Bring a Voices’ Speaker to Your Event
Members and participants in Voices campaigns have been active in nonviolent resistance to war making within the United States as well as many other places. Many of the speakers listed below have experience in direct action and solidarity campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, Iran, and numerous countries in Latin America.
We have updated our list of speakers to include recent participants in Voices delegations to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Speakers are listed alphabetically and their locations are given as well. You may browse to find a speaker in an area near you.
Voices does not charge a specific fee for events, but any donations to continue our work would certainly be welcome. If an event requires travel, we ask that groups would, at the very minimum, cover transportation costs for speakers and provide housing if overnight stay is required.
You may click on the names listed in blue to view previous writings on www.vcnv.org by Voices participants.
For those whose contact information is listed, you may contact her/him directly to set up speaking engagements. For all others, please call 773.878.3815 or send inquiries to .
Mohamed Abdel-Magid —Chicago-IL—In January of 2010, Mohamed connected with Voices for Creative Nonviolence by joining in the Peaceable Assembly Campaign In Washington DC. Mohamed has been an speaker at VCNV events, an Arabic teacher and an organizer for multiple Voices delegations.
Mary Lou Anderson — Las Vegas, Nevada— Mary Lou is active with the Nevada Desert Experience which works toward nuclear abolition and nonviolent social change. She participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
Jerica Arents —Chicago, IL— Jerica is a peace activist, facilitator, and educator based in Chicago. She teaches peace studies at DePaul University, where her ongoing interests focus on people-powered social movements. Her research centers on peacemaking in Afghanistan and the effects of the NATO-led occupation on ordinary Afghans. She collaborates with the Afghan Peace Volunteers in Kabul, a multi-ethnic community of youth committed to nonviolent action. She also serves as an organizer with Witness Against Torture, a campaign to close the prison at Guantánamo and end U.S.-sponsored torture worldwide. Jerica co-founded the White Rose Catholic Worker, a house of hospitality and spiritually-rooted resistance, and served on staff at Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service.
Buddy Bell —Chicago, IL— Buddy has been a co-coordinator with Voices for Creative Nonviolence since January 2012. He organized Voices’ 3 most recent walks in protest of drones and in protest of the NATO summit. He visited Afghanistan 3 times with Kathy Kelly, where they lived with the Afghan Peace Volunteers in Kabul. Buddy was with the Afghan Peace Volunteers in November 2012 as they began a project to distribute duvets to needy families in anticipation of a cold winter.
Since 2005, Buddy has been a volunteer with Voices and participated in or helped plan many of their domestic campaigns, protests, and walks. These include the Occupation Project, Witness Against War, Ground the Drones Lest We Reap the Whirlwind, Walk for Peace, Witness Against Torture, and the Peaceable Assembly Campaign.
Buddy plans to be part of a delegation to Jeju Island in April, 2015.
Joshua Brollier —Chicago, IL— Joshua is a Co-Coordinator with Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Josh first became involved in Voices work in 2007 by participating in The Occupation Project. He has since taken part in number of other Voices efforts, including Witness Against War- a 500 mile walk from Chicago to St. Paul to challenge and non-violently resist the US wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has been an organizer for other Voices projects including Camp Hope and the Peaceable Assembly Campaign.
In 2010, Joshua participated in the Gaza Freedom March in Cairo and Witness Against Torture’s Vigil and Fast for Justice in Washington, DC. He was also a organizer and participant in a May/June 2010 VCNV delegation to Pakistan and Afghanistan that researched the human consequences of U.S. military intervention in the region. Joshua spent September 2010 to February 2011 living in Damascus, Syria, studying Arabic.He is available for forums/events about Gaza, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria and at nonviolence trainings.
Patricia Chaffee — Racine, Wisconsin – Patricia is a member of the Racine Dominicans who has participated in numerous peace/justice projects and delegations to warzones.She participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
Mary Dean – Chicago, IL — Mary is a Co-coordinator at Voices for Creative Nonviolence and has participated in numerous Voices and other peace/justice projects throughout her adult life. She spent six months in federal prison for nonviolently protesting the U.S. Army School of the Americas. Mary has traveled with several delegations to war zones including Central America and Palestine as well as to Iran with the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Mary led two delegations to Afghanistan this year spending seven weeks there.
