Abu–Ghoush, Hanan, is the Community Advocacy Specialist of the Advocacy and Lobbying Unit at the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid Counseling (WCLAC), Jerusalem. The WCLAC is an independent non governmental organization which aims towards building a democratic Palestinian society based on principles of gender equality and social justice. Her work revolves around planning, organizing, and implementing workshops and campaigns aimed at educating, raising awareness, and politicizing women’s rights and issues related to women, such as violence and health. She is also a member of the WCLAC community research team. Originally a nurse, her work at health care facilities in refugee camps and marginalized villages for 14 years provided her a chance to learn on many levels and enriched her knowledge. In particular, the personal experiences and health conditions of her women patients and their children contributed to her understanding of discrimination and the subordination of women and the impacts of gender-based violence. Her long experience with these women inspired her to further her education in her mission to become a stronger, better informed, and more knowledgeable advocate. She completed her MA in “Gender, Law and Development" Program from Birzeit University in 2005 and presently based in Ramallah works focuses her work on application of international laws in the context of Palestinian women. She is married and is the happy mother of three lovely daughters who are aware and interested in the world around.
Basu, Srimati is an associate professor in the department of Anthropology and Women’s Studies at DePauw University, Indiana, United States. Including authoring and editing books like She Comes to Take Her Rights: Indian Women Property and Propriety and Issues in Indian Feminism: Dowry and Inheritance respectively, she long been engaged in extensive research on issues related to violence against women particularly within families and women’s human rights and has written a gamut of articles in books, journals and other short articles.Her current research interests are management of family law and family violence, beginning with Indian Family Courts and moving on to encompass other venues where marriage and domestic violence are governed by State, local agencies, and feminist as well as other kind of women’s groups. These present interests follow from her erstwhile preoccupation with issues of equity in inheritance across different classes, and on dowry and exchange in marriage. She has worked with NGOs based in India, dealing with questions of Family Law, Education, Squatter Rights and in also US locales in the shelter movement, recently engaged in working with a homeless shelter in rural Indiana. Her political activity also spans involvement in campaigns in the US dealing with anti-fundamentalisms and human rights. As a teacher, she focuses on the intersections of gender, race, development, law and research methods concentrating on framing issues cross culturally and critiquing structures of privilege.
Baum, Dalit founder of the group “Black Laundry- lesbians and gay men against the occupation of Palestine and for social justice,” (2001) has been a long time feminist activist and organizer in Palestine. Currently a visiting scholar at the Beatrice Bain Center, UC Berkley the focus of her work has been to connect the “inner” politics (social justice, “private” equal rights, anti-racism, economic justice) with the “outer” politics (nationalism, wars, national security, the military and global power regime). By bringing together lesbian feminists and gender queers, Jews and Palestinians, Ashkenazi (white, of European descent) and Mizrahi (Jews of color) in Black Laundry she and her group have strived to make visible different borders and oppressive boundaries in Israeli society and in everyday life. Emphasizing on the ironical contrasts of treason or disloyalty associated with feminism or queerness vis-à-vis loyalty associated with alliances of a militarized state with a collective national enemy, street theatres and other visual performances by her group have sought to be politically motivating. She has also been part of the founding group for an alternate women’s college (“the community school”) which provides CR and economic empowerment courses for women in underprivileged communities across Israel. This multicultural feminist project bringing together Palestinian, Ashkenazi and Mizrahi women educators, is the first feminist project in Israel to be led by a joint Mizrahi-Palestinian leadership, and the only joint Jewish-Palestinian project to have survived the first years of the second Intifada. For the past few years she has been involved in solidarity work in the West Bank with “Anarchists against Walls,” working with indigenous communities in their grassroots campaign against the Apartheid Wall being built on their land.
