A Little About Dr. Carol A. Hand

Carol A. Hand

Boozhoo! (Ojibwe “Hello”)

Welcome to Voices from the Margins. I’m Carol Hand, an enrolled member of the Sokaogon Ojibwe Community, one of the 6 bands of Ojibwe people located in what is now the state of Wisconsin. During my early childhood, I spent my school years in New Jersey where I was born, and my summers with relatives on the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe reservation in Wisconsin. My bi-cultural heritage has had a profound influence on my life.


My educational background includes a BA, MSSW, and Ph.D., all from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During my career, I served as social work faculty for universities in Wisconsin, Montana, and Illinois where my primary emphasis included organizational change, community development, and policy analysis and advocacy. Before joining academia, I worked as the aging network supervisor for a state department of health and social services and as deputy director of health and human services for an inter-tribal council. I have also worked in a variety of settings as a program developer, public speaker, grant-writer, program evaluator, and researcher. My passion remains working from a liberatory praxis perspective with individuals and communities that have experienced oppression to transform oppressive social structures through consciousness-raising and non-violent community-directed action.

In 2011, I retired and teach part-time for a private college satellite program located at a tribal and community college.  In my free time, I enjoy writing, reading, gardening, listening to stories from diverse cultural backgrounds, and spending time with my family and grandchildren. I have recently learned how much I love reading blogs that teach me about diverse topics from so many different perspectives, and I try to contribute in small ways to the voices of resistance from the margins.


During the past years, I have been fortunate to work with a number of contributing authors. Their work has added to the depth and breadth of perspectives from different vantage points in the circle of life. Please see the Guest Authors page for more information about them and their contributions.

118 thoughts on “A Little About Dr. Carol A. Hand

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    1. Hello Dr Carol A. Hand,

      First of all, I would like to repeat Gator Woman’s statement here!

      Borrowing Gator Woman’s greeting aside, I have had the wonderful pleasure of reading about you and your blog, and I found some of the statements particularly resonating, as explained below. Let’s begin with the first quote:

      …my primary emphasis included organizational change, community development, and policy analysis and advocacy. Before joining academia, I worked as the aging network supervisor for a state department of health and social services and as deputy director of health and human services for an inter-tribal council. I have also worked in a variety of settings as a program developer, public speaker, grant-writer, program evaluator, and researcher. My passion remains working from a liberatory praxis perspective with individuals and communities that have experienced oppression to transform oppressive social structures through consciousness-raising and non-violent community-directed action.

      Your holistic and multipronged approaches as well as your dealing with both individuals and communities are both striking and commendable. They agree very well with my own approaches, some of which can be gleaned from one of my posts published at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/facing-the-noise-music-grey-barriers-and-green-frontiers-of-sound-society-and-environment/

      The next quote is particularly piquant, especially the question that you raise about identity at the end of the quote:

      I am my Ojibwe mother’s daughter, “the one bright star in her life” as she once told me during my fortieth decade. I am a mother and grandmother to a wonderful group of mixed ancestry family. But identity is never that simple. Should we ever define ourselves solely by others’ expectations or the socially constructed roles and statuses we inherit based on the positions into which we were born?

      Coming from a very multidisciplinary background, I have also regularly faced similar challenges about my academic, intellectual and social identities with respect to alliances and boundaries, sometimes even at the mercy certain entities and/or as a result of bigotries, hegemonies, conformities, expectations, assumptions, biases and discriminations. You can also gauge the significance of these challenges in the comments and discussions contained in the comment section of my said post.

      Thankfully, these issues, as entrenched and intractable as they have been, nevertheless find their (partial) resolutions through our ongoing pluralistic endeavours at our respective blogs, as you vividly pointed out as follows:

      This is a place for important creative and critical works that question the status quo. Academic journals and media tend to serve as gatekeepers, enforcing standards that limit works to those that reflect “the ways things have always been done,” thereby screening out creative works (prose, poetry, art and pieces that interweave different media). The intention for creating this blog is to encourage dialogue about possibilities and support for alternate ways of communicating that celebrate the inclusiveness of diversity.

      For these reasons, you and your blog now have a new follower. I also look forward to interacting with you at my blog. May you enjoy a lovely Sunday!

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Hi Carol,
    Thank you for “Liking” the post “Emerging Spring” on my photography blog http://www.throughharoldslens.com.

    On behalf of the Through Harold’s Lens Creative Team, my trusty sidekick Mr. SLR Nikon, his brother Mr. Pen Pal and myself, we truly appreciate your enjoyment.

