As an anthropologist and advocate, Carol “Kelley” Ready has worked with women in Central America for almost thirty years. Initially inspired by the human rights work of the Committee of Mothers of the Disappeared in El Salvador, she learned to speak Spanish and documented the emergence of a feminist movement in El Salvador in the post-war 1990s. She has worked on a USAID funded project in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Her writing has examined the rise and decline of a Salvadoran lesbian rights movement, explored how Central American women’s organizations were fighting for women’s labor rights, and described how a Salvadoran organization, Las Madres Demandantes, fought against irresponsible fatherhood and for child support.
After dropping out from undergraduate studies at Cornell University, Dr. Ready worked as an offset printer at several locations including Red Sun Press, a collectively owned and operated political printing cooperative in Boston. Ultimately, she discovered anthropology and returned to academia to get a doctorate. After graduating from Goddard College, she received a master’s degree is Socio-cultural Anthropology from Northeastern University. She earned her doctorate at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
Dr. Ready has taught at a number of colleges and universities including The University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, Northeastern University, The College of Holy Cross, University of El Salvador, and several colleges in the City University of NY system. Over twelve years at the Master’s Program in Sustainable International Development (SID) at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management of Brandeis University, Dr. Ready worked as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Assistant Director, and Associate Director. Dr. Ready also coordinated the SID practicum program and taught courses on gender, development, and culture. She was awarded the Heller School Mentoring Award in 2008.
Her experience and research has enabled her to serve as an expert witness in over thirty political asylum cases for Salvadoran women fleeing intimate partner violence and LGBT asylum seekers. Dr. Ready helped found the Salvador Miranda Language School in San Salvador and the Friends of CoMadres in the US, participated in two humanitarian caravans to El Salvador, and co-founded Congo Action Now, a group which successfully lobbied for a bill on Congo Conflict Minerals in the Massachusetts Legislation. She has presented widely on her research and sat on the council of the Gender and Feminist Studies Section of the Latin American Studies Association. Her current research on reproductive health is in Jordan where she is involved in a two year project on reproductive and sexual health practices combining a medical anthropology lens and a reproductive and sexual rights perspective with a behavioral economic methodology.