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Maria Broom

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Although nationally known as an actress for her recurring roles in HBO’s The Wire and The Corner, Maria Broom is also a storyteller and dancer with more than 40 years of experience performing and teaching in the United States and across the globe.

She is a Fulbright scholar and former news reporter for the ABC affiliates in Miami and Baltimore. Broom has received many awards and honors, including the Eubie Blake Award, the Sarah’s Circle Award, and the 2004 Governor’s Arts Award for Individual Artist. In 2007, she was named Artist of the Year by Young Audiences of Maryland, Inc.

With a background in yoga, meditation, Homa therapy, and dance therapy, Maria conducts staff retreats, workshops, and weekly classes that help people to release stress and feel at peace. She was a consultant for Maryland Public Television’s Campaign for Love and Forgiveness, sponsored by Fetzer Institute. She also received an Open Society Institute community fellowship grant to establish a unique mentoring program in City Schools and beyond, called the Dance Girls of Baltimore.

Scribente Maternum 2021 Speakers


Rebecca Walker

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Rebecca Walker has contributed to the global conversation about race, gender, power, and the evolution of the human family for three decades. Since graduating from Yale, she has authored and edited seven bestselling books on subjects ranging from intergenerational feminism and multiracial identity to Black Cool and ambivalent motherhood, and written dozens of articles on topics as varied as Barack Obama’s masculinity, the work of visual artist Ana Mendieta, and the changing configuration of the American family.

A fellow writer-mom, Rebecca has written a powerful memoir, Baby Love, in which she explores her own story about the emotional and intellectual transformation that led her to motherhood, through the lens of the larger sociological trends of her generation.

Rebecca has also written, developed and produced film and television projects with Warner Brothers, NBCUniversal, Amazon, HBO, and Paramount, and spoken at over four hundred universities and corporate campuses internationally, including Harvard, The Whitney Museum, and TEDx Lund. When Rebecca was 21, she co-founded the Third Wave Fund, which makes grants to womxn and transgender youth working for social justice.

Rebecca has won many awards, including the Women Who Could Be President Award from the League of Women Voters, was named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential leaders of her generation, and continues to teach her masterclass, The Art of Memoir, at gorgeous and inspiring places around the world.

Get your copy of Rebecca's What's Your Story, A Journal for Everyday Evolution--perfect for our Week 3 discussion--by following this link.

Karen Houppert

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Karen Houppert is the Associate Director of the M.A. in Writing Program at Johns Hopkins University. A former staff writer for The Village Voice for nearly ten years, she has won several awards for her coverage, including a 1991 National Women’s Political Caucus Award for feature writing, a 2003 Newswomen’s Club of New York “Front Page Award,” a 2011 Council on Contemporary Families Media Award for Print, and 2015 and 2016 Maryland/DC/Delaware Press Association Award—as well as bringing in 18 MDDC journalism awards for her staff that year while she served as editor in chief of Baltimore City Paper. She was twice an ASME National Magazine Award finalist and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2016 for her essay “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Interrupted.”

Houppert’s reporting has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including The Washington Post Magazine, The New York Times, Newsday, Baltimore City Paper, The Nation, Slate, Salon, Mother Jones, The Village Voice, Ms, Glamour, Mademoiselle, Redbook, Self, and Parenting—and many other media outlets.

She is the author of three nonfiction books, a contributor to five, and co-author of the Obie-award winning play “Boys in the Basement” based on her trial coverage of a rape in Glen Ridge, New Jersey—as well as several other plays.

Her first book, The Curse: Confronting the Last Unmentionable Taboo, Menstruation is an investigation of the sanitary protection industry and an exploration of the cultural history of menstruation. Houppert’s second book, Home Fires Burning: Married to the Military—for Better or Worse chronicles a year in the life of various military wives whose husbands are deployed in the Middle East to see how feminism has and has not kept pace with military family policy. Her most recent book, Chasing Gideon: The Elusive Quest for Poor People’s Justice takes the pulse of the public defense system 50 years after the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Gideon v. Wainwright and was selected as one of the Top 10 Books Investigative books of 2013 by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

M. M. De Voe

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M. M. De Voe is the founder and executive director of Pen Parentis, Ltd. She co-hosts the monthly Pen Parentis Literary Salons with its current curator. An award-winning and widely-published short fiction writer, De Voe established Pen Parentis as a fiscally sponsored public art project in December 2009, after establishing and running a year of successful readings in Lower Manhattan along with colleague, friend, and former Columbia University classmate, Arlaina Tibensky.


