By Emily Farwell
Casselton, N.D., native Kathryn Kottenbrock is an advocate for homeless women in the Fargo-Moorhead area
Kottenbrock, a women’s and gender studies major, was inspired to learn about the invisible women who were negatively affected by the Red River Valley flood of 2009 through her internship with the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless. She engaged in advocacy work for people who were homeless and was asked if she wanted to be involved in a research project about how the flood of 2009 affected women.
Kottenbrock was surprised by the lack of previous research on marginalized populations. There is a lot of literature that focuses on the plight of middle-class people. Her research provides insight on work that needs to be done to protect vulnerable populations in the Red River Valley. “Nobody wants to be forgotten,” Kottenbrock said. “I hope people will stop and realize that we all need to take the time to make sure these people are remembered, especially in a time of crises.”
Kottenbrock, who is still researching the flood and homeless women, will demonstrate the need for advocacy and promote some ideas for change. She hopes to discover benefits for those who are affected the most by natural disasters in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
One of Kottenbrock’s goals is to educate others on small steps that can be taken to help everyone in our community. She also hopes to identify other unmet needs and explore new policies.
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