Karen Getman was born in the mid-west and raised in suburban Chicago during a period of radical social change when suburban teens awakened to abuse of civil and human rights beyond our closed communities. After moving to DC in the mid 70’s and briefly teaching in an elementary school, she assisted in the two-year research and production of a ten-part NEA grant-sponsored radio documentary on Women Immigrants to the US from 1850 – 1980.
In 1994, while accompanying her husband, Tom, on an NGO assignment in Jerusalem, she consulted with a Palestinian women artisans’ cooperative, gaining greater empathy for the crisis of displaced peoples and refugees. In late 2001- 2009, while living in Geneva, Switzerland (the birthplace of support and advocacy for refugees), she became increasingly committed to the need for activism in human rights and support for people in crisis. She returned to DC in 2009, continuing active local and international human rights efforts with particular emphasis on the Middle East.