Bhattacharya, Rini is at present, the honorary convener of the Bhangan Pratirodh Mancha (A State-level Forum for People Centered River Erosion Management), West Bengal, India. A long time activist and movement mobilizer, she has been primarily involved with the marginalized groups of women, children and men surviving in the poverty ridden areas of eastern and north eastern rural-urban India-(covering states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Assam and the North Eastern states). The mid nineteen eighties had inspired her to relate micro level concerns with developments in the broader macro level. Her work since then, has been concerned with vulnerable women, children and men “under the surface” in the eastern Indian states of West Bengal, Orissa-Bihar (the two poorest states of the country) Jharkhand, the richest state in terms of natural resources and poorest according to both human development and gender development indices , and ... Bangladesh for one year ( 1998 - 1999), --- in the areas of health, education, production process, recognition and movement generation on the right of appropriate remuneration, processes of elevation towards socio-economic power generation - and regeneration. She has been and is associated with a gamut of organizations: SPADE, West Bengal; Child In Need Institute (CINI), West Bengal; Bengal Rural Welfare Services (BRWS), West Bengal; Utsho, Bangladesh (Dhaka); Pratibandhi (ability challenged) Kalyan Kendra (PKK), West Bengal and Nishtha, South 24 Paraganas, West Bengal. She was/is an active member of a number of state and national level right-based networks: Maitree ( a state level autonomous network of women's groups, organizations and individual gender activists), West Bengal; SWASTHAA (An Autonomous state level network on women’s right to Health), West Bengal ; West Bengal Network on Right to Food and Work, the state level people's group of the National Network; The State Branch of the National Federation of Indian Women ;Nari Shakti Manch (a state level religious and ethnic minority women's autonomous network focusing on right to 'Jal' (water) - 'Jungle' (forest) - and, 'Jamin'(land), Jharkhand ; ORUPA (Orissa Rural and Urban Producers' Association), Orissa; Orissa Voluntary Health Association (OVHA), Orissa and Ganga Bhangan Pradhirodh Action Nagarik Committee, a people's group in Maldah, West Bengal. Her work in various capacities with these organizations/networks has ranged from advocacy of women’s and children’s rights, to conducting primary researches for developing different programs of action, to training under-privileged women to cater to the market demands, to preparing intensive concept documents which serve to highlight issues of forms and degrees of violence and injustice perpetrated against women and thus be instrumental as basis for policy formation.
Comrie, Janvieve Williams is the Executive Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Community Center (LACCC), Atlanta, USA. Born and raised in the Republic of Panama, she completed her undergraduate studies in Sociology and Women Studies in Ontario, Canada. While studying in Toronto, she organized the Rooming House Working Group, which prevented rooming house tenants from being illegally evicted. On returning to Panama in 1998, her passion for community organizing flourished as a member of the National Forum of Rural Women through the University of Panama’s Women’s Research Center. Along with her cousin Gislen, she formed the first Coalition of Panamanians against Racism in 1999, which is still a very active and visible organization that continues to publicly denounce discriminatory practices in the public and private sphere in Panama. In her initial year of residing in Atlanta, Georgia she worked with homeless women, helping them to secure and guaranteed human rights. Her experiences and witnessing of discriminatory and unjust practices at an institutional and social level and the isolation and unjust racial targeting of people of Latino, African and Arabic in the United States, led to the birth of the LACCC, a small collective of concerned Afro Latinos with political and cultural ties to Latin America and the Caribbean. LACCC is an organization that fills the gap of exclusion, division and isolation faced by many African descent, low wage workers, undocumented families and immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean in United States through the building of a political and critical consciousness while using a human rights framework. Presently the Latin American and Caribbean hosts a two hour show entitled “Radio Diaspora” which has as its prime objective to be the voice of the voiceless.
D’Souza, Radha a lawyer and activist has a long history of work involving gender issues, solidarity building and networking with groups and organizations in India, New Zealand and elsewhere. She is involved in areas of democratic rights, public interest litigation and social justice activism in India and in New Zealand. At present an advisor to Shama: Hamilton Ethnic Women’s Support Network in New Zealand, she is currently involved in a research project for the Government of New Zealand on protection of women from violence. She also participates in campaign work for GATT Watchdog, an organization set up to monitor the effects of WTO agreements on people. In India, as one of the founding members of the Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights, Mumbai she has participated in a number of human rights violations inquiries in different Indian states, including Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh. Also, during her work as a public interest lawyer in Mumbai between 1975 and 1995 has been involved in defending state-marginalized sections of people in India.
