Kim Redigan was a peace and social justice advocate years before she enrolled in Marygrove’s Master in Social Justice program. She marched, protested, was arrested, taught, fasted, wrote and spoke-out in places around the world before coming to Marygrove. Her passion for social justice dates back to childhood, having come from a union home.
Fellow graduate and friend, Fox News reporter Amy Lange, wrote in her nomination letter:
“I have to ask myself where this dedicated mother/teacher/activist/volunteer found the time to go back to school and get yet another degree—but she did—graduating in 2008 from Marygrove. Kim already had a Master’s degree in Religious Studies from the University of Detroit Mercy and a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Always the scholar, always the activist, she chose Marygrove’s Social Justice program to further her education and improve her understanding of the many issues surrounding us in this ailing city and this challenging world. Instead of seeing the negative, Kim believes in the positive—the power of people to make a difference, the possibility of change. Even when progress seems difficult and her heart is heavy, Kim draws from the strength within her and that of her family and friends around her and she carries on.”
For her Social Justice degree project, which is required of all students in the program, Kim collaborated with Liz Walters, IHM (a 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award winner), to form the Isaiah 2 Movement. Isaiah 2 comes from the Bible’s Isaiah, Chapter 2 reference to “turning swords into plowshares,” and its aim was to build a local, faith-based peace and disarmament movement—grounded in biblical and Catholic social teaching, committed to contemplation and action. The year-and-a-half-long project included a number of components. One event, “The Violence of Silence,” examined the Confessing Church in Germany during World War II and asked what the Church is being called to do today—at a moment when our world is characterized by war, torture, and fear. Their “Film Fest for Peace, Justice and Community” series on the work of social activists such as Dorothy Day of the Catholic Worker Movement, Martin Luther King and Bayard Rustin, has evolved into a series now being shown in Catholic parishes. Isaiah 2 also included monthly programmed contemplative prayer services. While based on Catholic teaching, the movement is ecumenical. Kim also coordinated the development of a Web page, an anecdotal survey and an extensive database related to the Isaiah 2 mission. She and her project supporters worked with the media, priests and lay people.
Over the past five years, Kim has taught courses in world religions to teen boys at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School, exposing them to different beliefs, houses of worship, as well as to Catholic theology. Prior to that, Kim taught English for ten years at Holy Redeemer High School in southwest Detroit before the school closed.
School vacation periods often take Kim to world hot spots. Kim has served on two peace teams in the West Bank of Gaza with the Michigan Peace Team and the Gaza Freedom March peace team. The issue of a just peace in the Middle East is Kim’s greatest passion. She is also involved in Friends of Jewish Voice for Peace, the Palestine Cultural Office, Sabeel, and Women in Black.
An accomplished writer, Kim writes for the Michigan Peace Team’s quarterly newsletter and the Pax Christi newsletter. She has been published extensively on the Internet and is often queried by the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press as well as the Arab American News, published in Dearborn, on peace and non-violent protest issues.
Raised Lutheran, Kim converted to Catholicism nearly three decades ago, drawn by the writings of Father Daniel Berrigan and other peace and justice advocates. She is a member of St. Leo’s Pax Christi group, Detroit. Kim sits on the board of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights, the State Council of Pax Christi and the Detroit Area Peace and Justice Network where she represents the Lansing-based Michigan Peace Team, and the Catholic Worker Movement. Kim and her husband Matt are parents of four children.