    We hope you continue to join us on our journeys.  

    Best Regards,

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks for following my blog.
    I have been following native issues closely since the Idlenomore movement. Canadian government is pulling out all the stops to divide amd destroy Canada’s indigenous peoples. I still have much to learn and contact with you and your blog will broaden my views. My thoughts and native heroes are expressed or listed in my category “indigenous peoples.” I’d appreciate your comments.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you dearkitty1 for the nomination of the Sunshine Award. We greatly appreciate your support and hope you will continue to enjoy reading our blog in the future. Most sincerely, “Voices from the Margins”.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow! I just trotted over here to take a peek at your blog because you just followed my humble little offering at Serendipity Farm in Tasmania Australia and I am floored by your credentials ladies :). Love your lives, your diverse backgrounds, and your lovely blog. Welcome to Serendipity Farm and heres hoping we have some great mutual community development here in the ether 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love your blog — and your story about Brunhilda. Here, in the north central U.S., it’s slowly becoming spring and I’m eagerly awaiting the time when my furnace finally stops running. Your post reminded me of my younger days when I lived off the grid and depended on a woodstove for heat, and a generator for 4 hours of power a day to pump water and run my computer so I could finish my education. Mostly I read with light from candles or gas lamps. I do miss it sometimes, and still listen for the surge of the generator when I turn on the water. I applaud you and Steve for your commitment to living in a sustainable way, and I look forward to reading more about your adventures.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Its lovely to connect with people who “get it” as so many don’t :). There is SO much contentment…of the deep soul stuffing kind, to be found in doing things yourself. In engaging your mind to solve problems. Stevie-boy and I are both mature aged students and applying what we learn to our lives here is an amazing thing. As students we also tend to be penniless BUT we are time rich. I guess I am an optimist, I don’t bother with negitivity (it gets on my nerves) as it bogs you down and sets you in concrete sometimes. If it can be done, do it, if it can’t (for whatever reason) accept it and move on to something that can. Every age has it’s beauty and I am finding that middle age has a serene and most beautiful clarity that is rewarding me in leaps and bounds…now I just wish that my knees would join in on the party and stop protesting my positive actions! 😉

        Liked by 4 people

  4. “Oh, did I tell you I am gay? Yeah – I am and I find the word l-e-s-b-i-a-n distasteful so I refer to myself as gay when a label is necessary.” …. you’ve taken the words out of my mouth!! My sentiments exactly!!! Huge hugs …..

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Carol – I’m honoured that you followed my blog. Your writings are so wise, reflective, well-unformed, wonderfully crafted and honest. I know I will learn a lot from them.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. How mazingly cool is this blog!!!! My dearest friend is alive and gay and living in Johnson City. I wish she knew of people like you there because her circle of (the name of the group) LesBe Friends seems to be diminishing. I truly do thank you both for finding my blog and for following. it is a mishmash but I have fun with it. And apparently, other people do too. Please visit often and always feel welcomed. and if you ever need a guest writer, I’m happy to show off!!! I’m not that good, but I do enjoy writing and getting to know other folk in the blogosphere. I am looking forward to hearing more from you all in the future.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your lovely and welcoming comments, kanzensakura. Cheryl and I look forward to following your blog. Please know that you are always welcome to send us something you would like us to post :-).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Carol, did you just add your degrees or did I forget? You do not express yourself in the usual Ph.D. style and that is refreshing. And since you say you want to make your living as a writer, are you working on a book, or writing for journals? And to make this page complete, I think it would be good to tell the story of how you and Cheryl came to partner for this blog.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the compliment, Skywalker. My degrees have always been listed, but I try not to write in jargon :-). I am working on 2 books – some of the draft chapters are on the blog (my mother’s story, and my study about Indian child welfare). The creator of a new Native American journal asked permission to include one of my posts in the first edition (and I agreed), and a number of other posts will be appearing in an e-book that will be used to teach English to students in Spain.

      The blogging course is teaching me the discipline to write every day and work through the tendency to give up when language doesn’t flow easily – something that happens when I’m working on pieces that incorporate a lot of historical and cultural “facts.”

