People

Resistance Studies Fellow

Mandy Carter

Mandy Carter is a southern African-American lesbian with a 52-year movement history of social, racial and LGBT justice organizing since 1967.  Raised in two orphanages and a foster home for her first 18 years in the state of New York, Ms. Carter attributes the influences of the Quaker-based American Friends Service Committee, the former Institute for the Study of Nonviolence, and the pacifist-based War Resisters League for her sustained multi-racial and multi-issue organizing. www.afsc.org  www.warresisters.org

It was specifically her participation in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired 1968 Poor People’s Campaign organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) that solidified her sustained commitment to nonviolence. This was to have been Dr. King’s most dramatic appeal to the conscience of the nation, designed to call attention to the fact that thousands of American citizens -both white and black – continued to suffer poverty in the midst of plenty. Ms. Carter lived in the tent city named Resurrection City on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The Poor People’s Campaign was the last project Dr. King was working on before his assassination in Memphis, TN on April 4, 1968. 

Ms. Carter helped co-found two ground breaking organizations. Southerners On New Ground (SONG) and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC).   SONG, founded in 1993, is about building progressive movement across the South by creating transformative models of organizing that connects race, class, culture, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity. Specifically, SONG integrates work against homophobia into freedom struggles in the South. She served as its Executive Director from 2003-2005. www.southernersonnewground.org

NBJC, founded in 2003, is a national civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. NBJC's mission is to end racism and homophobia.  NBJC provides leadership at the intersection of national civil rights organizations and LGBTQ organizations. History was made at the 100th anniversary convention of the NAACP in 2009 when they rolled out their NAACP LGBT Equality Task Force. A new partnership of the NAACP and NBJC.  The LGBT Equality Task Force is comprised of seven members and is co-chaired by former NAACP National Chairman Julian Bond and California NAACP Chair Alice Huffman.  Both co-chairs have track records as champions of LGBT rights. www.nbjc.org

In 2015, Ms. Carter received the Union Medal, the highest honor from the Union Theological Seminary, a leading progressive seminary and voice for justice.  As did former Vice-President Al Gore. www.utsnyc.edu

In 2015, Ms. Carter helped organize diverse broad-based participation for the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 Selma-To-Montgomery Voting Rights March activities in Selma, Alabama. This1965 march moved Congress to pass the 1965 Voting Rights Act that enfranchised hundreds of thousands of blacks across the South. President Obama and the First Family were in attendance.www.dreammarcheson.com

In 2013, Ms. Carter was national coordinator of the Bayard Rustin Commemoration Project of the National Black Justice Coalition. A national organizing effort to acknowledge, honor, and celebrate black gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin.  The BRCP joined in the many activities marking the 50th anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where Dr. King gave his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech.  Bayard Rustin, key organizer of the 1963 March, received the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom (post-humously) from President Obama that was presented to his surviving partner Walter Naegle at the White House. Bayard Rustin dared to live as an openly gay man during his 60 years of activism.  www.rustin.org

Underscoring the importance of electoral politics in social change movements, Ms. Carter was one of the five national co-chairs of Obama LGBT Pride, the national LGBT infrastructure for Barack Obama’s historic 2008 presidential campaign and win. She had done the hard work of organizing grassroots networks, especially people of color throughout the South. She is a former member of the Democratic National Committee’s LGBT Caucus, Black Caucus and Women’s Caucus. www.dnc.org

Ms. Carter was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize as part of the 1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005 in order to recognize, make visible and celebrate the impressive and valuable, yet often invisible peace work of thousands of women around the world.  The 1000 women from 150 countries were guided in their work by nonviolence, integrity, and selflessness. www.1000peacewomen.org

