New Speakers for March 29, 2014 Conference

Speakers List in Formation


Robert King, One of the Angola Three.  Robert King is one of the most famous former political prisoners in the world.  He served 29 years in solitary confinement before his conviction was overturned and was one of a group of three African-American activists victimized for their political activism as members of the Black Panther Party.  King has spoken before the parliaments of the Netherlands, France, Portugal, and Indonesia and met with Desmond Tutu.


Hina Shamsi, Director of the American Civil Liberties National Security Project.  The National Security Project is dedicated to ensuring that U.S. national security policies and practices are consistent with the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights. Shamsi has litigated cases upholding the freedoms of speech and association, and challenging targeted killing, torture, unlawful detention, and post-9/11 discrimination against racial and religious minorities. She is also a lecturer-in-law at Columbia Law School, where she teaches a course in international human rights.


Saru Jayaraman, Author of Behind the Kitchen Door.  Saru Jayaraman launched the national restaurant workers’ organization Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and documented the undemocratic labor practices of the food industry, the discrimination that plagues immigrant workers and people of color, and the relationship of food sovereignty to the full democracy that we have not yet achieved.


Dawud Walid, Executive Director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI).  CAIR-MI is a chapter of America’s largest advocacy and civil liberties organization for Muslims based in the hotspot of Detroit, a city at the epicenter of the attacks on democratic rule.  He has been prominent in the fight against Islamophobia, racial profiling, and border stops.  Walid has appeared on Democracy Now and is a political blogger for the Detroit News.


Salvatore Sarmiento, Casa Maryland, National Day Laborer Organizing Network.  NDLON has been central to the fight to stop the punitive deportation of over 350,000 persons last year.  In a recent press release NDLON said, “The five years of criminalization the President has overseen blankets immigrant communities with suspicion and causes people to live in fear. Until the historic mistake of entwining local police with immigration enforcement is corrected, the country will face a crisis of safety in our communities, confidence in the President, and separation in our families.”


Professor Khalilah Brown-Dean, Author of Once Convicted, Forever Doomed: Race, Crime, and Civil Death (forthcoming, Yale University Press).  Dean is an associate professor of political science at Quinnipiac University and a powerful critic of the system of mass incarceration.  She was also awarded a 2005 Social Science Research Fund grant for the project: “Fighting From a Powerless Space: The Impact of Crime Control Policies on Women.”


Lynne Jackson, Project SALAM and the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms.  Project SALAM and the NCPF are in the national leadership in the fight against the Orwellian practice of preemptively prosecuting Muslim-Americans who have committed no crime and the frame-up of hundreds of law-abiding Muslim-Americans as part of the so-called War on Terror.  Jackson recently led the Journey for Justice across New York state in defense of Yassin Aref, an Albany imam entrapped by the FBI whose case is described in Rounded Up: Artificial Terrorists and Muslim Entrapment After 9/11.


Watch for announcement of keynote speaker.

Full schedule and program under development.


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