Das, Mina is the secretary of NISTHA a community-based organization located in the state of West Bengal, India, founded by her mother in 1974. Drawing inspiration from her mother, she learnt to rebel against conservative patriarchal norms which pervade much of rural and urban India early in life and was among the first group of girls in her family to complete education. She completed her college in 1979 and then obtained a Bachelor of Education degree in 1980 and subsequently completed trainings in legal aid, management training under CEDPA USA, ICDS, health, nutrition and food preservation, thus equipping herself for development work for women in rural areas. Set in a rural environment characterized by poverty and lack of access to health and education, NISTHA particularly caters to the needs of women, who are the most marginalized sections of the society often bearing the double burden of poverty and cultural implications of gender in a strongly patriarchal social setting. Empowering women against forms of domestic violence ranging from diverse forms of torture in the marital and natal homes through a consciousness of their rights; providing loans for economic independence; facilitating education; imparting health training (particularly in relation to reproductive and sexual health) and organization of campaigns against burning have been the major activities of NISTHA. A major strategy of NISTHA’s has been to instill the importance of group formation and peer- pressure as a means of resistance, sustenance and generation of attitudinal changes among the women and children in the community it caters to. To this end NISTHA has formed Bahinis or armies of children (6-11 years) (Balika Bahinis), adolescents (11-18 years) (Kishori Bahinis), adult women (19-55 years) (Mohila Mondals) and senior women (above 55 years) and has been able to generate peer influence to monitor retention of especially girl children in schools, preventing the trafficking and hazardous migration of children, preventing child marriages and dowry, preventing and acting against domestic violence and facilitating the economic independence of women. As an activist, organizer and the secretary of NISTHA Ms. Das conducts training sessions for leadership, life-skills, reproductive health, group formation, group management, volunteer mobilization and networking for the leaders and other members of the groups. She has also conducted training sessions on the formation of women’s groups and group management for the participants from other NGOs of West Bengal and other states of India. She is also active in organizing protest rallies, campaigns and advocacy. Recognizing the crucial role of education, Ms Das envisages the development of innovative teaching techniques in conducting non-formal education centers, preparatory centers, bridge courses and training for the education of volunteers. In addition, she is an ASHOKA Fellow and member of the Block Education Committee (Government of West Bengal), the Block Health Committee (Govt. of West Bengal), District Level Health Committee (Govt. of India), the Governing Bodies of six women’s groups of West Bengal, Srijan Network- a national level network of NGOs working with young people and the Gender Cell of Sarba Sikshya Abhijan (Education for all) of the Government of West Bengal.
Keko'olani, Terri is an activist and community organizer doing demilitarization work in Hawaii. She is associated with the DMZ Hawai'i Aloha "Aina, a demilitarization coalition and Ohana Koa, Hawai'I, a Nuclear Free & Independent Pacific movement & NGO.
Leebaw, Bronwyn assistant professor at the department of Political Science, University of California, Riverside. As a researcher she has been concerned with the role of the human rights movement in developing international and transitional justice institutions, with a focus on the International Criminal Court and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Her research interests have had the twin foci of critiquing the tendency of human rights organizations to equate “justice” with formal persecution thus limiting their scope in addressing issues such as violence against women as well as racial, economic injustices and serving to justify military interventions and also critiquing the “therapeutic” approach of organizations such as the United Nations which have pathologized political responses to injustice and racism by acknowledging only those voices willing to speak as “victims” in need of “healing.” During her work at the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley, as part of a project that brought together researchers across lines of conflict in the former Yugoslavia to examine post-war reconstruction and human rights project, she traveled in Bosnia to meet with policymakers, human rights and women’s rights activists in 2000. She has also worked on a conference addressing injustice and wrongful imprisonment in the U.S. system and aided in grant-writing to sponsor additional center projects in Berkley and has been engaged in volunteer work for the Citizen’s Council for Criminal Justice, which lobbies for alternatives to prison for non-violent offenders and provides support to inmates and their families, and at the House of Ruth domestic violence shelter. She has taught courses in international politics, conflict resolution, human rights, political theory and feminist theory. She has received grants from the UC Berkeley Institute of International Studies and the Institute for the Study of World Politics and has published in the American Journal of Comparative Law and Contemporary Justice Review.