With awards from many human rights and community organizations to acknowledge her achievements, Ms. Carter list of achievements includes:
*Co-Editor, We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st Century America, 2012, PM Press/WRL . Co-Editors, Elizabeth “Betita” Martinez, Matt Meyer
*SWERV Magazine Profile, Winter 2013 –Mandy Carter…the Journey of An Activist,  Clarence J. Fluker. http://swervmagazine.com/?s=mandy+carter
*2018 Peace Award, War Resisters League,  On the occasion of WRL’s 95th Anniversary
*2014 Outstanding Community Leader Award, North Carolina Central University’s Lavender Graduation
*2013 Lifetime Achievement Award, Bayard Rustin Civil Rights Honors, San Diego
*2013 Bayard Rustin Angelic Troublemaker Award, Center for Artistic Revolution, Little Rock, AR
*2011 Frank Porter Graham Award, ACLU North Carolina
*2003 Life Time Achievement Award, National Association of Black and White Men Together
*1999 Bayard Rustin Award, National Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum
*1998 Woman of Distinction, Duke University Women’s Mentor Program.
*1996 Ms. Magazine “Uppity Women” Recipient, Ms. Magazine
*1995 Paul Anderson Stonewall Award, $25,000 Cash Award, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
*1995 OUT Magazine 100 Activists, OUT Magazine
*1993 War Resisters League Peace Award, On the occasion of WRL’s 70th Anniversary
*1993 Distinguished National Service Award, Gay & Lesbian Attorneys of Washington, DC
*1990 Mab Segrest Award, North Carolinians Against Racist and Religious Violence

The Mandy Carter Papers Collection was acquired as part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture.  Repository of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/findingaids/cartermandy

Ms. Carter lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Deputy Editor of Journal of Resistance Studies 

Jørgen Johansen

Jørgen Johansen has been active with social justice, peace, environmental and democracy issues worldwide for the last 40 years. Participation in campaigns and movements has been combined with writing and promotion on building strategies and developing theories for a wide variety of resistance. 

Extensive travels have in recent years been replaced with constructive resistance from his base in a deep Scandinavian forest. Together with his wife Majken Jul Sørensen, Johansen runs Irene Publishing and a small center for writers and activists.

Occasional lecturing at public events and universities are combined with growing food in the garden, organizing seminars, writing books and articles, building houses with material from his own forest and sawmill, and picking berries for home made jam and juice.

In civil society networks and academic institutions he has researched, trained, organized, and mobilized people to engage in global and local conflicts and campaigns. 

He has published tens of books and book chapters in six languages and has published hundreds of articles in academic journals and movement magazines and newspapers. The main topics for his publications have been nonviolence, democracy, environmental issues, justice, surveillance, resistance to conscription, and immigration.

Johansen is the Deputy Editor of Journal of Resistance Studies and coordinator of the Nordic Nonviolence Study Group (NORNONS).
 

Resistance Studies Fellow

Carol Kalafatic

Carol Kalafatic (Quechua, Spanish & Croatian) has been collaborating with Indigenous Peoples (IPs) since 1991, as a policy advocate, organizer, writer, trans-disciplinary scholar, and educator. With an emphasis on bio-cultural diversity and resilience, she promotes IPs’ self-determination, food sovereignty, and meaningful participation in policy making. Her research interests include these struggles as well as: IPs’ governance of lands and territories; community development and coalition building; dynamic heritage systems, and indigenous media.

Given that IPs’ diverse, millennial cultures sustain and are inter-dependent with a large majority of biodiversity worldwide, Carol believes that – especially in these times of climate and governance crises – the revitalization of IPs’ knowledge systems and practices within their territories is a form of resistance that can also produce broader structural transformation. Her research and practice aim to support these processes for their place-based value and for building life-sustaining futures globally.

Her current projects include work with several sub-Arctic IPs who are asserting their inherent rights and renewing coalitions to protect wild salmon habitat and fisheries. She also supports the Bameno Huaorani in protecting their territory from oil development in the Amazon in Ecuador.

She is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (Coventry University, England), and recently contributed a chapter to Food Security Policy, Evaluation and Impact Assessment, forthcoming in Fall 2019 by Routledge.

