WE LEARN (Women Expanding Literacy Education Action Resource Network)

is a community promoting women’s literacy as a tool that fosters empowerment and equity for women.

Diana Hunter, San Diego, CA

diana3Diana Hunter has the distinction of being the first adult literacy learner member on the WE LEARN Board of Directors. She served a three-year term from 2008-2011.

Diana first heard about WE LEARN when her teacher asked her to write an essay for Women’s Perspectives. Her article, “Speaking from the Heart,” was published in 2007. She traveled to Boston to read her essay at the Student Writing Celebration at the conference and quickly became a WE LEARN family member. Diana wrote about this experience, “It was the very first time in my life that I opened myself up to other women. The sup­port I got from WE LEARN was the best experience I have ever had in my life.”

When invited to join the Board of Directors, Diana overcame her fear and quickly accepted the opportunity. She joined with Marie Doerner, her teacher, advocate, and mentor. Together they opened new ground for WE LEARN. Diana helped to educate the board on how adult learners can make meaningful contributions to the organization. Her leadership, input, and decision-making have been extremely valuable.

In Spring 2008, Diana wrote:

“Being on the WE LEARN Board of Directors is an honor for me. I have been looking for the opportunity to work with women to help them overcome the obstacles in their lives. I know life is a challenge, but I know that working with these women would be uplifting for me, and them as well. I have been able to overcome many challenges, even though it’s been very hard for me to go through so many life changes. It is a dream for me to be able to help women look in the mirror and see the real person they are. Mostly, I want to be an advocate for women to help them regain their confidence and self-esteem.”

Currently, Diana is pursuing her GED at San Diego Community College.

Student Scholarship Fund

Through the Student Scholarship Fund in honor of the work of Elizabeth Morrish, WE LEARN reserves funds designated for scholarships and stipends to adult learners for their participation in WE LEARN activities.

Examples include:

  • Awards for selected writing sent to Women’s Perspectives
  • Conference registrations
  • Travel-related expenses for conference and special events
  • Student participation on the board of directors, leadership development projects, and other student-focused activities

altThis fund operates solely from donations or special fundraising events. When making a donation, be sure to indicate your support to this fund.

How to receive an ABE student scholarship award….

  • Women’s PerspectivesSend your writing by the deadline. Be sure to follow the guidelines for the issue. From all the writings we receive, the Selection Committee chooses the ones that show outstanding effort and give clear expression to the theme. Cash awards are given in two categories, Honors and Honorable Mention.
  • Conference: Use the Application Form available on our conference web page. Forms are generally available in November and awards are made in January prior to the conference.
  • Leadership activities: As available. Please, watch for announcements.

Our ability to give financial awards or stipends depends on how much we have in the fund account. We have no set amount for any award.

Elizabeth Morrish (1952-2003)

WE LEARN’s Student Scholarship Fund was created to honor the memory of Elizabeth Morrish and to commemorate her work and commitment to adult learners. A creative teacher and strong women's advocate, Elizabeth was committed to working with learners on issues of health and violence, especially as they affect women. Elizabeth worked for World Education from 1995 to 2003. Her roles included Director of the Women, Violence, and Adult Education Project, Literacy Specialist for the Health Education and Literacy (HEAL) Project, Director of the Statewide Technical Assistance Program, and Project Coordinator for the Channing L. Bete Company Evaluation Project. At the time of her passing, Elizabeth had been supporting WE LEARN in our early development. Many of our founding members were friends and colleagues to Elizabeth. We still miss her vision, energy, and guidance.

Some of Elizabeth’s work and writing can still be found on the Internet:

  • The Change Agent: Issue 4, Feb. 1997 with focus on Health & Literacy Several articles authored by Elizabeth
  • HEAL: BCC Curriculum Health Education and Adult Literacy: Breast & Cervical Cancer (Elizabeth contributed as a consultant on this project)
  • Ideas in Action: Participatory Health and Literacy Education with Adults
  • Forming a Health Team
  • Spiral Model
  • Reflections on the Women, Violence, and Adult Education Project in Focus on Basics, Volume 5, Issue C, February 2002.
  • Take on the Challenge: A Source Book from the Women, Violence, and Adult Education Project (2002)
  • Teachers' Concerns About Incorporating Health into Adult Education Field Notes, Vol. 10 #4, Health & Literacy, Spring 2001