver Award and Gold Award, the equivalent of the Boy Scouts' Eagle Scout Award, staying involved even after high school.
When Carolyn Marie went to college, she decided to put her faith into action. Through her involvement in St. Thomas Catholic Church in Wichita, she learned that the Catholic Church had a long history of social action, but the social justice was unevenly applied, motivating her to step down from her position as co-chair of St. Thomas' Social Justice Commission. This is how Carolyn Marie describes her transformation:
"As I read more, heard more, looked more, I found a hypocrisy where justice was not evenly administered. 'All people deserve love, except these people. All people deserve choice, except this choice.' And the reasoning behind it didn't make sense. I had attended a Catholic college, which taught me a great deal and which is why things stopped making sense. I fell away because it was becoming more apparent that the church was not a good fit for me. I spent a couple of years not involved, always telling myself to get involved, but I had so many passions that I didn't know where to go. The marriage amendment compelled me to action. I just dove right in and haven't exactly been up for air since!"
She became involved with Equality Kansas (now part of the Kansas Equality Coalition) during the anti-marriage amendment and stuck around. She was on the organizing committee for the 2005 Stop the Hate rally, and through EK and Stop the Hate, met a couple of Peace Center members. Soon after, she became secretary of the Peace and Social Justice Center of South Central Kansas where she still serves on the Board of Directors.
As with all activists, Carolyn Marie says she has limits to her time and energy. A diagnosis of fibromyalgia has limited her activities, though that hasn't stopped her from involvement. She has served as chair of the Wichita chapter of KEC and its charity C3, the Kansas Equality Foundation. She stepped down in August of 2008. She has served as vice-chair for Wichita Pride, and is active in the Peace Center's Honesty in Recruiting group. She is active with the Wichita chapter of the National Organization for Women.
Currently, she serves as secretary for the Sedgwick County Democratic Party and is organizing a Kansas Young Democrats chapter for the Fourth Congressional District. In addition to her own blog, The MAD Voter, Carolyn is a regular contributor to the Liberty Press, Forward Kansas and the Kansas Free Press.
Having lost two good friends at young ages, spending time with friends has become a priority. She also likes to watch TV, especially science fiction, and listen to her extensive music collection.
Carolyn Marie considers any decent person a role model, but no one person encompasses a whole role model. "I try to live by 'there are no rules to love' and 'principles only mean something if you stand by them when they're inconvenient,'" Carolyn Marie says of her philosophy.
We're indeed honored that this energetic and dedicated activist has joined our band of writers at the Kansas Free Press, the well-read citizen journalism project of Kansas!
You can browse all of the entries in Carolyn's archives here.
(Special thanks to Diane Wahto for originally writing Carolyn's bio, too.)
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