Detlef Enge-Bastien, M.D. – Germany – Detlef was part of the Gulf Peace Team and joined in several follow-up trips to the West Bank; he is a longtime supporter of Voices efforts. Detelf participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
Maya Evans - England - Maya first visited Afghanistan in December 2O11 when she worked with the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers and Voices for Creative Non-Violence, she met other Afghan peace activists and visited refugee camps, human rights activists, NGOs, journalists and ordinary Afghans.(1) On her return she spoke across the UK, as well as published an account with analysis about her trip.
December 2O12 she returned in Afghanistan, leading the first UK peace delegation since the 2001 NATO invasion. lt was in fact an all-woman delegation who had formed Voices for Creative Non-Violence UK, and now campaign at both a grassroots and government level to support non-violent peace in Afghanistan. (2)
On the second visit Maya renewed and built on the contacts made on her first visit. She was again sadly encountered by the continuing number of refugees suffering hardship and even dying from cold in refugee camps in the centre of Kabul.
Maya has said: “People forget that we’re at war with Afghanistan, it’s been longer than both world wars combined. For us it’s an issue of poor decision making and public spending by our leaders; for Afghans it means displacement, poverty, destruction and loss of life.”
Maya Evans is a well-known and tireless activist for peace and government accountability (3). She was famously convicted in 2005 of the “serious crime” of reading aloud, at the London Cenotaph, the names of British soldiers killed in lraq (4). In 2007 she won Liberty’s Peter Duffy “Campaigner of the Year Award”. In 2010 she prosecuted the British government for war crimes in Afghanistan, after it was revealed in a 2007 Amnesty report that Britain, with other NATO countries, was likely to be complicit in the torture of Afghan detainees. Her case went to the High Court, where judges gave her a “partial victory” (5). Later in 2010 she won a High Court legal aid challenge where she successfully blocked cuts to legal aid for cases brought “in the public interest” (6). She currently has a pending case investigating the legitimacy of secret courts (7). In 2012 she spent a week in HM Bronzefield Prison for a non-payment of fine relating to a protest outside Northwood Military Base against the bombing of Afghan Wedding Parties by NATO/ US forces (8).
Maya is on the steering committee of the Drones Campaign Network UK (9), a coalition of UK groups concerned and committed to stopping drones. Last year she co-organised the UK “Ground the drones” peace walk (10). More recently she co-ordinated the Fly Kites Not Drones 2014 campaign which went international and was the biggest simultaneous mass anti drone action led by Afghans. The campaign included a video Maya made in Kabul with the Afghan Peace Volunteers during her 3 month stay in Kabul earlier this year (i).
Last year Maya co-ordinated a London conference focusing on Afghanistan post 2014 withdrawal and movement building. The event worked with Afghans in the UK, as well as the peace movement, to come together and hear from the APV in Kabul who spoke about the importance of bridging divisions in order to form peace. The day included speeches by Afghan women, a Guardian Journalist, Afghan community leaders, Stop the War, Drone Wars UK and many others. (ii)
Maya, despite her bravery and seriousness of purpose, is not at all solemn, but extremely lively and cheerful, and a very entertaining speaker.