Mama, Amina has held the position of Chair in Gender Studies, at the African Gender Institute, University of Cape Town since 1999, where she is responsible for the intellectual leadership of the AGI. This includes the academic programs from undergraduate to doctoral level. She initiated the AGI's graduate and research programs in gender studies which she has convened for last four years, and serves as coordinator of the AGI's continental and international projects, including the G/WS Africa program (www.gwsafrica.org). Her intellectual interests center around bringing feminist theory to bear on postcolonial subjectivities, social relations, institutions and politics. She has devoted the last five years to working with colleagues to establish the AGI as a regional resource dedicated to strengthening the teaching and research in the trans-disciplinary field of gender studies in African universities. She is on the editorial team of the journal Feminist Africa (www.feministafrica.org), a publication of the African Gender Institute and the continental Feminist Studies Network. These activities are central to her work of developing and pursuing strategies about building and supporting the emergence of a more assertive feminist intellectual community in the African region. She has a range of publications directly relevant to the teaching of gender and women's studies in African institutions, notably Women's Studies and Studies of Women in Africa (CODESRIA 1996) and Engendering African Social Science (1997, co-edited with Imam and Sow, published by CODESRIA). Some of her more recent work includes Critical Capacities: Challenges of Intellectual Development in Africa (2004) and Restore, Reform, but do not Transform: Gender and Higher Education in Africa (2003).
Moore, Marjorie is the Vice President of a new organization in Harlem called BRUSH (buyers and renters united to save Harlem), which represent over 100 buildings in poor black and Latino communities. BRUSH primarily works to protect marginal communities, destabilized due to attempt of landlords to gentrify neighborhoods. Relocation of indigenous populations has particular devastating effects on women and children and BRUSH works on educating their community and public policy to prevent the wholesale eviction of women and children. In the past she has been Director of the Community Environmental Health Center at Hunter College, a small non profit that worked in the community with poor women to teach them about the hazards of lead poisoning and other toxic envirnmental chemicals that they were living with. In this capacity she was able to help form the first National Environmental Justice policy with the US Environmental Protection Agency. She has also worked with homeless women in City shelters developing their coping strategies while she and her organization helped them and their children find new housing. She is a certified Drama Therapist and has used this discipline to develop workshop activities that addressed the stress under which poor women learn to survive.
Odeh, Shatha now working with the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid Counseling (WCLAC), Jerusalem, has been a long time activist, concerned with health practices and policy.
Pro Santana, Martha works with the women of afro-descendents and particularly in issues relating to the manner in which they participate as subjects in the social organizations. She is concerned about issues related with identity and ethnicity, and with their health, education and employment.
Saroor, Shreen Abdul is one of the founders of Mannar Women’s Development Federation (MWDF), which addresses the needs of women victims of war in the north of Sri Lanka. Ms. Saroor’s interest and work grew out of her experience of being made a refugee, along with all of her family, in 1990 by the militant group fighting for a separate Tamil state. MWDF came from her idea that Muslim and Tamil women have common ground that could heal and resurrect the past peace common in these northern communities. Today, 62 village women’s groups (mixes of Tamil and Muslim) now work with micro-credit programs and education programs. MWDF gained national and international visibility after a peace campaign secured 50,000 women’s signatures calling on the militant leader and the President to immediately end hostilities in 2000. Ms. Saroor assisted in the implementation of the Shakti gender equality program sponsored by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), which assisted in engaging both the government and non-profit organizations to develop and influence gender sensitive politics and legislation. She is most proud of her work to promote the political rights of female migrant domestic workers, which is also the most challenging as many governments like the U.S. and Canada have reservations on the UN Convention of the Protection of the Rights of Migrants and Their Family Members. She also coordinated CIDA’s Human rights and Peace building funds. In 2004 she was selected for a Peacemaker award by the Joan B Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, University of San Diego California for her outstanding contribution towards organizing war-affected women. Currently she is an Echoing Green fellow ( 2005-07) and working on a program that resettles internally displaced women in north part of Sri Lanka. This program focuses on reconciliation based on coexistence by resettling mix communities that once lived together.