In recent years the UN Committee on World Food Security Bureau and several civil society networks appointed Carol to the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE), which aims to strengthen policy making by producing independent, evidence-based analysis and recommendations. She served for two terms, including as Vice-Chair of the HLPE.

In addition, she served for several years each as: Associate Director of Cornell University’s American Indian Program; Coordinator of the Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus at the UN Commission on Sustainable Development; and Indigenous Focal Point of the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty – a network that brings local experiences to the global debate on food governance. She has also been a consultant to a range of local-to-international organizations/agencies, and traditional IPs’ governments.

Through the workshops and meetings that she conducted, she played a major role in convincing the UN Food and Agriculture Organization to establish a Policy on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples. She was lead author of the framework for that policy, and for Indigenous and Tribal Peoples: Building on Biological and Cultural Diversity for Food and Livelihood Security. As Founding Coordinator of the International Indian Treaty Council’s Right to Food Program, she established the initiative to determine Cultural Indicators of Indigenous Peoples’ food and agroecological systems.

Carol has served on a number of boards of justice organizations that support IPs and others who are marginalized or face violence from the dominant economic system.


Senior Research Scholar

Matt Meyer

Matt Meyer is an internationally recognized author, academic, organizer, and educator who was recently elected Secretary General of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA). He also serves as National Co-chair of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the oldest interfaith peace and justice group in US history. As former National Chair of the War Resisters League, he is second only to A.J. Muste— “dean of the US peace movement” —in having been elected to the top position of both historic organizations. Based in New York City, Meyer is a true internationalist, and has led seminars, trainings, and conferences in over sixty countries on five continents; he is the United Nations representative for IPRA, and the Africa Support Network Coordinator for War Resisters' International. Meyer also Chairs the International Fellowship of Reconciliation Financial Advisory Committee.  

Argentine Nobel Peace laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel, who wrote the Introduction to Meyer’s encyclopedic anthology Let Freedom Ring (2008) on contemporary movements to free political prisoners, noted that “Meyer is a coalition-builder,” one who “provides tools for today’s activists” in his writings and his work.  
 

For over thirty years, Meyer worked to build alternative education structures within the New York City Department of Education. Originally a high school-based historian, his tenure included service as graduate-level Teacher Trainer, as the Multicultural Coordinator under three Superintendents, as the Union Leader of a local section of the United Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, and as an early supporter and staff person at the Harvey Milk School, the first “safe space” institution of its kind—providing education for youth who were harassed based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or self-definition. In addition, Meyer serves as a Board member of the AJ Muste Memorial Institute, and is well-known for his writing, which appears in twenty books and countless journals, magazines, and on-line news sites. He is a frequent contributor to Waging Nonviolence, as well as the peer-reviewed journals Tikkun, Science and Society, Capitalism Nature Socialism, Peace Review, and the Journal of Peace Education. Meyer also serves on the Editorial Board of the peer-reviewed Peace and Change, co-published by the Peace History Society and the Peace and Justice Studies Association, of which he was founding co-chairperson.

On the grassroots level, Meyer is part of the local collective Resistance in Brooklyn (RnB!), working on issues of Puerto Rican solidarity, dismantling the prison and military industrial complexes, and community-building; that work is spotlighted and detailed in Accountability and White Anti-Racist Organizing (2010). He is contributor to and co-editor with dequi kioni-sadiki of Look for Me in the Whirlwind: From the Panther 21 to 21st Century Revolutions (2017), which Publisher’s Weekly gave a starred review. Along with Elizabeth “Betita” Martinez and Mandy Carter, Meyer co-edited and wrote We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st Century America (2012), which Maya Angelou noted was “so needed” for its “investigation of the moral issues of our time.” With co-editor Elavie Ndura, he coordinated the two-volume Africa World Press mini-series Seeds of New Hope (2008) and Seeds Bearing Fruit (2010). In cooperation with the University of Kwa-Zulu-Natal’s Centre for Civil Society, Meyer is currently working on a follow-up to his Time is Tight: Urgent Tasks for Educational Transformation: Eritrea, South Africa, and the US (2006).