(1) fromhastingstokabul.wordpress.com/ (2) vcnvuk.wordpress.com/ (3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_Evans (4) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4507446.stm (5) http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jun/25/activist-partial-victory-transfer-taliban (6) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13371880 (7) http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2013/jan/11/maya-evans-secret-courts-torture (8) http://www.schnews.org.uk/stories/PEACE-ACTIVIST-JAILED-FOR-AFGHAN-WAR-PROTEST/ (9) http://dronecampaignnetwork.wordpress.com/ (10) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10at2lymAnw (short advert by Maya Evans) (i) Film making in Kabul with the APV: www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8hlqfDGoAI (ii) Afghanistan What Next Conference: https://onesmallwindow.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/what-next-for-afghanistan/
Mike Ferner - Toledo, Ohio - Mike served two terms on the Toledo City Council, organized for the public employees’ union AFSCME, and worked as Communications Director for the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), and for the Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy. He has traveled to Iraq twice, with a Voices in the Wilderness Delegation just prior to the US invasion of 2003, and in 2004 for two months as a freelance writer. His book about those trips, Inside the Red Zone: A Veteran for Peace Reports from Iraq, (Praeger) was released in September, 2006. He was arrested several times for protesting the war in Iraq, including for disrupting a Congressional hearing. He served as a Navy Hospital Corpsman during Viet Nam, caring for hundreds of wounded soldiers. He was discharged as a conscientious objector. Mike also participated in Voices’ December 2010 delegation to Afghanistan.
Christine Gaunt – Grinnell, Iowa – Christine has participated in numerous Voices campaigns and has been active with the Witness Against Torture campaign. She is a former School of the Americas prisoner of conscience. Christine participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
Peggy Gish – Athens, Ohio — Peggy was part of the Iraq Peace Team and, over the past 14 years, has worked with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Palestine and Iraq. Her most recent time in Iraqi Kurdistan was July - October, 2014. She participated in the Spring 2011 VCNV delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Peace Volunteers in their campaign, Live Without Wars. She has authored two books: Iraq: A Journey of Hope and Peace (Herald Press, 2004), and Walking Through Fire: Iraqis’ Struggle for Justice and Reconciliation (Cascade Books, 2013). Peggy is also a grandmother, farmer, community mediator, conflict management trainer, and former co-director of the Appalachian Peace and Justice Network in Athens, Ohio.
Nancy Gowen—Richmond, VA—Nancy is a mother of seven children and a social worker who worked with people who are homeless and volunteered in Mother Teresa’s homes in Calcutta. Nancy served three months in federal prison for nonviolently protesting the U.S. Army School of the Americas. She is also a member of Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation. Nancy has visited death row prisoners and taught conflict resolution in prisons as an Alternatives to Violence team member. She has traveled to South Africa and Guatemala, and visited El Salvador on the 25th anniversary of Oscar Romero’s murder.
James Haber – Las Vegas, Nevada — is active with the Nevada Desert Experience which works toward nuclear abolition and nonviolent social change; he is also a board member of the War Resisters League. James participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
Martha Hennessy – Perkinsville, Vermont — Martha is part of the Maryhouse Catholic Worker community and has been active with the Witness Against Torture campaign. Martha participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars. Martha can be reached at 802.359.0982(cell), 212.777.9617 or .
Judith Kelly – Arlington, Virginia – Judith is a member of Pax Christi, USA; she is a School of the Americas prisoner of conscience and has been active with the Witness Against Torture campaign as well as numerous other peace/justice projects. Judith has traveled on many delegations to war zones.
Kathleen Kelly – Chicago, Illinois – Kathy Kelly co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence, (www.vcnv.org) a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare.
During each of fourteen trips to Afghanistan since 2010, Kathy Kelly has lived alongside ordinary Afghan people in a working class neighborhood in Kabul. She and other Voices activists have been guests of the Afghan Peace Volunteers. They share in common a belief that “where you stand determines what you see.”
Kelly and her companions insist that the U.S. has not been waging a “humanitarian war” in Afghanistan and that the U.S. should pay reparations for the suffering caused in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
Kelly has also joined with activists in various regions of the country to protest drone warfare by holding demonstrations outside of U.S. military bases in Nevada, upstate New York, and, most recently, Missouri.
From January to April 2015, Kathy was imprisoned in Lexington, KY after a federal judge convicted her for attempting to deliver a loaf of bread and a letter about drone warfare to the commander of Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
From 1996 – 2003, Voices activists formed 70 delegations that openly defied economic sanctions by bringing medicines to children and families in Iraq. Kathy and her companions lived in Baghdad throughout the 2003 “Shock and Awe” bombing. They have also lived alongside people during warfare in Gaza, Lebanon, Bosnia and Nicaragua.
