Melody Ermachild Chauvis
For 32 years, Private Investigator Melody Ermachild Chauvis worked on capital case appeals and trials for the defense. Currently, she serves as consulting investigator to the Death Penalty Clinic at U. C. Berkeley Law School. Her search for the roots of violence led to the writing of her first book, Altars In The Street (Bell Tower, 1997), and many essays. Melody’s work for social change is sustained by her Buddhist practice. She is a long-time student at Berkeley Zen Center, and has helped to develop socially-engaged Buddhism in the U.S. through her work with Buddhist Peace Fellowship and the Buddhist Alliance for Social Engagement. In early 2002, she traveled to Afghanistan, where she used her investigative skills to research the biography, MEENA, The Martyred Founder of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, (St. Martin's Press, 2003). Sales of the book benefit RAWA's medical and educational work for women and children.