In the Foreword of Meyer’s first book, Guns and Gandhi in Africa: Pan African Insights on Nonviolence, Armed Struggle and Liberation (2000, co-authored with Bill Sutherland), Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote that Sutherland and Meyer “have looked beyond the short-term strategies and tactics which too often divide progressive peoples…They have begun to develop a language which looks at the roots of our humanness.” In 2018, Meyer was appointed Senior Research Scholar of the University of Massachusetts/Amherst Resistance Studies Initiative.

Resistance Studies Fellow

Binalakshmi Nepram 

Binalakshmi "Bina" Nepram, born in Manipur Nation currently located in India's Northeast region near to Myanmar, is an indigenous scholar, peace and disarmament activist spearheading work on making women-led peace, security and disarmament meaningful to the lives of many. She is author of five books, her two most recent being "Where are our Women in Decision Making on UNSCR 1325" & "Deepening Democracy, Diversity and Women's Rights in India" (2019) published by The New York Universal Publishing House.

In 2004, Bina co-founded India's first civil society organization for conventional disarmament issues, Control Arms Foundation of India. In 2007, Binalakshmi launched the Manipur Women Gun Survivor Network. Along with many, Bina also set up 5 women support centres and 37 women groups to ensure that women who survived armed violence have a place of safety and respite.

Bina has worked with many in the communities, and lead protests movements for movements for peace, justice and rights. Due to this she received numerous threats repeatedly. She continues to stay in exile due to these threats and is determined to return once threats subside in her home country.

She has also represented civil society in many meetings of the United Nations in both Geneva and New York. She was a part of treaty negotiations and participant to many of global treaties such as arms trade treaty, Convention to Ban Cluster Bombs and Nuclear weapons.

Bina is a recipient of Dalai Lama Foundation's WISCOMP Scholar of Peace Award (2008), the Sean MacBride Peace Prize (2010) given by International Peace Bureau in Oslo, the CNN IBN Real Heroes Award (2011) given to her and organisation she founded, Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network. London-based organisation, Action on Armed Violence also named Bina as one of “100 most influential people in world working on armed violence reduction” along with Malala Yusufsai, Kofi Annan and many others.

In 2015 Forbes (India) listed Bina in 24 "Young Minds of India that Matter" and Femina, India’s largest women’s magazine honoured her with their Women Social Empowerment Award 2015. She was also awarded with "Women Have Wings" Award from USA in 2016 and in 2017, she received Telegraph Newspaper Excellence Awards 2017 for her work with women survivors in Manipur and Bina was named in October 2018 along with 2015 Nobel Literature Laureate from Belarus, Svetlana Alexievich as winner of Anna Politskovaya Award 2018 which is given in London in October 2019.

Bina is also a recipient of Ashoka Fellowship given by Washington DC based Ashoka: Innovators to the Public, Scholar Rescue Fund by International Institute of Education, and was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, New York in Indigenous Studies Program. Bina joined Connecticut College's Gender and Women Studies Department & Walter Commons Global Studies as a IIE-SRF Scholar-In-Residence in 2018, an appointment that ends in December 2019.  

You can follow her tweets at @BinaNepram and you can read more of her work, writings, speeches etc at www.binalakshminepram.com

Senior Research Scholar

Fareen Parvez

Fareen Parvez is an ethnographer, whose work engages resistance by asking how poor and subaltern communities carve out spaces of autonomy from the state in various domains such as health, moral and spiritual education, and economic survival. Her award-winning book, Politicizing Islam: the Islamic Revival in France and India (Oxford University Press, 2017), drew on two years of participant observation among Muslim communities in France and India. It explored how different varieties of secularism influence political action, mobilization, and in some cases withdrawal from the state and public sphere among poor and racialized Muslims living under the War of Terror and rise of nationalist politics. 