She was sentenced to one year in federal prison for planting corn on nuclear missile silo sites (1988-89) and spent three months in prison, in 2004, for crossing the line at Fort Benning’s military training school. As a war tax refuser, she has refused payment of all forms of federal income tax since 1980.
for longer bio, click here.
Patrick Kennelly — Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Patrick is a member of the Casa Maria Catholic Worker community and works at Marquette University’s Center for Peacemaking. He has participated in Voices campaigns including the Iraqi Student Project. Patrick participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
Kate Kerwin— Sarasota, FL – Kate has been a civil rights and criminal trial attorney in the US for the past 27 years. She also specializes in international human rights and humanitarian law, with particular emphasis on Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Kate has recently created a new venue (The Revolutionary Legal Front) from which she will continue her work concerning issues of genocide, poverty, peace advocacy, asylum and war resistance. She participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
Ed Kinane - Syracuse, New York - After a stint on Wall Street, Ed taught math and biology in a one-room Quaker school in rural Kenya. He’s hitchhiked up and down and across Africa. Ed has also taught anthropology at a community college near Seattle, Oregon.
During the late eighties and early nineties. Ed worked with Peace Brigade International teams providing protective accompaniment to targeted activists in Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti, and Sri Lanka. Ed was chair of PBI’s Sri Lanka Project and a member of PBI’s national coordinating committee.
During the mid-and late-nineties, Ed worked closely with School of the Americas Watch, seeking to expose and close the Pentagon’s notorious terrorist training school at Ft. Benning, Georgia. For his nonviolent protests there, he has twice served time in federal prisons. He has also served on the SOA Watch national board.
In February, 2003, Ed joined the Voices’ Iraq Peace Team, remaining in Baghdad throughout “Shock and Awe.” In August of the same year, he returned with Voices to Baghdad to help monitor the US occupation. Back in the States, Ed worked against the occupation in Iraq and has spoken to many classes, congregations, and communities throughout the US.
Over the past three years, Ed has been active with Witness Against Torture in Washington, DC. This has led to several arrests. A number of years ago, he spent a month in Kabul, Afghanistan, with Voices.
Since 2009, Ed has worked with Upstate Drone Action outside Hancock Air Base near Syracuse to expose Reaper drone war crimes in Afghanistan. This civil resistance has also led to several arrests and short incarcerations. Contact him at
Bradford Lyttle is a prominent pacifist and peace activist, and organizer with the Committee for Non-Violent Action of several major campaigns against militarism, including “Omaha Action”, against land-based nuclear missiles (1959); “Polaris Action” against submarine-based nuclear missiles (1960); the San Francisco to Moscow Peace Walk (1961); and the Quebec-Washington-Guantanamo Peace Walk (1963). Brad recently participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
Brock McIntosh —Hyattsville, MD — Brock is an Army National Guard veteran who enlisted in May, 2006 and deployed to Afghanistan from November, 2008 to August, 2009. His views are his own and do not represent those of the Army National Guard or any other branch of the United States military. Following his redeployment home, Brock joined as a spokesperson for Veterans for Rethinking Afghanistan, became active in Iraq Veterans Against the War and is an applicant for conscientious objection. He received nonviolence and organizing training through the Highlander Folk School, SmartMeme, the Ruckus Society, the Midwest Academy, and the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies, where he was certified as a Kingian Nonviolence trainer. He was previously an intern at Win Without War where he worked primarily on the Veterans’ Trust Fund.
Ceylon Mooney – Memphis, Tennessee – Ceylon traveled to Iraq numerous times with Voices in the Wilderness, and has been active with many Voices campaigns. He is also an active member of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center. Ceylon participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
Simon Moyle — Australia — Simon is a member of Australia’s “pace e Bene” nonviolence training network. He participated in Voices’ Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Peace Volunteers in their campaign, Live Without Wars. He has been arrested a number of times in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience against militarism. Simon has run nonviolence training for groups as diverse as World Vision, Occupy Melbourne, and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. He is married and has four children.