Sengupta, Soma is the founder Director of Sanhita, the pioneering Gender Resource Center for women in Eastern India, set up through an independent fellowship from Ashoka Foundation in 1996 as part of a post-Beijing initiative of collaborative efforts amongst women activists and organizations in West Bengal, India. Working from within the women’s movement Sanhita was borne out of her vision to combine the specificity of an activist’s perspective with the broad planning and action needed to disseminate information to the entire spectrum of actors engaged in women’s rights. Focusing on the issue of women’s rights and extending the borders of gender to incorporate larger structural issues of rights discriminations, violations and violence that affects other marginalized communities, Sanhita works through advocacy, research, policy intervention, human rights education, training & capacity building and processes of legal reform. With an emphasis on collective efforts to fight injustices against women Sanhita has sought to partner and build alliances alliance with groups, networks, grassroots organizations, institutions within the city (Kolkata) and the region (eastern India) and was one of the first groups that came together in the formation of Maitree, a network of individuals and representatives of organizations working together on gender and women’s issues in West Bengal. With nearly two decades of experience in social development specializing on extensive gender training (conducted with national and international organizations), research, publishing and policy development, gathered through working with and at grass roots, policy, statutory and grant making levels, she has been one of leading activists and researchers working for and on women in Eastern India. Member of diverse committees at the state and at the national level, such as Central Committee on Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace, National Legal Reform Expert Committee, Committee for Draft Bill on Sexual Harassment, Complaints Committees in a number of Government-both West Bengal and Central-Departments Public Sector Undertakings, she has been actively engaged in policy discussions and prevention of diverse kinds of gendered violence in general and sexual harassment in particular. She is also the co-founder of Sanlaap a human rights organization engaged in activities around prevention of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of young girls. Support Services to Counter Violence against Women in Calcutta and West Bengal: A Resource Directory in Bengali and English, The Invisible Reality: a survey on Sexual Harassment at Workplace at Academic Institution and Gender Dimensions in HIV/AIDs : A preliminary mapping of State AIDS Societies of West Bengal and Bihar and their Targeted Intervention Partners 2002 are some of her research projects and publications.
Simmons, Aishah Shahidah is an award-winning African-American feminist lesbian independent documentary filmmaker, television and radio producer, published writer, international lecturer, and activist based in Philadelphia, PA. In 1992, Aishah Shahidah Simmons founded AfroLez® Productions, LLC, an AfroLez® femcentric multimedia arts company committed to using the moving image, the written and spoken word to address those issues which have a negative impact on marginalized and disenfranchised people. Coined in 1990 by Aishah, AfroLez®femcentric defines the culturally conscious role of Black women who identify as Afrocentric, lesbian, and feminist. For three years she co-produced two monthly public television programs for WYBE-TV35, a PBS affiliate in Philadelphia. The shows were Out of the Closet (Voices from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender [lgbt] communities in the Delaware Valley) and ON! Sistahs (Voices from women of African descent in the Americas)—for WYBE-TV35 a PBS affiliate in Philadelphia. All of the co-producers on Out of the Closet were LGB people of Color and all of the co-producers of ON! Sistahs were Diapsoric African women from the US, Latin America, and the Caribbean. An incest and rape survivor, her internationally acclaimed short videos Silence…Broken and In My Father’s House, explore the issues of race, gender, homophobia, rape, and misogyny. She is the producer, writer, and director of the feature length documentary NO! (www.NOtherapeDocumentary.org), which had its world premiere at the 2006 Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, California. Through intimate testimonies from Black women victim/survivors, commentaries from acclaimed African-American scholars and community leaders including impacting archival footage, spirited music, dance, and performance poetry, NO! unveils the reality of rape, other forms of sexual violence, and healing in African-American communities. Eleven years in the making this ground-breaking documentary explores how the collective silence about acts of rape and other forms of sexual assault adversely affects African-Americans, while simultaneously encouraging dialogue to bring about healing and reconciliation between all men and women. She has written numerous articles on the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality on the lives of African-American women, for journals and anthologies that have been published in the United States and in Europe. Aishah has screened her work, lectured on the impact of the intersections of oppressions on women of Color, and facilitated workshops on the process of making grassroots social change documentaries to racially and ethnically diverse audiences at community centers, colleges/universities, high schools, juvenile correctional facilities, rape crisis centers, battered women’s shelters, conferences, and film festivals across the United States, throughout Europe, and in South Africa.
