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Kiri Westby
Kiri Westby is an activist and a writer who has been working professionally in the human rights field since 2000, specializing in the human rights of women and girls in war zones. Kiri is also a new mom and a practicing Buddhist who splits most of her time between Colorado and Mexico. She is a featured contributor to Be the Change: How Meditation Can Transform You and the World by Ed and Deb Shapiro, with forwards by H.H. the Dalai Lama and Dr. Robert Thurman. Click here to listen to Kiri talk about meditation and activism on

Entries by Kiri Westby

A Letter to My Unborn Child

(8) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 3:20 PM

Dear Baby,

I'm not gonna lie to you, this world is crazy.

There are killer viruses and killer terrorists running rampant. If the rapidly-changing climate doesn't wipe us all out in your lifetime, you will still inherit a world where

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Stop Being a Good Mom

(4) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 10:58 AM

I've recently come to see that I am a "good mom" ...but not for the reasons you may think.

I could just as easily be labeled a distracted mom, an indifferent mom, a working mom, an overbearing mom and yes, sometimes, a scary mom.

And I'm usually, well,...

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Spare the Love, Spoil the Child

(4) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 6:42 PM

I live in one of the more affluent parts of the U.S., a place where children don't want for much and even our homeless and indigent have free services to keep them fed and warm. Naturally, much of this wealth trickles down to our kids in the form of toys,...

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When It's Mom's Time to Leave

(18) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 12:53 PM

No one has the same story. No book can predict the right age or the exact date, and no "expert" or blogger will ever know better than you, so let's make that perfectly clear.

But at some point, someday, moms... we are going to have to leave our children.

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What Happened Next? The Good, the Weird and the Ugly of Coming Out of the Pot Closet

(7) Comments | Posted April 18, 2014 | 12:18 PM

As far as I know, no one had done it before -- declared to the world that they smoke pot, practically daily, that they're also in charge of raising children and that they're not going to be ashamed anymore.

But I did.

Naturally, there have been a lot...

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Confesiones de una madre fumeta

(10) Comments | Posted April 6, 2014 | 3:56 AM

No es fácil escribir sobre esto.

En primer lugar, estoy preocupada de que los lectores cuestionen mi capacidad como madre, y de que los servicios de protección infantil me hagan una visita.

En segundo lugar, está mi familia. Algunos me conocen bien, pero a otros les va a sorprender...

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Geständnis einer kiffenden Mama

(10) Comments | Posted March 21, 2014 | 8:48 AM

kiffen frau

Es ist schwer das hier zu schreiben.

Erstens bin ich besorgt, dass die Leser meine Fürsorgepflicht in Frage stellen und dass ich mich auf einen Besuch des Sozialamts einstellen muss.

Zweitens ist da meine Familie. Einige Familienmitglieder kennen mich sehr gut, einige finden das...

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Confessions of a Pothead Mom

(690) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 2:34 PM

This is not easy to write about.

First off, I'm worried that readers are going to question my parenting and that I should prepare myself for a visit from Child Protection Services.

Secondly, there is my family, some of whom know me very well and others who might find...

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Small-Town Utah, Big LGBT Pride

(0) Comments | Posted September 20, 2013 | 9:23 PM

When you think of Utah, you probably conjure up images of vast desert landscapes, breathtaking rock formations, expansive salt flats and towering, white Mormon temples. Chances are you don't picture rainbow flags, outrageous parties, activism and a massive public outpouring of LGBT pride...

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Yoga for People Who Hate Yoga

(10) Comments | Posted June 11, 2013 | 2:25 PM

Doing yoga with Francisco Kaiut is doing yoga from the inside out. In fact, to say the word "doing" is already too active, too aggressive, as it's more of an un-doing.

I am someone who has never felt very comfortable in a modern yoga class. Plagued by...

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One Billion Raped, One Billion Rising

(8) Comments | Posted February 4, 2013 | 12:28 PM

There are now 7 billion people on the planet, roughly half of whom are women.

Recent statistics state that 1 in 3 women will be raped or beaten during her lifetime.

So even by low estimates, we are facing a worldwide epidemic of Violence...

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Brutality and Violence Escalate in Sri Lanka: Prominent Activists and Journalists Targeted

(49) Comments | Posted October 22, 2012 | 12:54 PM

"What does it mean to call a country democratic when government critics are exiled and branded terrorists? Who decides what is patriotic and what is not? Whose voices are actually being heard? Whose rights are really being protected?" -- Sunila Abeysekera, Prominent Sri Lankan Human Rights Activist.

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Glenn Close's Albert Nobbs Brings Transgender Identity to the Red Carpet

(15) Comments | Posted February 23, 2012 | 5:13 PM

With the Academy Awards this weekend, the media is buzzing about Glenn Close's new film Albert Nobbs. Ms. Close and supporting actress Janet McTeer have both been nominated for their portrayal of women passing as men in 19th-century Ireland. Watching the trailer left me thinking about the lives...

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Iraqi Women Speak, "U.S. Troop Withdrawal Our Double-Edged Sword"

(2) Comments | Posted December 12, 2011 | 3:32 PM

"We used to have a government that was almost secular. It had one dictator. Now we have almost 60 dictators -- Islamists who think of women as forces of evil. This is what is called the 'democratization of Iraq '"

- Iraqi Activist Yanar Mohammed

When I heard the...

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Leyla Yunus: A Woman Whose Only Weapon is a Word

(15) Comments | Posted October 10, 2011 | 10:02 AM

"Direct all of the force of your repressive mechanism, which includes assault, car accidents, murders and the whole arsenal, against me personally, a woman whose only weapon is a word. I demand you immediately stop the crackdown and persecution of my colleagues and their families!" -Leyla Yunus, August 31, 2011
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'Each Moment Is New': Lessons from the Front Lines of Motherhood

(86) Comments | Posted April 28, 2011 | 2:11 PM

I have no idea how to do this.

I realize this truth at some point every day. When it hits me, I get roller-coaster belly and jelly knees, as the ground I thought I was standing on is suddenly gone. All that I had so proudly figured out yesterday no...

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You and the Secret Millionaire

(15) Comments | Posted March 28, 2011 | 12:30 PM

Last week I watched ABC's new show, "The Secret Millionaire," which places millionaires in low-income communities, strips them of all their worldly possessions and asks them to covertly find worthy organizations with which to volunteer and eventually to make a sizable donation to. I cried.

I cried not...

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Contemplating Death While Creating Life

(23) Comments | Posted February 9, 2010 | 11:56 AM

This week I nearly lost a family member, albeit a four-legged one. And in the midst of dealing with urgent-care doctors, IVs and exorbitant bills, I shed a lot of tears and thought a lot about the end of life ... how quickly it arises and how little control we...

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Sleep And Pregnancy: 5 Tips To Manage Your Changing Needs

(23) Comments | Posted January 12, 2010 | 8:23 AM

In honor of Sleep Challenge 2010 (thank you Arianna and Cindi!), I offer a personal perspective on the challenges of being pregnant and sleeping well...

I've always been a sleeper.

Even as a child I could sleep anywhere and recall falling asleep at a rowdy Denver Nuggets...

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The Magic Of Winter Solstice: Celebrating A Different Holiday

(31) Comments | Posted December 21, 2009 | 2:42 PM

It's not easy to ignore Christmas.

Whether you like it or not, Christmas is everywhere. Propagated by the mass media and often conjuring up such a frenzy of need and expectation that many people end up disappointed and stressed-out. I often wonder how many people still feel like Christmas is...

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