Three Pushcart nominations, two Editor’s Prizes, a few arts grants, two children, and several publications later, De Voe continues to seek balance between family and a successful writing career. She holds an MFA from Columbia and is a former actress: DeVoe still does occasional voiceover work—you can hear her as the Lithuanian voice of OnStar in your rental car. See her website for links to DeVoe’s writing and recent author news.


And if you have an extra minute: like her page on Facebook. And do follow her on Twitter. Live vicariously as @MMDeVoe Tweets about random NYC moments.

Scribente Maternum Co-Founders/Moderators

Carla Du Pree

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Carla Du Pree (she/her/hers) is a fiction writer, a Maryland state arts ambassador, and the executive director of CityLit Project, a nonprofit that creates enthusiasm for literature with three signature events: an award-winning day-long festival, the multi-day CityLit Stage at the Baltimore Book Festival, and a writer-to-writer exchange, CityLit Studio. She’s a recipient of fellowships from Hedgebrook, Rhode Island Writers Colony for Writers of Color, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. She’s won a Rubys Artist Grant and an MSAC Individual Artist Award for her fiction. Excerpts from her novel have been published in The Pierian Literary Journal, Callaloo, Potomac Review, and two anthologies. She’s spoken on national platforms with Furious Flower Poetry Center, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, National Women’s Studies Association, Association of Writers & Writing Programs, and as a literary consultant for the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.

Carla was recently awarded NASAA’s 2020 inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Individual award for demonstrating outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in addressing and raising awareness about issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in the state of Maryland. She is the Maryland State Department of Education’s Arts Leader for April 2020, and holds a Master's in Creative Writing from The Johns Hopkins University. She is the mother of three twenty-something-year-olds and the grandma  of a six-year-old grandson. Carla lives in Baltimore, home of the Nanticoke-Lenape and Piscataway Conoy tribes.

Caytie Pohlen LaClare

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Since childhood, Caytie Pohlen LaClare (she/her/hers) knew her purpose was to help others in some way. Putting people first has been at the core of her personal beliefs and her business decisions for decades.

With Better Smarter Stronger, Caytie merges her purpose and passion into an organization that provides inspiration and education. She believes in each person’s innate goodness and ability to evolve towards their best self. This isn’t about perfection. Rather, it’s about having the knowledge and tools needed to become a little better, smarter, and stronger each day. Because we make the world better when we make ourselves better.

Caytie lives in the Minneapolis area--home of the Wahpekute, or Lakota people--with her two sons and husband. Caytie also has two grown children and one new grandbaby. Her writing journey has been mostly for personal enjoyment, but she has also recently started writing more blog posts and marketing materials for her businesses.

Elizabeth Doerr


Elizabeth Doerr (she/her/hers) is a freelance writer who helps justice and equity-focused professionals and brands tell their stories. When she's able to carve out personal writing time, Elizabeth writes about food, travel, coffee, parenting, community resiliency, and social justice. She won a Maryland/Delaware/DC Press Association award for her 2015 Baltimore City Paper story about street harassment, "Stop Calling Me 'Baby." You can find her work in CityLab, Portland Monthly, and Baltimore City Paper among other publications.


Since her son, Finch, was born three-and-a-half years ago, she's dedicated approximately two hours (give or take a few) to sit down and write for herself. Elizabeth worked in higher education in the realm of experiential and social justice education for over a decade and she has frequently put her organizational and spreadsheet skills to work through event management. She has a few degrees, one of which is a Master's in Writing from Johns Hopkins University.


Elizabeth lives on the ancestral land of the Multnomah, Kathlamet, Chinook, Molalla and the many other tribes whose traditional communities were along the Columbia River (currently known as Portland, OR) with her husband and son. Learn more at

Rachel Berg Scherer


Raised by an English teacher, Rachel (she/her/hers) swore she would never, ever set foot inside a classroom. But after years working in public relations and communications, everywhere from from Capitol Hill to an order of nuns, Rachel found herself teaching tenth grade English and coaching Speech in Baltimore County.

When her oldest son was born in2012, Rachel turned her passion for writing and a sometimes-annoying ability to spot grammatical mistakes into a career. She founded Midwest Writing and Editing in part to ward off the doldrums of full-time life with an infant, but also to tap into her life-long love of teaching, writing, and learning.

Rachel has written high school textbooks for courses such as Advanced Placement European History and Microeconomics, and writes teaching materials for middle grade history and social studies. She writes a regular Feminist Parenting column for Rebellious Magazine for Women and has been featured in Solstice Literary Magazine and Minnesota Parent magazine. Never far from the classroom, she also guides other parents through remote learning with her Distanced, But Still Learning program. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in writing and history from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and a Master in Leadership in Teaching from Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Rachel and her family successfully evacuated the east coast and now live in their home state of Minnesota, the ancestral land of the Wahpekute, or Lakota people.

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