Simmons, Zoharah (Gwendolyn) is a muslim feminist activist and scholar with a history of diverse engagements with culturally heterogeneous intersections of gender race and religious issues. She is currently an assistant professor at the University of Florida. Since her early college years she sought to historically and politically contextualize the African American struggles for justice and dignity going on across the South and her ongoing stint with activism began during the early years of the Civil Rights Movement with her involvement in the African American Civil Rights. Starting her Civil Rights career as a Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Volunteer in 1962, she was elected to the SNCC Coordinating Committee as one of two representatives of the Atlanta University Student Civil Rights organization – The Committee on Appeal for Human Rights and was subsequently arrested and jailed for her commitments in Atlanta. She continued her fight against Apartheid in Mississippi the heartland of anti-African American racism, to become the Project Director of SNCC’s Laurel Mississippi Summer Project and was instrumental in instituting the first anti-sexual harassment policy in SNCC. She was one of the members of the Atlanta Project of SNCC, which developed the intellectual basis for the Black Power thrust in SNCC, (their paper published in full in the New York Times and labeled as SNCC’s Position Paper on Black Power, can be found in Joanne Grant’s Black Protest: History, Documents, and Analysis 1619 to the Present,). In 1967, she joined the staff of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) as the Mid-West Field Coordinator of their Project WomanPower, one of the first feminist projects funded by the Ford Foundation. She worked for 23 years with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) being based in their International headquarters in Philadelphia, Pa. As part of her work for the AFSC she spent two months in South East Asia after the Vietnam War as a member of a fact-finding delegation to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia and also led the AFSC’s delegation to the Fourth UN Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. She is a Sufi scholar and has a deep spiritual side to her personality which parallels her activities toward creating a gender, economically and socially just world. After spending 17 years studying Sufism with her spiritual guide, Sheikh Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyadeen, a Sufi Master from Sri Lanka, she became a founding member of the Bawa Muhaiyadeen Fellowship and Mosque. Her renewed understanding of Islam under the aegis of her spiritual guide led her on to a deeper study of the religion which embraced and affirmed gender justice, social justice, and economic justice, contrary to her erstwhile knowledge of Islam. She completed her PhD degrees in the Religion Department at Temple University. Funded by Fullbright and NMERTA pre dissertation fellowships she conducted extensive ethnographic research in Jordan, Syria, Palestine and Egypt towards the completion of her project on The Islamic Law of Personal Status and Its Contemporary Impact On Women In Jordan. She has subsequently been a scholar and activist on the right of Muslim women and expecially those of African American descent. By traveling to Israel-Palestine on peace delegations with The Interreligious Committee on Middle East Peace and Quaker International Working Party on Middle East Peace and subsequent documentation and extensive writing she has been active in attempts to influence the US governments policies on the Isralei occupation of Palestine.
Sivamohan, Sumathy lecturer at the Department of English, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, is both a feminist activist who uses mediums of theatre, poetry, film, dance and creative writing to draw out the marginal voices suppressed and intimidated within the tension ridden atmosphere of ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, and a teacher of literature, theatre and theory. Her work set amidst the interplay of forces of the Sinhalese government and counter forces of the Tamil groups pitting different ethnic groups against each other, is based on a deeper investigation of oppression and violence by the nation state. Co-recipient of Gratiaen Trust Awards for her plays In the Shadow of the Gun (a one-woman show widely performed nationally and internationally) and The Wicked Witch in 2001, much of her work seeks to portray women as agents of change and resistance in the backdrop of militarization and other forms of suppression. She has been involved in producing, directing and acting in a gamut of plays on feminist themes such as Mounathin Nillahil, Nagamadala(m), Wanted Woman and An Old Wives Tale. Among her various written and/or directed films, her Tamil language film Piralayam (Upheaval) depicting the struggle of a lone woman amidst the back drop of militarization and natural disasteris a product of her work with the Batticaloa collective on child conscription. Among other work she has done one-woman shows at activist events; been actively involved with displaced Sri Lankan and Tamil women (crystallized in the collective paper Movement and Citizenship); is an active participant in the efforts of her department in the University of Peradeniya in their programs of translation dealing with the complex postcolonial linguistic conflicts between Sinhala, Tamil and English languages and is actively involved in seeking to develop a mobilizational structure and process in Sri Lanka by the use of film and theatre. She has authored several academic and semi-academic journal papers, newspaper articles and translation besides the book Thin Veils: In the Shadow of the Gun & Wicked Witch performing Act/isvism and the monograph Militants, Militarism and the Crisis of (Tamil) Nationalism and is working on her novel For theirs shall be the kingdom.
