April 12, 2003 - Women's Monthly: Kathleen DeBold joined the Peace Corps where she taught beekeeping, and assisted the people of the Central African Republic (CAR) to set up honey and beeswax markets

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Central African Republic: Peace Corps Central African Republic : The Peace Corps in the Central African Republic: April 12, 2003 - Women's Monthly: Kathleen DeBold joined the Peace Corps where she taught beekeeping, and assisted the people of the Central African Republic (CAR) to set up honey and beeswax markets

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, April 12, 2003 - 7:56 pm: Edit Post

Kathleen DeBold joined the Peace Corps where she taught beekeeping, and assisted the people of the Central African Republic (CAR) to set up honey and beeswax markets

Kathleen DeBold joined the Peace Corps where she taught beekeeping, and assisted the people of the Central African Republic (CAR) to set up honey and beeswax markets

Kathleen DeBold: Queen Bee
by dava giuli

Kathleen DeBold has a powerful presence. She is articulate, passionate, and is often humorous. DeBold is a woman that gets the job done. For that reason she is a winner of the 2003 WOMO Community Service Awards.

She is presently the executive director of the Mautner Project for Lesbians with Cancer, the only national organization dedicated to lesbians with cancer, their partners, and caregivers. According to her nominator, Nancy Beang, DeBold in three years has doubled the Mautner Project's outreach and services locally and "she has made it a priority to extend the Mautner Project's skills and experience nationwide so that local lesbian health groups around the country won't have to re-invent the wheel." DeBold is able to do this not only because of who she is, but because she has built a "dynamite team," according to Beang.

Kathleen DeBold's fascinating background includes working with bees. While majoring in entomology at the University of Maryland she signed up for "Beekeeping 101." She states that "the minute I looked in a beehive, I was hooked." In addition to reading a lot about bees and talking with beekeepers, she had a student job at the USDA Bio-Environmental Bee Laboratory in Beltsville, MD where she learned to diagnose and treat bee diseases. She also had her own beehives.

When asked if there are any life lessons or metaphors to be drawn from bees, DeBold answered "Way too many to fit in this article! Honeybees are models of selfless collaboration. They are totally mission-driven, they work hard, they share everything, they conserve their resources, they fight to protect each other. They also get to stay home all winter, which sounds pretty good to me right now."

In 1977 she became Maryland's first female apiary (beehive) inspector. In 1982 she joined the Peace Corps where she taught beekeeping, and assisted the people of the Central African Republic (CAR) to set up honey and beeswax markets. While there she also helped to build schools and organize carpentry cooperatives. She later returned to CAR with Africare, the African-American international development organization, as an extension specialist.

Her response to being awarded the WOMO Community Service Awards was beelike. "This is a wonderful tribute to the important work of the Mautner Project and everyone - past and present - who's involved in getting it done. I'm very proud and honored to be one of them."

She is no stranger to awards. In 2000 the Gill Foundation asked her to join 18 other LGBT leaders for the Center for Creative Leadership training program. She declares that it was "intense, challenging, and exciting. The best part was working and bonding with other executive directors like Kate Kendell from the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Ana Olivera from the Gay Men's Health Crisis, Paul Kawata from the National Minority AIDS Council, and Nadine Smith from Equality Florida."

In 2001 and again in 2002 Washington Blade readers bestowed the "Most Committed Female Activist" title on her. DeBold had the honor in November 2002 to co-facilitate a groundbreaking session on "Building an Anti-Racist Movement" for the Creating Change organizers. Her speaking engagements are too numerous to mention but include Harvard's JFK School of Government, Philadelphia Pridefest, Feminist Expo 2000, and numerous health conferences.

As a feminist, she is someone who "believes that all people deserve equal rights and is committed to the struggle for social and economic justice." Her passion is apparent and when asked where she derives her energy from she spoke of hating injustice and loving people who work toward change. She is "blessed with a wonderful partner (of 28 years) who inspires me to do my best and to strive to be a better person, definitely a work in progress." DeBold attributes some of that passion to being surrounded by the wonderful staff and volunteers at the Mautner Project. She also spoke of the passionate people in the community that she gets to work with.

Before coming to the Mautner Project, DeBold was Deputy Director of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund helping openly gay candidates become elected to office. There she worked with "qualified candidates who were brave enough to be open about their sexual orientation and helped them run the best campaigns possible" including Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin.

In her present position "Mentoring Mautner Project staff and volunteers to help bring out the best in them" has been meaningful for her, in addition to "seeing the day to day difference we make in the lives of the women we serve." DeBold spoke of women delaying health care because of the homophobic health system. She stated many women do not declare their orientation out of fear. She spoke of research as recent as 1999 that showed that 25% of medical students believed homosexuality to be immoral and dangerous and other research that demonstrated that LGBT medical practitioners had themselves experienced job-related discrimination.

Since DeBold has been Executive Director, the Mautner Project has developed: Healing Works, the National Conference on Lesbians and Cancer; Spirit Study, the first nationwide survey of Black lesbian health; Beds, Breakfast and Breasts which distributes lesbian health materials through B&Bs; and the "Gay American SmokeOUT."

