|Bay Window : Raising a Ruckus: Subject Biographies
The Ruckus Society trains activists in non-violent civil disobedience and in cutting edge organizing techniques. Their week-long training programsknown as Action Campsteach media skills, blockading, tree climbing, digital activism and banner construction and hanging. A self-described samurai of the new protest movement, the Ruckus Society has been contracted out by a diverse range of organizationsfrom the United Steel Workers to Greenpeace. The Ruckus Society is a non-profit organization that relies on donations. None of their camp participants are required to pay.
Alario, 32, serves as a media strategist and trainer with the Ruckus Society. She has trained groups ranging from grass roots activists to the United Steel Workers in the art of dealing more effectively with the press. Celia produces and co-hosts Terra Verde a weekly environmental radio show of Pacifica's KPFA in Berkeley. She was born and raised in Southern California.
Sellers, 33, coordinates Ruckus Action Camps and teaches a variety of Ruckus' workshops. However, he is most comfortable on the frontlines during special projects and direct actions. He worked with Greenpeace for six years during the nineties, coordinating dozens of actions throughout the United States. He was also involved in the first successful banner hang on the Golden Gate Bridge.
Han Shan, 26, is program director for the Ruckus Society. As a teen-ager in Baltimore, Han Shan was involved as a "straight-edge" within the punk rock community, and it was there that his social consciousness was nurtured. Since then he has discovered Buddhism, adopting the name Han Shan after the legendary Buddhist poet. His official entry into activism came in March 1997 when he attended a Ruckus Society camp in Arizona.
Global Exchange is a human rights organization dedicated to promoting environmental, political, and social justice around the world. Since its founding in 1988, the organization has been striving to increase global awareness among the U.S. public while building international partnerships around the world.
Alvarez, 25, heads the Colombia campaign at Global Exchange. She grew up in Fairfield, California, a child to conservative parents who migrated from Colombia in the 1960s. She abandoned her plans to go into business in order to lead an activist's lifetrying to raise public consciousness about the desperate situation in Colombia and what she sees as the United State's role in the war there.
Beck, 27,works at Global Exchange and is one of the major forces behind the mostly youthful American resistance to corporate-led globalization. She was one of the main organizers of the Seattle WTO protests.
JustAct is a national, nonprofit organization promoting youth leadership and action for global justice. Founded by students in 1983 as the Overseas Development Network, the organization has been a forum for thousands of young people to address global issues such as social inequity, human rights, and environmental sustainability. For the last year, JustAct has been working to recruit more working class youth and youth of color into the movement.
Betru, 27, works as a youth coordinator at Just Act. She moved from Ethiopia to the Tennessee when she was eight, attributing her activism both to her early experience with racism and to "American ignorance about and misconceptions of other countries, especially in Africa."
Larrabee-Garcia, 20, formerly worked as a youth coordinator for Just Act. She grew up in the Bay Area's blue-collar city of West Pittsburgh, the child of a Mexican mother and an American father. As Catholic missionaries, Malachi's parents refused to accept their daughter's lesbianism. Malachi uses her difficult experience growing up to connect with alienated youth in an intense effort to recruit more working-class youth of color into activism.
Third Eye Movement couples grassroots organizing with programs and policy analysis, using hip-hop culture not just to educate and politicize but to help young people express their concerns on their own terms. The Third Eye Movement works most avidly to combat police brutality by both policing the police and by teaching young people their legal rights.
Coleman became involved with youth activism after going in and out of the juvenile justice system as a teen-ager. Through his involvement, he hopes to present youth with a positive way to express themselves as well as to give back to his own community.
Manigo, 17, is a member of the Third Eye Movement in San Francisco, a group of primarily youth of color that uses hip hop and urban youth culture to organize. A veteran of Seattle and DC, Manigo says she was politicized by her experience of homelessness at the age of 11.
A veteran civil rights activist, Carson was appointed to the history department at Stanford in 1974. The 52-year-old professor is a specialist on the civil rights movement who has written two works on that period, In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s and Malcolm X: The FBI File. He also served as co-editor of Eyes on the Prize, a guide to the 1987 PBS television series about the American civil rights movement.
Gitlin is a former activist and currently a professor of culture, journalism and sociology at New York University, and studies social activism. He writes that major political change requires two types of activists working in tandem. One type of activist is the outsideryoung, moralistic and committed to confronting the powers that be. They work, often unwittingly, in conjunction with insidersusually professionals, lawyers and academics. These reform-minded insiders gain a wider audience through the rabble-rousing of the outsiders.
Narayan is the principal social development specialist for the World Bank's poverty group and the lead author and team leader for Voices of the Poor, a multi-country research initiative to understand poverty from the perspective of the poor. Narayan has over twenty years development experience in Asia and Africa and has worked for NGOs, national governments and the United Nations system.
Rodriguez, 21, coordinated much of the "Schools not Jails" campaign, which sought to combat Proposition 21, the Gang Violence and Juvenile Crime Prevention Initiative. She subsidizes her life of activism by running a successful web design company that caters to alternative press and activist organizations. She also teaches at Oakland's Castlemont High School.
World Bank chief economist Joseph Stiglitz quit his job last November in order to speak more openly about his disagreements with policies of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). His candor made him an unlikely poster boy for globalization critics. He is currently a professor of economics at Stanford.