“I was shaky and nervous for three days straight leading up to the meeting. I stuck to my script, and spoke for four minutes. It was not eloquent; my voice was shaky and my mind foggy. I had teary eyes, trembling hands, fidgety feet, and overwhelming fear! But I did it. I spoke, and I was not alone.”
Kori Peterson has been sharing her story in the Imperial Valley for the past several months, believing that she must do the thing she fears – public speaking – and dare to be brave for the sake of protecting life. “Bravery is doing what you fear the most because you know you must. Bravery is saving life when no one else will,” she says.
This self-assured, natural and passionate performer is no stranger to the spotlight.
Peterson, 41, is a professional dancer and choreographer turned political aficionado, who now serves as the Southern California Area Director for Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy organization with over a half a million members. She describes herself as having “a deep passion for the unborn, the infallible Word of God, and my beautiful country.” She is a woman of passion and strong conviction, confessing that whatever she does she goes “all in.”
Having spent ten years dancing for Disneyland, cruise lines, and theatres, Peterson’s life is now decidedly different. This homeschool mom oversees 22,000 representatives throughout LA, San Diego, and the Imperial counties. Her main focus is setting up prayer action chapters, with the goal of helping women become informed, to pray, and to take action on current issues.
Recently, Peterson has been traveling with her husband, Jaimie, from their home in Borrego Springs to the Valley, speaking on behalf of CWA to board members of the El Centro Hospital, urging them against sanctioning a Planned Parenthood clinic, which will allow abortions to be performed locally.
For Peterson, life is a critical issue which to defend. Her passion stems from her own abortion as a teenager, and though having found healing, an ache for the unborn lives within her. Conviction shines through her, in her voice and manner of intensity. She states, “If we don’t have life, nothing else matters.”
Peterson did not intend on becoming a director for a national organization, or having her story shared with the masses. Rather, her life is a result of taking one step at a time. After being repeatedly asked to share her story, she wrote a blog post giving the particulars on her abortion. To date, her blog has close to 100,000 page-views. Her story brought many women to her, at soccer games, in church, and during couples’ dinners, seeking help.
Since then, she has helped countless women get help, connecting them to Silent Voices, the ministry that helped her. She is quick to note that Marty Ellett with Real Hope Ministry in El Centro, uses the same curriculum as Silent Voices.
She applauds the Imperial Valley for being “overwhelmingly” the most active and pro-life county within her Southern California region, and commends the recent efforts of local churches to stop Planned Parenthood from being implemented.
Peterson does more than just lead a grassroots organization and speak on pro-life issues. She educates her two sons, Silas, 9, and Brandon, 10, and during election season, she devotes hours to researching candidates, a task that many avoid because of the time it takes. In addition, Peterson choreographs for the Miriam Dance Co, a dance ministry she began in 1995; however, she laughingly acknowledges that she is ready to pass the baton of her dance ministry onto her mentee, and devote herself wholly to political work. She jokes that her Microsoft Word program on her computer revealed much about the change in her life, from dancer to political director, when it autocorrected a word she typed, “leg,” into the word, “legislature.” She takes this as an affirmation of her new course in life, declaring the adage, “it ain’t over till it’s over.”
When asked about the impact one person can have on a community, she responded, “One vote turned Texas,” she says, “bringing it as a state into the nation.” She believes that each person can make a difference, and that anybody can be brave.
“Bravery is about being brave so that someone else may be inspired to be brave, too,” she says. This everyday woman is making an impact in her home, community, and in the whole of Southern California, as she lives with conviction and dares to be brave.
Her blog may be found at psalm30v11.blogspot.com