Possibilities for "Real" Democracy

Ronald Hayduk, Professor of Political Science - [PowerPoint]
Ronald Hayduk teaches political science at the City University of New York. Dr. Hayduk has worked in New York government and consulted to several policy organizations. He has written on voting rights, social movements, immigration, race and suburban sprawl, and is the author of Democracy for All, Gatekeepers to the Franchise, Democracy's Moment, and From ACT UP to the WTO. Hayduk continues to engage in democracy revitalization activities and community building efforts in New York.

Josh Lerner, Participatory Budgeting Network - [PowerPoint]
Josh Lerner is a PhD student in the Department of Politics at the New School for Social Research. He lives in New York City, where he serves on the steering committee of Planners Network, teaches urban planning at the Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment, and coordinates the US Participatory Budgeting Network and the international network housed at ParticipatoryBudgeting.org. He has published on participatory budgeting and planning, community councils, social forums, and democratic learning in the Americas and Europe.

Chris Wells, Spokesperson for New Humanism
Chris Wells is the North American Spokesperson for New Humanism, and a long-time community activist. From 1994 to 1997, Chris was publisher of The West Side Story, a newspaper for the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood in New York City, and founded a humanist community center in the neighborhood. During this time, Chris launched a campaign to develop a new neighborhood middle school, ran Humanist candidates for the school board, and helped organize city-wide forums on health and education. He has represented New Humanists at conferences and gatherings around the world and led North American projects of support for grassroots international movements such as the Zapatistas in Mexico. Chris is an actor by profession and lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

Economic Alternatives for the Region

Rodolfo Aguiree Reveles, Mexican Action Network on Free Trade (RMALC)
Rodolfo Aguirre Reveles holds a degree in Economics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and is studying an MA in Management and International Business. He has worked as a researcher on the CASA (Citizen Assessment of Structural Adjustment) initiative, as well as on themes of poverty, employment, and budgeting issues. He was also responsible for the Programme of Public Policy at the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights, and has worked as a consultant with UNICEF. He is currently responsible for monitoring the implementation of the EU-Mexico Global Agreement at the Mexican Action Network on Free Trade (RMALC).

Karun K. Singh, Hunter College School of Social Work
Karun K. Singh is an Assistant Professor and Chair of Social Administration at the Hunter College School of Social Work. His teaching, research, and consulting interests focus on nonprofit and public services management, strategic planning, grantwriting, and capacity building. His social work experience includes clinical, administrative, policy, and advocacy work in the fields of aging, mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, AIDS, and domestic violence.

Omar Freillas, Green Workers Cooperative
Omar Freillas is a founding member and administrator of Green Workers Cooperative, a South Bronx-based organization dedicated to incubating worker-owned and environmentally friendly cooperatives. Omar appeared in Leonardo Dicaprio's documental on the environment, The 11th Hour, and wrote a chapter in "Highway Robbery: Transportation, Racism and New Routes to Equity" by Robert D. Bullard, Glenn Johnson, and Angel O. Torres.

Martha Hauze, LCSW
Martha Hauze is a licensed clinical social worker and a human rights advocate. She has worked with victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse for almost 15 years. She is president and co-founder of the Movement for Peace in Colombia (MfPiC), an NGO promoting peace and human rights in Colombia and abroad since 1999. As part of her work with the MfPiC Martha has studied profusely the impact of US economic policies in developing economies. Representing the MfPiC, Martha sits at the NYC Peoples? Referendum on Free Trade, an activist coalition advocating for economic justice and sustainable development.

Her work with local community organizations has contributed to her awareness of economic systems and policy relationship to them. Martha is co-chair of the Downstate Coalition for Victims of Crime, an advocacy organization, and serves in the Legislative and Parallel Justice committees.

The Role of Cultures in the Future of our Region

North America is the most culturally diverse area on the planet but racism, xenophobia and discrimination continue to plague our region. This panel will explore the present difficulties facing the cultures of North America and the role they can play in the future of our region.

What can each culture bring to the table, and what obstacles lie in their path? How have the homogenizing forces of globalization impacted our cultures? Finally, what is the real possibility of uniting and creating a North America of true diversity and solidarity?