Donna Mulhearn — Springwood, New South Wales Australia – Donna lived in Baghdad throughout the “Shock and Awe” bombing and has lived and worked in other many other conflict areas around the world. She has been involved in many nonviolent direct actions in several countries and is a journalist by trade. Donna participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
James P. Noonan – Washington, D.C., — James Noonan is a Maryknoll priest who spent 19 years in Cambodia and has recently returned to the U.S. James participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
Jake Olzen — Chicago, Illinois – Jake is a member of the White Rose Catholic Worker community and has participated in numerous Voices campaigns as well as the Witness Against Torture campaign. Jake recently participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
Bob Palmer — Chicago, IL — Bob is currently the Policy Director for Housing Action Illinois, a member-based organization that advocates for affordable housing at the state and federal levels. He has worked there since August 2002. In 2011, he participated in a Voices delegation to Afghanistan, and, in 2014, he took part in Voices’ “On the Road to Ground the Drones” walk from Chicago, IL, to Battle Creek, MI. He has also participated in Christian Peacemaker Teams delegations to Israel/Palestine, Colombia, and Iraqi Kurdistan. He is currently a member of the Illinois Coalition Against Torture and the Chicago Coalition to Shut Down Guantanamo.
Dan Pearson —St. Louis, Missouri—Dan co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence. In May/June of 2009, he traveled to Pakistan as part of a small delegation aiming to learn more about consequences of drone attacks and military offensives in Northwest Pakistan. Dan has also studied in Syria, where he became a fluent speaker and writer of Arabic. He has worked with the Israeli Coalition Against House Demolitions, building homes in the West Bank. He has also toured with the Wheels of Justice bus tour, a Voices education project, acting as the tour manager and also as a speaker. In the summer of 2008, he was a primary organizer of Witness Against War, a 500 mile walk from Chicago to St. Paul, MN.
Martin Reusch – Australia — Martin speaks fluent Dari and previously worked with NGOs in Afghanistan. Martin participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
Ken Hannaford—Ricardi -—Worcester, MA—- Whether traveling to Iraq, Palestine, or Afghanistan, Ken demands the answer to only one question: Why? Two of his children are physically and cognitively impaired. Why are these children gifted with the best medical care, the best education, the best nutrition, simply because of an accident of birth - they were born in he US?
Ken has been involved since 1998 with numerous projects with Voices, including traveling to Iraq three times. He is looking forward to his fifth trip to Afghanistan. He has also traveled on a human rights delegation to Israel/Palestine. You are invited to contact him at
Linda Sartor Linda has been a long-time peace/justice activist and an educator and had been arrested a number of times protesting the US development and testing of nuclear weapons. After she saw how the US responded to 9/11, educating and protesting weren’t enough any more. First, she joined ISM in Israel/Palestine in June of 2002, then Iraq Peace Teams in Feb. 2003, then went to Sri Lanka on the pilot team for the Nonviolent Peaceforce 2003-2008, and finally a Global Exchange trip to Iran in Oct. 2008. During her more regular life, Linda lives in an intentional community, teaches research courses in graduate school, and guides vision quest type wilderness trips with Rites of Passage.Linda participated in a Spring 2011 VCNV delegation to Afghanistan.
Scott Schaeffer-Duffy — Worcester, Massachussetts – Scott is a member of the Francis and Therese Catholic Worker community and has led numerous delegations into various war zones. Scott participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
David Smith-Ferri— Ukiah, CA— David has been an active member of Voices in the Wilderness/Voices for Creative Nonviolence since his first trip to Iraq in July of 1999. He returned to Iraq in September of 2002, and traveled across the country speaking against the impending invasion. Smith-Ferri, who is the current Poet Laureate of Ukiah, CA and a winner of the Janice Farrell Poetry Prize, has read his poetry at events across the country. His poetry and essays have been published in Z Magazine, Yes! Magazine, The Other Side Magazine, and the print edition of CounterPunch, as well as numerous online publications. David traveled to Afghanistan with Voices in October 2010 and October 2012. He can be reached at .