Knowing stress is a health issue, DeBold made a New Year's resolution "suggested by my lover as an alternative to divorce!" to do "fun non-work things like cooking, drawing cartoons, playing guitar, going to the batting cage, and spoiling my nieces and nephews. There's nothing like four hours at Chuck E. Cheese to make you forget just about everything!"

DeBold reminds us that lesbians are "more likely than heterosexuals to be heavy drinkers, current or previous smokers, obese, and childless (not having children has been identified as a risk factor for breast cancer and fibroids). We are also significantly more likely than heterosexuals to have never had a mammogram, have waited longer since our last Pap smear, and to eat fewer fruits and vegetables daily" in addition to being more likely to have "recently used illicit drugs and have been tested for HIV." These are some of the problems she, as Executive Director of the Mautner Project, is addressing on a national level in the hopes of seeing significant change in the health care provided to women who partner with women and in the choices those women make about their own health. A powerful worker bee making a better hive?

For more information about the Mautner Project go to www.mautnerproject.org.

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Story Source: Women's Monthly

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Central African Republic; Beekeeping; Cancer; Women's Issues



By Kathleen DeBold (66-128-197-6.rev.intercom.com - on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 8:30 am: Edit Post

From the Washington Blade

Improving focus on lesbian health
Mautner Project, American Cancer Society forge new ties

By Laurel Lundstrom
Friday, May 21, 2004

Speaking in Sango and French, Kathleen DeBold and Eve Nagler recently reminisced about their time in the Central African Republic some two decades before. At the time, DeBold was an extension and training specialist with Africare, a non-profit organization specializing in aid to Africa, and Nagler was working with village midwives.

But as Peace Corps volunteers for alternate African villages, the two women never met. It was not until 2002 that their paths crossed. Nagler, the American Cancer Society’s director of special populations, and DeBold, executive director of the Mautner Project, a national lesbian health organization based in Washington, D.C., currently are collaborating to address the health needs of lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered women with cancer.

“Although lesbians have higher risk factors for certain cancers,” DeBold says, “there are very few places where we can turn for help.”

For lesbians, increased vulnerability to breast and other cancers is influenced by factors such as higher rates of smoking, obesity and alcohol use. Other factors include not using birth control pills and not having children before age 30, which can lead to elevated estrogen levels and, thus, a higher risk for certain forms of cancer, advocates for gay women’s health say.

DeBold noted that “ex-gay” ministry brochures and anti-gay quotes from the Bible about homosexuality are still included in pamphlets that some medical providers hand out to patients. To counteract this, the Mautner Project and other groups are working to create and distribute medical brochures with quotes from lesbian clients.

When the Mautner Project and the American Cancer Society recently conducted focus groups in Washington, D.C., with lesbian cancer survivors, their partners and caregivers, the majority of respondents said they never thought of contacting the American Cancer Society when they or a loved one was diagnosed with cancer.

Nagler and DeBold said the American Cancer Society is currently acting on key recommendations from the surveys to better meet the health needs of gay women nationwide. For example, the American Cancer Society’s New England division recently produced “Cancer Facts for Lesbians & Bisexual Women,” as well as “Tobacco and the GLBT Community,” materials being used as far away as California.

“These activities and others in the planning stage demonstrate the society’s commitment to serving the needs of all people with cancer and their families, partners and friends,” Nagler says.

Strengthening community
The American Cancer Society is also becoming a resource for lesbians nationwide by posting stories on the organization’s Web site about the relationship between sexual orientation and cancer. The Mautner Project is listed as a resource in several of the American Cancer Society’s national publications and several personal stories by lesbians and their partners are now on its Cancer Survivors Network Web site.

“We particularly look forward to using the Cancer Survivors Network to strengthen the sense of community among lesbian cancer survivors and their caregivers to provide them with valuable information through discussions and chats, personal stories and a resource library,” says Greta E. Geer, manager of the ACS’s Cancer Survivors Network.

A study in the April 2001 edition of American Public Health Association’s (APHA) American Journal of Public Health noted that women who partner with women could be at double or triple risk for cancer.

This makes the budding partnership between the Mautner Project and the American Cancer Society, which has 3,400 local units nationwide, to spread the word about lesbians and cancer crucial, those involved said.

“It takes the burden off of us,” DeBold says. “Instead of using phone and e-mail to reach people in Topeka, Kansas, we are partnering with mainstream groups.”

By palmenfreund (a3368.a.pppool.de - on Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 1:39 pm: Edit Post

dear ladies and gentleman,

1. I´m a beekeeper from germany, searching for
beeswax from africa to use it in beehives. Therefore it´s
only interesting, when the wax is free from chemical products
as well as epidemic diseases.

2. I´m also interested to sell it in my shop/company in Germany.

I´m very thankful for any help to find a contact address where I
can get the beeswax from.

Please contact me in Germany. My e-mail adress is

Mr. Fisher
e-mail: palmenfreund@web.de

Thanful regards

Mr. Fisher

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