Author

Gretchen Eick

Gretchen Eick

After 14 years as a foreign and military policy lobbyist in Washington, D.C., Gretchen Eick earned a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas and became a professor of history at Friends University. Awarded two Fulbright Scholar awards (to Latvia and Bosnia and Herzegovina) and a Fulbright Hays travel grant to South Africa, she is the author of seven books, two scholarly histories, four novels and a book of short stories. Her book on the civil rights movement, "Dissent in Wichita: The Civil Rights Movement in the Midwest, 1954-1972" (University of Illinois Press, 2001/2007) won three awards, resulted in two museum exhibits, and in 2009 a Telly-winning documentary film about the first successful student-led sit-in, the 1958 Dockum Drug Store Sit-in in Wichita. Eick’s 2020 book, "They Met at Wounded Knee: The Eastmans’ Story" (University of Nevada Press) is a history of U.S. policy toward Indigenous Americans and a double biography of the Dakota physician/writer/activist Charles Ohiyesa Eastman and his Anglo wife, Elaine Goodale Eastman, also a writer and activist. The Eastmans spent their lives working to reform Indian policy. From 2017 to 2020 she taught half a year in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, living the other half in Wichita, Kansas, where she and her husband, Mike Poage, run an independent press, Blue Cedar Press, publishing fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

OPINION
Justice is represented in a 22-foot marble sculpture at the Kansas Judicial Center in Topeka. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Death penalty must fall as Kansas reckons with violent racial past

By: - May 16, 2022

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Gretchen Eick is an author, educator and publisher in Wichita. Kansas has a violent racial history, and the death penalty just might stand as that history’s […]

OPINION

Kansas history encompasses radical activists of all stripes, including the reddest

By: - March 13, 2022

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Gretchen Eick is an author, educator and publisher in Wichita. Most Americans view Kansas as the reddest of Republican “red states.” The mystery, however, is why […]

OPINION
A school board member and two classroom teachers explore for the Kansas Reflector podcast their views of sweeping K-12 education reform legislation pending at the Capitol in Topeka. The agenda includes a law making it easier to ban books or label classroom or library books as potentially harmful to children. (FangXiaNuo/Getty Images)

The new white flight: banning books that reveal uncomfortable truths

By: - November 29, 2021

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Gretchen Eick is an author, educator and publisher in Wichita. Once again, Texas is throwing its weight around like an overgrown and intimidating bully. As the […]

OPINION

History recycled in this year’s Kansas school board elections

By: - November 1, 2021

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Gretchen Eick is an author, educator and publisher in Wichita. Don’t sleep through the elections Nov. 2! Across the United States, and in Kansas City and […]

OPINION

Have Americans joined the two-thirds world?

By: - October 6, 2021

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Gretchen Eick is an author, educator and publisher in Wichita. Since college, I have heard from people raised in other countries that Americans are uniquely optimistic […]

OPINION

Don’t let Kansas legislators discriminate when they redraw political boundaries

By: - July 28, 2021

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Gretchen Eick is an author, educator and publisher in Wichita. Nov. 3, 2020, saw the highest turnout of voters in U.S. history. Now, at least 18 […]