David Swanson — Virginia – David has authored several books about war and peace, most recently “War Is a Lie,” and is the founder of the “Afterdowningstreet.org” website. David participated a Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan.
Brian Terrell —Maloy, Iowa— Brian is a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. He lives and works at Strangers and Guests Catholic Worker Farm in Maloy, Iowa, where he helps tend a large garden and small herd of goats and chickens. From this little farm, Brian travels around Iowa and beyond, speaking and acting with communities that are working for justice and peace. His travels include participation in delegations to Palestine, Iraq, Bahrain and Afghanistan and he has been invited to speak in many European venues. In recent years, Brian has been active in resistance to remote controlled murders by drones with friends in Nevada, New York and Missouri and on May 24, 2013, he was released from a six month federal prison sentence for participating in a peaceable assembly in protest of drones at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
John Volkening — Chicago, Illinois — John is active with the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ; he has led several Christian Peacemaker Team delegations to Columbia and has participated in numerous Voices for Creative Nonviolence projects. John participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
Paki Wieland — Northampton, Massachussetts – Paki was part of the Free Gaza Movement campaign and has participated in numerous peace team delegations; she is also part of the Witness Against Torture campaign. Paki participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
Ann Wright —Hawaii— Former Army Colonel, Foreign Diplomat
“I have served my country for almost thirty years in some of the most isolated and dangerous parts of the world. I want to continue to serve America. However, I do not believe in the policies of this Administration and cannot – morally and professionally – defend or implement them. It is with heavy heart that I must end my service to America and therefore resign.”
Ann Wright has been a career military woman, a State Department diplomat, and for the past few years an influential spokesperson in the anti-war movement.She spent 13 years in active duty with the U.S. Army, with another 16 years in the Army reserves, retiring as a Colonel. Part of her work was special operations in civil affairs, in the event of troop invasions into countries like Iraq. Ann helped to develop, as she explained, “plans about how you interact with the civilian population, how you protect the facilities – sewage, water, electrical grids, libraries…It’s our obligation under the law of land warfare.” Ann requested a release from active duty from the Army and joined the State Department. For the next 16 years, she served as a foreign diplomat in countries such as Nicaragua, Somalia, Uzbekistan, and Sierra Leone. She was on the team that reopened the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in December, 2001, after the fall of the Taliban to US forces.
In all those years, Ann Wright was proud of her representation of America. However, on March 13, 2003, the eve of the US invasion of Iraq, Col.. Ann Wright sent a letter of resignation to then Secretary of State Colin Powell. In an interview, Ann explained that, in Foreign Service, “Your job is to implement the policies of an administration…if you strongly disagree with any administration’s policies, and wish to speak out, your only option is to resign. I understood that and that’s one of the reasons I resigned – to give myself the freedom to talk out.”
Ann was also a participant in a December 2010 delegation to Afghanistan.
Leila Zand —Albany, New York—is a native Iranian who has the experience of Islamic Revolution, Iran-Iraq war, “re-constructing” era after the war in Iran and finally Reform years. In 2000, Leila left Iran along with her husband and twin daughters. Since her immigration to the United States, Leila has taught at colleges, and lectures at various academic settings, peace gatherings, and community organizations. She had written many articles some have been successful to translate in to many different languages and receive international feedback.
Mrs. Zand has been Program Director of Fellowship Of Reconciliation (F.O.R) www.forusa.org Since 2006. When she focused on Iran-US relations and US military present in the Middle East. Leila’s mission is creating a bridge of understanding between the people of Iran and people of the United States. She led many Civilian Diplomacy Delegations to Iran to sustain this goal. Leila works hard to educate American population of US activities on militarization of Middle East. Leila recently participated in a December 2010 delegation to Afghanistan.