Eileen Flanagan (Botswana 1984-86) is a Quaker writer and activist. Her new memoir, Renewable: One Woman’s Search for Simplicity, Faithfulness, and Hope, tells the story of how living in an African village shaped her worldview and the difficultly she experienced trying to live simply back in the United States, especially after having children. Returning to southern Africa for her fiftieth birthday and learning how climate change was already affecting the region was part of what lead her to handcuff herself to the White House fence upon her return home. The book has been endorsed by Bill McKibben and other prominent environmentalists.
Her previous book, The Wisdom to Know the Difference, was endorsed by the Dalai Lama. A graduate of Duke and Yale, Eileen leads the board of Earth Quaker Action Team, which uses nonviolent direct action to work for a just and sustainable economy. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two teenagers.
Here is a photo of Eileen with her long time friend and neighbor, Mmadithapelo Ditirwa, who is a major figure in this memoir.