Barbara Wien has taught alternatives to war and violence at six universities, and delivered peace seminars in 58 countries. She has worked to stop human rights abuses, protected civilians from death squads in conflict zones, and led eight nonprofit organizations. She is the author of numerous articles, study guides and books, including PEACE AND WORLD ORDER STUDIES, a pioneering curriculum guide for university professors, which sold over 10,000 copies and is now in its 7th edition. She is named in Amy Goodman’s book Exceptions to the Rulers, and in The Progressive magazine for speaking truth to power. Her media appearances include The Washington Post, NBC Nightly News, Australian Public Broadcasting, Nuclear Times magazine, and The Harold Saunders Show and radio interviews in India, Uganda, Zambia, Palestine-Israel, and Australia. Her areas of expertise are civic engagement, grassroots nonviolent movements, and gender equity. She is currently a professorial lecturer in the School of International Service at American University in Washington. D.C.
Stellan Vinthagen is a Professor of Sociology and a scholar-activist. Vinthagen is the Inaugural Endowed Chair in the Study of Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Resistance and Director of the Resistance Studies Initiative at The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, U.S.A. He is also a researcher in his native Sweden at The Department of Social and Behavioral Studies, University West, and at The School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, where he is leading the Resistance Studies Program. He is an academic advisor to the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) with a PhD in Peace and Development Research from University of Gothenburg (2005).Vinthagen researches resistance, power, social movements, nonviolent action and social change. He has written or edited ten books, the latest being A Theory of Nonviolent Action – How Civil Resistance Works (ZED Books, 2015). Vinthagen is also author or co-author of numerous articles, e.g. “Sovereign Power, Disciplinary Power and Biopower: Resisting What Power With What Resistance?” 2014 (with M. Lilja) in Journal of Political Power; and “Dimensions of Everyday Resistance: An Analytical Framework”, Critical Sociology 2014 (with A. Johansson), and “Legal Mobilization and Resistance Movements as Social Constituents of International Law”, Finnish Yearbook of International Law 2013.
Oscar Lopez Rivera, commonly referred to as “the Mandela of the Americas,” was born in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico on January 6, 1943. His family moved to the U.S. when he was an adolescent and he was drafted into the U.S. Army. His service in Vietnam earned him the Bronze Star. When he returned from the war in 1967, he set to work organizing to improve the quality of life for all Puerto Rican. Eventually, Rivera and other young Puerto Ricans decided to work for Puerto Rican independence in a clandestine manner. Rivera was arrested in 1981 and ultimately sentenced to 55 years for the thought crime of seditious conspiracy. He was held in super-maximum security prisons in the U.S. – conditions which the International Red Cross has called the equivalent of torture. During his incarceration, he became a prolific artist and writer. His book, Between Torture and Resistance contains a forward by South African Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Since his release in 2017, he has been treated as a dignitary and beloved representative of the Puerto Rican people around the world.
The National Boricua Human Rights Network works on housing, health, education and employment initiatives for the people of Puerto Rico and those in the diaspora. The most recent successful campaign of the organization was the freeing of Oscar Lopez Rivera after 36 years of incarceration for dreaming of independence for Puerto Ricans. Currently, it is working on issues of urban agriculture, career pathways, restorative justice and young parenting programming. This organization is the voice of Puerto Ricans across the U.S., making the needs of its people evident for all to see.
Dr. Anthony Monteiro is internationally recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on W.E.B. DuBois and the Black left radical tradition, He was a fixture on the campus of Temple University in Philadelphia for more than a decade. His lectures, publications, annual W.E.B. DuBois symposia, community engagement, leadership in the movement to free Mumia Abu Jamal, and other activism made him an indispensable figure at Temple University, in Philadelphia, and in the Black scholarly community more generally.
Before Temple University, he was for 15 years a tenured Sociology Professor at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. As a scholar and educator, he is world-renowned. He established the annual W.E.B. DuBois symposium to bring together scholars and activists from all over the world to not only celebrate DuBois’s great contributions to the fields of sociology, anthropology, political philosophy, and race theory, but also to engage communities in an understanding of DuBois’s relevance today. It is this connection between “the Academy” and the lives of working people, the poor and the otherwise marginalized that truly illustrates what he is about.
Monteiro has published over one hundred articles and essays in a wide variety of journals and publications, engaging wide-ranging fields of study including sociology, critical theory, African and African-American studies, and a host of other disciplines.
Nyamal Tutdeal also known as Mal (meaning peace) is a former refugee from South Sudan who was resettled in Sioux Falls, SD with her mother and siblings. Nyamal received her Bachelor of Arts in Human Relations from Doane University in 2015, and a Master of Arts in International Peace and Conflict Resolution with a concentration in Non-governmental organization Management and Social Entrepreneurship from Arcadia University in December of 2017. She has also started her own NGO: https://www.nyaedenfoundation.org/ that works to provide resources to promote self-sufficiency to women and children throughout Africa. Nyamal has worked with various immigrants, refugees, youth and women groups both domestic and internationally. She has become a notable public speaker on refugee, migrants, youth, and gender issues. Nyamal is a civil society leader who has been advocating for change in the South Sudanese community here in the USA. She led rallies during the South Sudanese referendum. She also hosted numerous events in the South Sudanese and Americans circles. Her advocacy work took her to the White House where she advocated for Refugee and Migrant issues through Lutheran Immigration Refugee Services (LIRS) during President Obama’s second term in office. She is a next generation peacemaker.
Layla Hazaineh, a junior at Swarthmore, comes from a Palestinian refugee family and grew up in Amman, Jordan. Her father’s side of the family is Christian and her mother’s side is Muslim, so she was raised in an inter-faith context. However, she was pressured to wear the headscarf and she writes about the courage it took to remove her headscarf. As a Jordanian-Palestinian feminist, has created a series of videos tackling women’s issues in Arab societies. Hazaineh began the vlogging (or video blogging) project in response to a Jordanian YouTuber who published a video last year claiming that harassment and assault is primarily caused by what women wear. As a result, Layla’s videos have now been viewed by millions of people worldwide, challenging a public domain where female voices had largely been missing, and at such a young age, she is already a source of tremendous hope and inspiration for countless Arab girls. She has also received significant speaking invitations around the country and world already, and after a talk she gave at the Arab American Institute in Washington, D.C. last spring, AAI offered her an internship, where she spent this summer working on civil rights issues related to Arab-Americans. She is a next generation peacemaker.
Mahdis Azarmandi completed her PhD in September 2017 at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago. Mahdis has published on the politics of memorialization in Spain, including “Commemorating No-bodies – Christopher Columbus and the Violence of Social-forgetting” and “Colonial Redux: When Re-naming Silences – Antonio Lopez y Lopez and Nelson Mandela”, together with co-author Roberto D. Hernandez. She is one of the editors of the book Decolonize the City! Zur Kolonialität der Stadt – Gespräche | Aushandlungen | Perspektiven. Mahdis Azarmandi was the coordinator of the Shakti women’s centre and advocacy coordinator in Auckland, New Zealand. Shakti Community Council is a non-profit organisation serving migrant and refugee women of Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin. She is also a social justice activist with focus on anti-racism, refugee rights, queer of color & migrant rights as well as prison abolition.
Allison Foust attended Regis University in Denver, Colorado where she majored in Peace and Justice Studies and double minored in Politics, Ethics and Society and Communication. While at Regis, Allison worked at the university’s Center for Service Learning and the Institute on the Common Good where she helped undergraduate students wrestle with concepts of ethical community engagement and critical service learning. Allison is currently pursuing her MA in Communication Studies at Colorado State University where she continues researching the communication between donors and recipients in international development.