Her current projects include (1) predatory lending in urban India and possibilities for poor communities to undermine relations and structures of life-long debt, (2) spirit possession in Morocco as a practice of coping with trauma and gender and sexual norms, and (3) the future of la ZAD, Europe’s largest land occupation, near the French coastal city of Nantes. All three projects deal with different forms of injustice, resistance, and meaning-making in various contexts of exploitation, marginalization, and state negligence or repression.

Fareen’s background in activism began with struggles against the dismantling of immigrant rights and affirmative action in the US as well as domestic violence awareness and counseling. Currently, she has been involved in humanitarian and resistance efforts among Rohingya refugees in India. And locally, she works with ARISE for Social Justice in Springfield, in areas such as homelessness and popular education.

Her work has been awarded by the American Sociological Association and the Society for the Study of Social Problems. She has received fellowships from the Social Science Research Council’s New Directions in the Study of Prayer, the American Institute of India Studies, and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Fareen is a 2019-20 residential fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton.

Resistance Studies Fellow

Joanne Sheehan

Joanne Sheehan has been an organizer, nonviolence trainer and educator for over 48 years. She has been on the staff of War Resisters League's New England Office in Norwich, CT since co-founding it in 1985. Active with War Resister's International (WRI) since 1983, she served as WRI Chair from 1998 to 2006. Joanne has been the Chair of the Voluntown Peace Trust (formerly the Community for Nonviolent Action) since 2012.

Joanne has been involved in many nonviolent campaigns – against war and war profiteers, nuclear power and nuclear weapons, and war toys to name a few. As an organizer, Joanne has also been active countering military recruitment of youth and works with youth providing opportunities for them to develop as activists,organizers, and trainers.

Joanne became a nonviolence trainer in the early seventies. She has been a nonviolence trainer for actions such as the Occupation of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plan in 1977 to the 2018 Poor People's Campaign. Joanne's training skills include strategic planning and preparation for nonviolent action, facilitation skills in non-hierarchical group processes, oppression awareness,  and training of trainers. She is also a trainer for Listening Project Community Surveys.

Joanne convened WRI's Nonviolence Trainers Working Group 1986 – 1998, and continues to work with the WRI Nonviolence Committee, focusing on constructive programs.  She has worked with nonviolence trainers around the world, organizing and attending international gatherings of trainers and working with local trainers. She was an editor and contributor to the Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns (2009 and 2014). Joanne has served on the AJ Muste Memorial Institute's International Nonviolence Training Fund Advisory Committee since 1994.

Joanne has worked on nonviolent economics for many years. She organized for economic alternatives to weapons production as part of the Trident Conversion Campaign (1977 – 1980) and the Community Coalition for Economic Conversion through the 1990'S. She has also been involved with community land trusts for decades. She was a co-founder of the Rose City Community Land Trust for Housing in Norwich, CT (1985) and served as President of the Board. She then joined the board of the Institute for Community Economics (1990-1998), a national organization supporting the development of community land trusts, serving as its President from 1992-1998. She is presently assisting in the development of the New London Community Land Trust and organizing a Southeast Connecticut Community Land Trust.

Joanne has written about feminism and nonviolence, nonviolent campaign strategy, nonviolent economics and constructive program. She lives in Norwich, CT with her partner. They have two grown children and three grandchildren. Together they provide food for peace and justice groups through Pacifeast Caterers and have an organic garden.

Joanne has been a “Research Studies Fellow” with the Resistance Studies Program since 2017, focusing on the history of nonviolent action training. She is an instructor with Stellan Vinthagen for a class on “Land Struggles and Nonviolent Resistance” during the Fall Semester of 2018.

Staff

Office Manager

Debbie Weyl   resist@umass.edu  +1 413-545-0394