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Ruth Chojnacki worked to protect Central American refugees from deportation back to their countries at war in the 1980s. She founded the National Security Archives in Washington, DC, to open public access to U.S. foreign policy documents released under the Freedom of Information Act. While working with the diocesan Human Rights Center in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Mexico, she conducted field study among Mexico's highland Maya for a University of Chicago Ph.D dissertation, Indigenous Apostles, published in March, 2010. She holds an M.Div. degree and teaches ethics and other courses to Spanish-speaking deacon candidates for the Instituto de Liderazgo Pastoral, Archdiocese of Chicago.