Leanne works with very young children (3-11yo) in peace education, cultural awareness and food justice, and also takes freelance assignments in documentary video and socio-political blog writing. She holds a BA in Child Development, with a concentration in child rights, a BS in Spanish, and is on leave-of-absence from a MA program in Peace & Conflict Studies in order to pursue a MIS in Peace & Conflict Resolution from the University of Queensland, Australia through a Rotary Peace Fellowship.
In 2009, she took an internship that had her embedded with migrant farmworking families in Southeastern United States. Through this experience she developed a better understanding of the intersections between food access, migration and conflict.
Using documentary arts, oral history, and creative nonfiction- Leanne continues to advocate for and ally with local and international groups to share healing and reconciliatory narratives. Her work has taken her to Costa Rica, Mexico and Colombia and highlights the effects of transnational corporations and policies on violence, scarcity and immigration.
Another experience that impacted her direction was a week-long full-immersion conflict simulation, staged through a collective of universities’ Peace & Conflict Masters Degree programs. In this, participants were required to design and build a humanitarian space in an active conflict zone, manage wounded and cholera-stricken refugees, and negotiate with government agents, military officials, prison wardens and leaders of an opposition militia group. In this, Leanne realized a passion for emergency management, and a focus on stabilization and safety of women and children in fragile zones.
The mother of two young boys, Leanne can often be found climbing trees, riding bicycles and all-around adventuring. In her “spare” time, she writes and is in the process of editing a memoir.