Chandra Bhatnagar is a Staff Attorney with the Human Rights Program of the ACLU, where he is part of a new group of human rights defenders using international mechanisms, domestic litigation, public education, legal advocacy, and organizing to hold the United States government accountable for its human rights abuses under universally recognized human rights principles. Prior to joining the ACLU, Mr. Bhatnagar was a Skadden Fellow with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund where he directed the South Asian Worker’s Project for Human Rights , a community-based project providing legal assistance to low-wage workers from South Asia using a human rights perspective. Previously, he was the Assistant Director of Columbia University’s “Bringing Human Rights Home Project,” and worked on human rights issues including conditions affecting post 9-11 detainees and efforts to organize a coalition of human rights defenders in the United States. Mr. Bhatnagar has also worked internationally, partnering with a leading NGO in India in applying human rights standards to their anti-child labor/bonded labor campaigns and domestically with the Center for Constitutional Rights, where he did immigrant’s rights work and anti-police brutality organizing, and served as the interim Director of the Ella Baker Summer Intern Program. He received a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and an LL.M. in international human rights from Columbia Law School.
Devon Carbado, who serves as the Vice Dean of Faculty, teaches Constitutional Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, Critical Race Theory, and Criminal Adjudication at the UCLA School of Law. He was elected Professor of the Year by the UCLA School of Law Class of 2000 and was recently awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from Harvard Law School’s Black Law Students Association. At Harvard, Professor Carbado was editor-in-chief of The Harvard Black Letter Law Journal, a member of the Board of Student Advisors, and winner of the Northeast Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition. After receiving his law degree, he joined Latham & Watkins in Los Angeles as an associate before his appointment as a Faculty Fellow and Visiting Associate Professor of Law at the University of Iowa College of Law. Professor Carbado writes in the areas of critical race theory, employment discrimination, criminal procedure, constitutional law, and identity, and is currently studying African-American responses to the internment of Japanese Americans. He is the Director of the Critical Race Studies Concentration at the Law School and a faculty associate of the Center for African American Studies.
Marianne L. Engelman-Lado
Marianne Engelman-Lado currently is part of the legal staff at Earthjustice, where she is working on environmental issues affecting human health. From 1999 to 2009, she served as General Counsel to New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), where she oversaw the litigation and advocacy program, focusing on issues of disability rights, environmental justice, and access to health care. Marianne has taught at Seton Hall University School of Law and graduate and undergraduate level courses in public administration, health policy, and education law at Baruch College. She holds a B.A. in government from Cornell University, a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and an M.A. in Politics from Princeton University.
Marianne was previously a staff attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), where she worked on litigation and advocacy within LDF’s Poverty & Justice Program, representing clients attempting to break barriers of access to health care and quality education. In this capacity Marianne was responsible for developing a health care docket aimed at addressing the scarcity of health resources in medically underserved communities; discriminatory practices by the health care industry, including nursing homes, and also managed care organizations; lack of access to reproductive health services; and related issues of environmental justice. She also organized the legal effort in the late 1990s to save the public hospitals in New York City. The education docket included case development, trial, and appellate work at the state and federal level to guarantee equal educational opportunity across racial and class lines.
M. Thandabantu Iverson
Prior to joining the Labor Studies faculty, M. Thandabantu Iverson served as a health and safety organizer on the international staff of the Service Employees’ International Union. Thandabantu brings considerable workplace experience to his teaching, research, and service; having worked as a stage hand with the International Association of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE); as a coal miner with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA); as an auto worker with the United Auto Workers (UAW); and as a steel worker in the United Steel Workers of America (USWA). Thandabantu has also participated in a number of social movements within the United States, including the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements; the Vietnam Anti-War Movement; and the African Liberation Support Coalition. Thandabantu’s training in political science and women’s studies contribute to his passion for research and teaching on the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, and class in U.S. work, politics, culture, and community.
Janine Jackson is Program Director for FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting,) the national media watch group, and producer/host of FAIR’s nationally syndicated radio show, “CounterSpin”. She co-edited The FAIR Reader: An EXTRA! Review of Press and Politics in the ’90s (Westview).
Jackson’s articles have appeared in various publications, including In These Times and the UAW’s Solidarity, and in books including Civil Rights Since 1787 (New York University Press) and Censored 2000 (Seven Stories Press). She has appeared on ABC’s “Nightline” and CNBC’s “Inside Business” among other shows.
Jackson is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, and has an M.A. in Sociology from the New School for Social Research.
George Lipsitz is Professor of Black Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of eight books including THE POSSESSIVE INVESTMENT IN WHITENESS and A LIFE IN THE STRUGGLE. Lipsitz serves on the Board of Directors of the National Fair Housing Alliance.
Lydia Mallett, Ph.D.
Lydia G. Mallett, Ph.D. is Vice President of Staffing and Diversity, Tyco International, where she has responsibility for the strategic design and implementation in support of the organization’s total staffing requirements. In addition Dr. Mallett is responsible for developing and implementing a corporate-wide diversity strategy addressing issues such as workforce representation and retention, and work-life effectiveness.
In that role, she also counsels Tyco’s senior executives in helping them devise and carry out diversity initiatives aligned with business objectives. Prior to joining Tyco in 2004, she was Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at General Mills where she developed and implemented a senior management accountability strategy and expanded a senior management co-mentoring strategy for women and people of color.
Ms. Mallett holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Labor/Industrial Relations, and a Doctorate degree in Social Psychology, all from Michigan State University.
She is active with several organizations, including the Executive Leadership Council, National Coalition of 100 Black Women (previous National President), the Conference Board’s Council on Work Force Diversity and is a Board Member of the Feminist Press.
Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Ph.D.
Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies and Director of the Women’s Research and Resource Center Spelman College
Beverly Guy-Sheftall, PH.D. is founding director of the Women’s Research and Resource Center (since 1981) and Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies at Spelman College. She is also an adjunct professor at Emory University’s Institute for Women’s Studies where she teaches graduate courses in their doctoral program.
At the age of sixteen, Guy-Sheftall entered Spelman College where she majored in English and minored in secondary education. After graduation with honors, she attended Wellesley College for a fifth year of study in English. After a year at Wellesley, she entered Atlanta University to pursue a master’s degree in English. Her thesis was entitled “Faulkner’s Treatment of Women in His Major Novels.” A year later Guy-Sheftall began her first teaching job in the Department of English at Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1971 she returned to her alma mater, Spelman College, and joined the English Department.
Guy-Sheftall has published a number of texts within African American and Women’s Studies which include the first anthology on Black women’s literature, Sturdy Black Bridges: Visions of Black Women in Literature (Doubleday, 1979), which she coedited with Roseann P. Bell and Bettye Parker Smith; her dissertation, Daughters of Sorrow: Attitudes Toward Black Women, 1880-1920 (Carlson, 1991); and Words of Fire: An Anthology of African American Feminist Thought (New Press, 1995). Her most recent publication is an anthology she coedited with Rudolph P. Byrd entitled Traps: African American Men on Gender and Sexuality (Indiana University Press, 2001). She has also completed with Johnnetta Betsch Cole a monograph, Gender Talk: The Struggle for Equality in African American Communities which was be published by Random House in February 2003. In 1983 she became founding editor of Sage: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women which was devoted exclusively to the experiences of African descent.
Guy-Sheftall is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, among them a National Kellogg Fellowship; a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for dissertations in Women’s Studies; and Spelman’s Presidential Faculty Award for outstanding scholarship. She is a member of the Board of Trustees at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has been involved with the national women’s studies movement since its inception and provided leadership for the establishment of the first women’s studies major at a historically Black college. Beyond the academy, she has been involved in a number of advocacy organizations which include the National Black Women’s Health Project, the National Council for Research on Women, and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, on whose boards she serves. She teaches women’s studies courses, including feminist theory and global Black feminisms.
Alvin Louis Starks is a racial justice advocate and researcher that works in the areas of philanthropy and civil rights advocacy to address issues of systemic inequality and discrimination. His interests and work seeks to promote a new generation of social justice ideas, leadership and strategies that recognizes the intersections of identities to promote racial justice and cross movement building opportunities among organizations.
For over 8 years, Alvin worked at the Open Society Institute and created and directed the foundation’s Racial Justice Initiative that explicitly supported organizations that secured social and civil opportunities for marginalized communities of color. In 2007, he led the creation of the foundation’s black males initiative that addressed issues of de facto discrimination and social exclusion. Alvin formerly held the position of Senior Program Officer for Racial Justice, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity at the Arcus Foundation. There his work focused on the building the foundation’s mission to advance rights and equity through the intersections of race, sexuality and gender identity.
As a creative strategist and consultant, Alvin continues to work with several foundations, academic institutions, policy think tanks and civil rights institutions that share a common thread interest in advancing human rights and social equity for low-income communities of color. In late 2009, Alvin began working with the NAACP where he supports new advocacy projects at the national level and leverages philanthropic resources to support the institution.
Alvin received his formal education from the State University of New York and Columbia University in New York City. He sits on several non-profit boards and has received numerous awards and fellowships for his leadership in philanthropy and racial justice. Alvin lives in Brooklyn and wants to write a book on post-civil rights era advocacy.
Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and activists in the U.S., and has been called, “One of the most brilliant, articulate and courageous critics of white privilege in the nation,” by best-selling author and professor Michael Eric Dyson, of Georgetown University. Wise has spoken in 48 states, and on over 400 college campuses, including Harvard, Stanford, and the Law Schools at Yale and Columbia, and has spoken to community groups around the nation. Wise has provided anti-racism training to teachers nationwide, and has trained physicians and medical industry professionals on how to combat racial inequities in health care. He has also trained corporate, government, entertainment, military and law enforcement officials on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions, and has served as a consultant for plaintiff’s attorneys in federal discrimination cases in New York and Washington State.
Wise is the 2008 Oliver L. Brown Distinguished Visiting Scholar for Diversity Issues at Washburn University, in Topeka, Kansas: an honor named for the lead plaintiff in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. In 2005, Wise served as an adjunct faculty member at the Smith College School for Social Work, in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he co-taught a Master’s level class on Racism in the U.S. In 2001, Wise trained journalists to eliminate racial bias in reporting, as a visiting faculty-in-residence at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. In 2005 and 2006, Wise provided training on issues of racial privilege and institutional bias at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), at Patrick Air Force Base. From 1999-2003, Wise was an advisor to the Fisk University Race Relations Institute, in Nashville, and in the early ’90s was Associate Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism: the largest of the many groups organized for the purpose of defeating neo-Nazi political candidate, David Duke.
Wise is the author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, and Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White. A collection of his essays, Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections From an Angry White Male, will be published in the Fall of 2008, and his fourth book, Between Barack and a Hard Place: Race and Whiteness in the Age of Obama, will be released in Spring, 2009. He has contributed chapters or essays to 20 books, and is one of several persons featured in White Men Challenging Racism: Thirty-Five Personal Stories, from Duke University Press. He received the 2001 British Diversity Award for best essay on race issues, and his writings have appeared in dozens of popular, professional and scholarly journals. Wise has been a guest on hundreds of radio and television programs, worldwide.
Wise has a B.A. in Political Science from Tulane University, where his anti-apartheid work received global attention and the thanks of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He received training in methods for dismantling racism from the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, in New Orleans. He and his wife Kristy are the proud parents of two daughters.