Talcott, Molly is a PhD student at the Department of Sociology, University of California Santa Barbara with a vision of effecting change through scholar-activism. Her joint endeavors of scholarship and activism primarily centers on the investigation of gendered, racialized, and class-based inequalities on an international scale and particularly in the context of “globalization” or, transnational social transformations. Inspired by the concept of knowledge and information formation through exchange and sharing of experiences and insights among people in local communities she has been a participant of the community media movement since 1996. Her participations include involvement in the production of the original, weekly news and public affairs radio program Voices for Global Justice, aired on KCSB-FM 91.9 in Santa Barbara (www.kcsb.org)formed in response to the 2001 US Invasion of Afghanistan; co-production of Newshole (2001-2002), an original news show on KCSB; being coordinator and instructor for the Youth Radio Project (in association with KCSB and Upward Bound), which involved the participation of youth from underrepresented communities in the production of radio programs on topics ranging from war and the military recruitment of youth., the criminalization of youth of color, sexuality education and LGBT rights, women in hip-hop, the use of ethnic mascots in schools, the ‘war on drugs’ and so on and working with the organization RadioActive (www.radioactive.org.uk) to build a community radio station and give workshops on radio production in the Mixteco community of Yukubey de Cuitlahuac, Oaxaca, Mexico. Her doctoral research project is dedicated to collecting and analyzing the narratives of women living in Southern Mexico who are resisting, in a variety of ways, the neoliberal Plan Puebla Panama (PPP) mega-development project(s) connected to the North American Border Action Plan (ASPAN in Spanish), which is key to the “NAFTA-plus” plan for North American economic and “security” integration. She thus deals with the militarized practices of enforcement and aims create through her study newer narratives of social justice, human rights and alternative development disseminated in the form of written publication and radio programs.
Trigona, Marie is part of Grupo Alavio (www.alavio.org) , a political, video and direct action collective which participates in working class struggles and supports them with audiovisual materials. The group has produced over 50 films dealing with social conflicts, unemployed worker organizations, political prisoners, Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, state repression, inner violence, subway workers struggling for a 6 hour workday, art and imperialism. Marie Trigona’s participation in Alavio and social conflicts in Argentina have sharpened her interests in political organizing with particular focus on the differences in organizing in the first and third worlds. She is at present a reporter for Free Speech Radio News; a regular contributor of commentaries such as Argentina: Repression Made Easy (09/28/2005) to Znet (www.zmag.org); has published articles with NACLA-Report on Americas, Z Magazine, Colorlines-Race and Culture Magazine, Left Turn, IRC-Interhemispheric Resource Center and Clamor Magazine among others.
Wilson, Alissa S. is a researcher on Ethics at Tufts University. She travels the country interviewing people engaged in innovative work for social change as part of the Practical Idealism project. Alissa is a recent graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University where in addition to studying conflict resolution and community development she brought together practitioners working on the creation of post conflict legal systems. Much of Alissa’s work has centered on conflict issues. She interned at the Carter Center conflict resolution program during her time at Fletcher, performed research on children and conflict at both the United Nations and the Centre for Democracy and Development in Lagos, Nigeria where she also acted as an election monitor. Alissa has also been a Jane Addams fellow at the Center on Philanthropy where she focused on the need to expand the idea of the public in the Center‘s definition of philanthropy- “voluntary action for the public good” as well as the role of NGOs in informing the international community about natural resource industries and conflict. It was also through this fellowship that Alissa was able to attend the World Social Forum in Porto Allegre. Alissa has facilitated conflict resolution and problem solving workshops for at risk youth in Indianapolis and Port Harcourt, Nigeria. She has also recently recommitted to having dance in her life. Alissa holds a MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University and a BA from Amherst College.