--

Chief Raphael Picard, Pessamit Innu - [english text], [french text]
Raphael Picard is an INNU from Betsiamites, and has been Chief of the Innu Council of Pessamit since July 2002. He has held various job positions with Native and government organizations, and has taught courses on Community Intervention, Management within First Nations, History and Geography, History of First Nations, and Anthropology. A frequent lecturer, he has participated in many symposiums and economic assignments in Quebec, the rest of Canada, Europe, the United States as well as South America. He has also participated in various research activities with regard to Natives: land development and traditional occupation; training programs (community intervention and management of Native bands), socioeconomic repercussions of hydroelectric power projects; economic development strategies, and historical and anthropological research activities. An avid musician, Chief Picard has also composed and recorded songs in Innu, and still finds time to play hockey.

Nicole Myers, Centre of Cultures USA
Nicole Myers is a founding member of the Humanist Movement in the United States, the Director of the Center of Cultures (NGO) and the Coordinator for the first North American New Humanist Forum, New York, Nov 2007. For the past 30 years, Nicole has been a seminar leader, community organizer and international representative of New Humanism. Her main effort has been building a grassroot network of volunteers for non-violence combining social activism with personal transformation. Many projects have been set in motion at the community level focusing on education, giving a voice to women, promoting dialogue between the cultures, publishing local volunteer-run newspapers, developing forums, denouncing injustices, etc. Nicole lives in New York and is a graphic designer by profession.

Stanley Kinard, Carter G. Woodson Cultural Literacy Project
Stanley Kinard has worked as a cultural activist in the Brooklyn Community for over three (3) decades. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Carter G. Woodson Cultural Literacy Project, a not for profit organization that focuses on teaching African History and Culture to inner city students. It is his ultimate goal to implement a cultural literacy campaign. He is currently involved with launching a new organization committed to Peace as a strategy for community empowerment. He has sponsored numerous conferences, forums and events that address the role of culture as a tool to educate, inspire and organize. He is the Founder of Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence and he is a regular columnist for Our Time Press.

Mr. Kinard believes the primary problem of the 21st century is a cultural dilemma and that it will require a cultural solution.

Hugo Mahabir, Ethical Culture Fieldston School
Hugo Mahabir, originally from Trinidad & Tobago, has been living in the United States since 1980. A literacy educator and diversity professional for the past 22 years, he served on the staff of the National SEED (Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity) Project for 15 years, working with teachers and administrators to create inclusive and multicultural school curricula and organizations. He currently serves as dean of faculty at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York City and is a diversity consultant with StrateGenius, a recruitment and consulting firm that works with schools and non-profits across the country.

The Need for Disarmament: Forging a Response to Militarization and the Arms Race

Anna Polo, Europe for Peace
Anna Polo is the Europe for Peace representative for Italy, and will speak on the dynamic regional organizing occurring now in Europe against the establishment of US missile bases in the Czech Republic. The campaign has received the support of thousands around the world, including Mikhail Gorbachev; Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London; Tadatoshi Akiba, Mayor of Hiroshima; and Noam Chomsky.

John Burroughs, Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy
John Burroughs, J.D., Ph.D., is executive director of the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy in New York City. He represents LCNP in Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review proceedings and the United Nations. He is co-editor and contributor of Nuclear Disorder or Cooperative Security? U.S. Weapons of Terror, the Global Proliferation Crisis, and Paths to Peace (2007), and author of The Legality of Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons: A Guide to the Historic Opinion of the International Court of Justice (1998). John is also an adjunct professor of international law at Rutgers Law School, Newark.

Alice Slater, NY Director, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation - [text]
Alice Slater is New York Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and a consultant to the Global Policy Forum. She is on the Global Council of Abolition 2000, working worldwide for a treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons and directs the network's Sustainable Energy Working Group which produced a model statute for an International Sustainable Energy Agency. She is on the Board of the Lawyer's Committee for Nuclear Policy, the Executive Committee of the Middle Powers Initiative, and on the Advisory Board of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.

The Realities of Immigration

Jane Guskin, author, The Politics of Immigration