      Thank you also for mentioning the story of the partnership between Cheryl and me. I have been thinking about writing a post to describe how we met and how such an odd duo decided to share a blog.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. What a delightful story, thank you for sharing. Thanks for the “like” on my pages too. You are more than welcome to share any of my writings and poetry in any moment of now.
    Peace, Love and Respect All Ways 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Melissa, I want to apologize for not telling you how much I loved your blog when I found it yesterday. I wasn’t able to link to it before I replied to your comment – the message links on wordpress don’t always work for me these days. And I didn’t remember the name of the lovely blog I visited yesterday – I do look forward to following your work 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Carol – as I read several of your articles, I found myself appreciating the deep layers of understanding and experience you bring to the table. Then I just clicked the “follow” button so I would find my way back here to read more in the future. When I returned to my own blog, I saw that you had been there already and are following me…Wow, I feel honored. You may want to read what I wrote about my experiences in Navajo land, and the Beautyway: https://beautyalongtheroad.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/canyon-memories-the-lost-art-of-storytelling/ I was deeply moved by my time with the Dine in Canyon de Chelly.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comments, Annette, and for sharing the link to your beautiful reflections about your time with the Dine. I appreciate the depth and sensitivity of your work and look forward to returning to your site as well.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. You have a splendid site! Love your concept, Looking forward to reading more of your posts. Would you regard the talks i have in my site of similar interest? – Cezane

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comments, Cher. I loved reading about your “free tea” adventure and look forward to reading more and seeing more of your Windy City photos. I lived there for my first 2 years of college – a very long time ago. Blessings to you, too. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you so much, Carol. My “free tea” adventure only provided me a Sunday post topic, didn’t it? *LOL* Ah, did you? Well I am certain the photos I post might have some recollection for you, Carol. I post a lot Lake Michigan photos, along with lots of architectural finds. I write about kindness and compassion; two things close to my core. I so look forward to reading your posts! Cher xo 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

  11. How strange the world of blogging is or perhaps not as it connects us in so many ways. I saw your photo on another blog but that one didn’t link directly but to the gravatar and then found your post with your granddaughter! You have done some amazing work and sounds so interesting.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ah, a most important but complex question, Shining Tecciztecatl. It’s not one I can answer easily except to say it depends on what is most relevant at the moment. I can list some of the authors who have inspired me, but my advice is to read all kinds of works. Read broadly across disciplines, genres, issues, and cultural perspectives. It may open up new worlds as it continues to do for me (e.g., Kimmerer, Wohlleben). Each can teach us something important. For example, when I was working on tribal issues that felt insoluble, I read science fiction (e.g., L’Engle and Le Guin) and it helped me envision new possibilities. History (Zinn, Takaki, Loewen, Galeano), biographies and autobiographies (Malcom X, Dr. King, Thurgood Marshall, Maya Angelou, etc.), anthropology (Turnbull and Scheper-Hughes come to mind), critical scholars (Kuhn, Bronfenbrenner, Foucault, Gramsci, Bourdieu, Friere, Jared Diamond), social commentary (Kozol, Parenti). I have used some in the courses I have taught, and citations for many are are listed in some of my older blog posts.

      I hope this helps. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hello Carol – Just a short not to say how absolutely wonderful your writings are. Thank you for your words, thoughts and wisdom. And thank you for posting articles of mine that you enjoyed reading. Tis a blessing to have found your blog.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful, lovely comments, Decker. I am grateful I discovered your fascinating blog through Sojourner and look forward to reading more of your important, thought-provoking posts.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Carol, realised after coming here how loved you are amongst people and that you have been writing for some time here, blogging. Its great reading some of your answers which again are a source of learning. Thanks for letting this happen.

    Nara x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful, affirming comments, Narayan. I am deeply grateful for your kindness and apologize for my very belated reply. Spring was especially busy this year with challenging student papers to grade and a lot of house and yard projects that needed work. And then, my aging computer needed to be repaired. Truth be told, I was grateful for the chance to be away from the screen painting walls and porches, cleaning and planting gardening, and reading books that I could never find time to explore. I send my gratitude for your patience along with my best wishes. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Carol, hello! I have thought of you often over the years, but especially with the tragic discovery of the graves of indigenous children at boarding schools across North America. I count myself lucky that I was familiar with this horrible history through my connection with you and your amazing scholarship on the impact of forced removal and institutionalization. Keep fighting the good fight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Jeanne, it is a delightful surprise to hear from you! I hope you are doing well. I have often thought of you, too, and hope you will let me know what you have been doing. I did find a lovely photo of you online after I read your comment: “Dr. Jeanne Howard at Bloomington Farmers market with her lavender farm wares.” Such a wonderful way to remember you!

      I look forward to hearing from you and send my gratitude for your kindness along with my best wishes. 💜


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