Cheri Duncan is a fifth-generation hillbilly from the Missouri Ozarks who is still a little surprised that she has lived longer in Houston, Texas (25 years and counting) than she has lived anyplace else. Growing up swimming in those cold, clear, gravel-bottomed creeks gave her one of her life’s enduring mottos: “Swimsuits are optional, but sneakers are mandatory.”
As the daughter of a railroad union member and a state extension service worker who provided nutrition counseling and other services to low-income families, a passion for social justice is woven into her DNA. She is a United Methodist by choice, having joined a congregation with a strong United Methodist Youth Fellowship program when she was a freshman in high school. The minister of that church fanned the flames of her activism and encouraged her to pursue ordained ministry. Cheri, however, never felt the “call” and instead appreciates the freedom she has as a lay member to speak out and take action. She is an active member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, a delegate to the Texas Annual Conference, and is certified as a Local Church Lay Speaker.
A former newspaper reporter with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Cheri has a continuing interest in politics and media. Today, she is an attorney in private practice.