Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “Master of Divinity”

Introducing RhondaJo Boomington

Left Coast Voices is proud to share that our Saturday slot will now feature RhondaJo Boomington. RhondaJo brings a sharp Southern wit to the team. In a recent post, I asked what we could do to improve Left Coast Voices and the lack of a woman’s voice was what seemed to be most prominent.

RhondaJo Boomington

RhondaJo hails from North Carolina and relishes her liberal life in Berkeley. The past decade has been a series of adventures as she transitioned from a fundamentalist Southern wife to a Bay Area single artist.

Though she never went to a movie theater until she was 30 years old (because it was perceived as sinful), she is now building a reputation as a stand-up lesbian comic and performance artist in Berkeley and San Francisco.

She tells me that she voted for Jesse Helms a number of times and now, though an Obama supporter, finds herself increasingly frustrated  because he’s not liberal enough.

RhondaJo grew up in an extremely conservative independent fundamental Baptist blue collar world – and remained within it until she was in her mid-30’s. Bucking the trend, she earned a BA in Sociology, and later a J.D. (she is a member of the North Carolina Bar) and a Master of Divinity degree.

She hass worked in the legal arena focusing on children’s rights, custody issues and domestic violence. As a chaplain, she’s worked in trauma hospitals, specializing in intensive care and the psychiatric units. As a counselor she’s worked in residential settings with young teenage girls who have worked in the sex trade and have been incarcerated for drugs.  Young men who are HIV positive and seniors dealing with mental health issues while transitioning into assisted living.

After an injury sidelined her a couple of years ago, she told me that she spends considerable time pondering how fundamentalists and liberals are so diametrically different but yet sometimes so weirdly similar. The only thing that she’s certain of is that she’s too Berkeley for North Carolina – but maybe too North Carolina for Berkeley.I am sure that she is quite Left Coast enough for our blogging community.

With not quite both feet in the Bay Area, RhondaJo is clear that she n ever plans to leave her beloved Berkeley. I know how you feel. Welcome Aboard, RhondaJo. I’m excited that you have joined our team.


Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).

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