Amy Bracken

Amy Bracken (Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management – SATIIM): Amy is a long-time journalist with a passion for exploring the natural world, learning about different cultures, and sharing her craft. After graduating from Columbia University’s School of Journalism in 2003, Amy moved to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where she spent two years reporting for Reuters, the Associated Press and other outlets. She then split her time between Haiti and her hometown, Boston, where she worked as a freelance producer at the public radio program The World. She also spent a year in Valdez, Alaska, running the newsroom of a small radio station and reporting on ongoing effects and litigation relating to the 1989 Exxon-Valdez oil spill. At the time of her fellowship Amy was studying for a Masters degree at the Fletcher School, Tufts University. After her fellowship Amy wrote: “I learned a lot from being in a place so culturally different from anywhere I’ve ever been. I saw little racial tension, little class distinction, little materialism, but also major problems like lack of education and economic opportunities.”


30 Jul

Nuguchi… that’s Garifuna for ‘my father.’ I wasn’t going to blog about this because it’s personal and hard to write about, but it feels strange not to. The snake (which we’ve concluded was a boa after all) wasn’t the only thing I found when I got back from the park patrol. I also learned that my father had had a stroke Wednesday morning. He spent two days in the emergency room of Mass. General Hospital before finally being transferred to the neurology department. He’s in stable condition, lucid as ever, in very good hands and surrounded by friends and family, but it feels strange (bad) for me to not be there, and whether I should be or not is an unresolved issue.

When we spoke on the phone the night of the stroke, he asked about my visit to the park and about any other planned adventures. In fact, he’s part of the reason I’m here, in Belize, on an Advocacy Project fellowship. He’s an environmental lawyer who works in, among other things, wetlands conservation and preservation of historically significant neighborhoods. He taught my brothers and me by example to value the environment, and he taught us outdoor sports and took us on wilderness adventures for vacation. He also gave us the sense that it’s worth fighting big corporations on issues that matter.

I spent my last evening in the States with my dad and brothers, playing tennis and going out to dinner – a tradition we work through our busy schedules to ensure happens at least once or twice a year. Since then, he’s been reading my blog (I know he’s reading this), and sending responses through his amazing assistant, Doug. We’ve talked some, including about spending the last days of the summer on Martha’s Vineyard together.

Of course, I’m hoping for more tennis games and swimming, but I know that first it will be a long struggle through rehab for my dad to return to that place. And at times like this you see that you can’t take anything for granted. What’s reassuring is to know that my dad is someone who works hard for what matters. The hard work starts today. I got word that he’s been transferred to Spaulding Rehab Hospital. Here’s sending you all my love and support, Dad.


Dad and brother Mark in Valdez, Alaska

Posted By Amy Bracken

Posted Jul 30th, 2011


  • Michelle G.

    July 31, 2011


    Amy, I am very grateful for your entries. Thank you for sharing such a tender and meaningful piece about your father and the inspiration (and resilience & compassion) behind your advocacy work! I will keep him, your family, and his caretakers, in my thoughts and prayers. As always, I am proud to call you friend, and proud to know a little more about the man who raised you to be the politically and culturally astute woman you are! Peace, blessings, hugs, and humbly yours, Michelle

    • Amy Bracken

      August 1, 2011


      Goodness, Michelle. So good of you to read and be so sweet and thoughtful.

  • iain

    August 1, 2011


    This is a pretty brave blog post, Amy. Our thoughts are with you and your Dad.

  • Stacie Bracken

    August 1, 2011


    You have such a gift with words Amy. You are an amazingly talented and courageous woman- we are all so proud of you and can’t wait to see you in a couple of weeks. All our love, SMGGPP

    • Amy Bracken

      August 1, 2011


      Wow, thanks, Stacie. That’s so sweet.

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