Anne McCrady says her life has offered all the evidence she needs to believe in the mission of a Better World. She was born in Birmingham, Alabama, amid racial violence in the 1950s, raised in segregated rural East Texas in the 1960s, was an early feminist educated as a scientist, married on Earth Day in the 1970s, is the wife of a family physician who believes in universal healthcare, is the mother of a doctor, a wildlife biologist and an engineer, has always been a devoted LGBT ally, and continues to confront bigotry, oppression and close-mindedness wherever she finds it. As an adult, Anne has put into practice her lifelong belief that each moment we live is exquisitely powerful and that every life is an InSpirational story waiting to be told. Even more important, Anne insists every encounter is a chance to InSpire others to live more fully the human experience. With the intention of using her energies to create positive change, Anne founded InSpiritry to Put Words to Work for a Better World.
In her personal life, Anne has devoted countless hours to schools, children, struggling families, progressive policies and community projects. As a result, she has been honored as a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow and as the Rusk County Chamber of Commerce Young Woman of the Year.
At the 2007 International Women's Peace Festival in Dallas, Texas, at the invitation of Peacemakers, Inc., Anne hosted the international peace poetry session. There she read and emceed the poetry readings of women from around the world. An active member of Peacemakers, Inc, Anne is already making plans to be part of the next International Women's Peace Festival in the summer of 2016. Anne is a founding supporter of the Castleberry Peace Institute at University of North Texas.
In response to her lifelong passion for the work of the United Nations, Anne cofounded and now supports two local celebrations that mark the United Nations International Day of Peace. One is The Art of Peace Festival in Belton, Texas, in collaboration with artist Helen Kwiatkowski and folksinger Emily Kaitz. The other is the week-long, art-based Art of Peace Festival - Tyler, TX, which Anne cofounded with Rabbi Neal Katz and friend Mary Andrews. Both events have become annual traditions for peace advocates in those communiteis.
As a writer, Anne has addressed the issues of peace and social justice for many years. Anne's Pudding House Prize-winning poetry chapbook, Under a Blameless Moon, is devoted to nonviolence and social justice, and her poem, "Directions to Peace" won the national Burning Bush Prize. Anne's poems, "Blessings" and "Poverty is an Empty House," are included in the Homeless Poetry Anthology, From Under the Bridges of America. Anne's poem, "Deluge," is included in the poverty-focused collection, Out of the Depths: Poetry of Poverty -- Courage and Resistance. In addition, other of Anne's peace poems appear in the Art of Peace Festival Anthology published by Fordham University, as well as in PeaceWords, Hunger for Peace and Intertwined peace chapbook anthologies edited by Anne and published by InSpiritry, with proceeds going to community agencies honored by Art of Peace - Tyler.
Anne’s sense of local community and global citizenship have led to her to apply InSpiritry's mission of Putting Words to Work for the Greater Good to a wide range of issues including public education, race relations, poverty issues, women’s empowerment, environmental wisdom, healthy communities, economic justice, rural issues, and creative non-violence. She has also been active in local, state and national politics for many years and encourages those who resist boundaries to embrace creative problem-solving to foster collaborative solutions, compassionate policies and courageous action. Online, Anne shares her messages of encouragement and peace through her posts on FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress, SoundCloud and Poet with a Press Pass.
Most recently, InSpiritry program fees are being used to support OpenWords Workshops, inspirational InSpiritry workshops that invite at-risk and marginalized individuals and groups to share their experiences through creative writing, storytelling and spoken word. Anne also hosts open community writing sessions and workshops.
Many of Anne's speaking presentations address issues of personal peacemaking.
Henderson Independent School District - Board of Trustees, Bond Promotion Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, Parent Teacher Organizations, Strategic Planning Committee, Substitute Teacher, GT Committee
United Methodist Church - Christian Education Teacher, Youth Coordinator, Mission Trip Leader, Strategic Planning Committee Member, Capitol Campaign Design Chair, Event Planning, Cofounder - Contemporary Worship Service; Worship Design, Camp Counselor
Rusk County Texas Scholar Program - Program Co-Founder, Presenter
United Way - Volunteer, Speaker
Junior Achievement - Volunteer, Local Coordinator
Boys and Girls Clubs - Volunteer, Board Member & Officer, Resource Development Chairperson, Speaker
YMCA - Board Member & Officer
Rusk County Soccer Association - Coach, Volunteer
Habitat for Humanity - Volunteer
UMArmy Mission Camps - Volunteer, Adult Leader, Camp Director
Yates Park Help the Youth School Supply Project - 25 year Volunteer, Sponsor
Hospice of East Texas - Inspirational Speaker, Promotional Campaign Chair
Rotary Clubs - Speaker, Paul Harris Fellow, Cultural Arts Camp Honorary Chairman
Unitarian Universalist Fellowships of Tyler, Longview & Lufkin - Frequent Guest Worship Speaker
Local Child Welfare Groups - Volunteer, Speaker
Rusk County Democrats - Volunteer, Speaker
Prom Princess Project - Cofounder, Volunteer
Rusk County Depot Historical Museum - Volunteer, Storyteller
Art of Peace Tyler - Cofounder, Codirector
Young Audiences of Northeast Texas Poetry in Schools Contest - Artistic Director
The First Up Scholarship for Students Who are the First in their Family to go to College
The Legacy Scholarship which honors Students Who Have Had to Work Especially Hard to Overcome Obstacles
The InSpiritry Scholarship given to a Student with Dreams of Changing the World
Henderson Independent School District Lion Pride Award Winner
Henderson Independent School District EAGLE Mentor
Rusk County Chamber of Commerce Louise Jacks Outstanding Young Woman of the Year
Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow