Kathleen Galligan
Kathleen Galligan Biography
Kathleen Galligan can field strip an M-16 blindfolded, staunch a bleed-out artery and move a city's heart with a video camera. She wants to do still more. Galligan is an extraordinary product of blue collar Detroit. The daughter of an immigrant carpenter, she enlisted in the Army for the education benefit and along the way qualified with rifle and grenade launcher, became a medic and bunked close enough to the Berlin Wall to hear the gunfire stopping those who risked the barrier. A single mother with two sons, Galligan in 2002 became a photojournalist with the Detroit Free Press, a newspaper with a commitment to "Children First," a multiyear program to explore the needs of children in a harsh post-industrial environment and to inform the public on their behalf. As part of that program, Galligan expanded her visual tools to include videography. Her first online documentary project, "Christ Child," was awarded a national news and documentary Emmy in 2009. Building trust and cooperation with the Michigan Department of Human Services and Christ Child - a residential treatment facility for severely abused and neglected boys- Galligan spent three unprecedented intimate years chronicling the youngsters in foster care as they struggled, healed and grew. The project drew large financial support and new volunteer mentors and tutors. Galligan specializes in social justice, mental health, poverty and juvenile justice. Her writing has captured a National Headliners Award; photography and video, numerous national and state awards and her commitment to improving the lives of foster children brought a citation from the US Department of Health and Human Services. Galligan, a past University of Michigan Knight-Wallace Fellow, is working to document the impact of the first auto-related factory to come into Detroit since the late 20th Century.