Juliet Cutler is a writer, an educator, and a designer of award-winning exhibits for museums, parks, and cultural centers throughout the world. Her teaching career began in Tanzania in 1999, and since that time she has been an activist for girls’ education worldwide.
Cutler’s literary and professional publications now number more than two dozen, and she has taught writing in many settings including as adjunct faculty for the College of St. Scholastica in Minnesota. Selections from her memoir, "Among the Maasai," have appeared in English and in Dutch translation in the Netherlands. In 2009, she was selected by "Orion Magazine" to participate in their annual writing workshop, and in 2013, she participated in a writer’s residency at La Muse in Labastide-Esparbairenque, France. In 2019, The Serenbe Institute for Art, Culture, and the Environment will honor Cutler as a Serenbe Fellow—a distinction given to nationally recognized thought leaders, scholars, and artists.
Cutler holds an MA in English from Colorado State University and a BS in education from the University of North Dakota.
Among the Maasai: A Memoir
In 1999, Juliet Cutler leaves the United States to teach at the first school for Maasai girls in East Africa. Captivated by the stories of young Maasai women determined to get an education in the midst of a culture caught between the past and the future, she seeks to empower and support her students as they struggle to define their own fates.
Cutler soon learns that behind their shy smiles and timid facades, her Maasai students are much stronger than they appear. For them, adolescence requires navigating a risky world of forced marriages, rape, and genital cutting, all in the midst of a culture grappling with globalization. In the face of these challenges, these young women believe education offers hope, and so, against all odds, they set off alone—traveling hundreds of miles and even forsaking their families—simply to go to school.
Twenty years of involvement with this school and its students reveal to Cutler the important impacts of education across time, as well as the challenges inherent in tackling issues of human rights and extreme poverty across vastly different cultures. Working alongside local educators, Cutler emerges transformed by the community she finds in Tanzania and by witnessing the life-changing impact of education on her students.