Wilson, Amrit a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom, is a writer and activist on issues of gender and race in Britain and on South Asian politics. She has focused much of her written work around the struggles of South Asian women in Britain. Her recent book Dreams, Questions, Struggles-South Asian Women in Britain for example looks at the multiplicity of struggles, individual and collective, through which South Asian women in Britain, across divisions of class, community, age and religion, are seeking to take control of their lives in the backdrop of the roles played by the British state, the pressures of the market and the of the politics of South Asia in reshaping gender relations over the last thirty years. She also explores in this venture the reconfigured South Asian masculinities and the interaction of institutionalized racism and South Asian patriarchy in the context of immigration policy, state interventions and psychiatry and narrates a whole range of pertinent issues from the experiences of low-paid Asian workers in the global market to the deconstruction of contemporary British South Asian weddings. As an activist she has been founder member of South Asia Solidarity Group, which been involved in issues ranging from campaigning against fundamentalist Hindutva organizations’ fund-raising in the diaspora, supporting the cause of undocumented workers and South Asian and migrant workers’ strikesandsupporting and publicizing the work of democratic movements and human rights groups in South Asia.She is also a member of collective of Asian Women Unite!, a network of Asian women’s organizations which has campaigned against racist immigration laws and human rights abuses in the context and has mobilized South Asian women in movements against imperialism and war. Her other work involves chairpersonship of Imkaan , a charity representing a network of 40 South Asian and Black women’s refuges all over Britain, which is involved in research and documentation aiming to influence the current redrawing of government welfare policies in a neo-liberal and authoritarian framework.
Wilson, Karen is a performer (Singer-Storyteller), scholar and teaching artist who was born in Harlem, New York of Virginian parentage. She has traveled and performed with Pete Seeger and her performance of Paul Laurence Dunbar's "The Party" was broadcast on PBS as part of the "Favorite Poem Project". She was a member of the famous Edward Boatner Chorale. As a member of Blue Wing Dance Co. she premiered "Haunted Red" with them at the Merce Cunningham Studio in New York City during their 1999 season. Karen sings music across the spectrum of the African Diaspora in the United States including spirituals, calls, hollers, jazz, blues and rhythm and blues. She collected and premiered “A Tribute To Blueswomen: Beauty and the Blues” with her group, Blue Wave – New York. With Blue Wave – West, she created and premiered, “The Cool Intellectuality of Wise Women’s Blues: Ida Cox and Friends”. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from North Carolina School of the Arts, and an M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University (NYC) in Music Education and where she also carried out advanced study in the teaching of literature and communication. She also holds an M.A. in History from the University of California, Riverside where she has been a Presidential Fellow and a member of a Mellon Foundation Interdisciplinary Workshop in the Humanities on Intellectual Activity Outside of the Academy: Self-Trained Thinkers, Activists, and Artists in the African Diaspora. She has spoken and presented on the intellectual and cultural life in the African American Slave Quarter Community on college campuses across the United States. She is currently completing doctoral work that identifies African intellectual and cultural presence in the United States and Caribbean in US History and links it to World History. She also writes on African American women and their beautiful Blues. In 2004, Karen narrated Tchaikovsky’s Peter and the Wolf with the Orchestra of the University of California, Riverside for the “Musical Menagerie” Family Concert, serving as co-Mistress of Ceremonies with conductor Ruth Charloff. Karen has told stories at Clearwater's Hudson River Revival, New York's Metropolitan Museum, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and it's Central Park Zoo and the Museum of Fine Arts in Ponce, Puerto Rico. She pioneered the teaching of African-American Vocal History for the Symphony Space Arts-in-Education Program in the New York City public schools, was Artist-in-Residence at the Elizabeth Morrow School in Englewood, New Jersey and has held residencies in public and independent schools across the United States.
Xavier, Tamara is a Haitian-American interdisciplinary artist. She is also the Co-producer and Director of Choreography of NO!, a groundbreaking film that breaks the collective silence of intra-racial rape in the Black community. Ms. Xavier credits the film director Tina Morton, who invited her to collaborate on her (Ms. Morton's) award winning choreopoem short, If You Call Them, for the opportunity, to showcase traditional, Haitian Vodou dance in the context it was made for -- to ask for guidance from the ancestors and resist cultural amnesia. , how are academics and how are activists contributing to the struggle for full human rights? As a Ph.D. candidate in Dance at Temple University (Philadelphia, PA), Ms. Xavier seeks to understand how are academics and how are activists contributing to the struggle for full human rights in these days and times of resistance language and method appropriation.
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