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.
Razia Ahmed —Peoria, IL— Originally from Lahore, Pakistan, though trained and worked as a chemist, in recent years Razia Ahmed has been involved in numerous peace activities, locally as well as internationally. She joined Voices in 2007 as a participant in the SODAPOP (Seasons of Discontent; Presidential Occupation Project). She also joined in the 2009 Walk for Peace from Camp Douglass to Ft. McCoy, Wisconsin. Razia was a participant in the 2009 Voices delegation to Pakistan, which researched the human consequences of military intervention in the region. In 2010 Razia again joined Voices in the 12-day liquids only fast as a Witness Against Torture and a member of Peaceable Assembly Campaign in Washington D. C. In 2008 Razia traveled to the West Bank to witness the Palestinian rights violations by the Israelis. In 2011 she demonstrated against the drone attacks in Pakistan by the United States of America. She also helped in relief efforts for the victims of 2010 floods in Pakistan, on behalf of friends and family in the US and in Pakistan. She can reached at .
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 Co-coordinator with Voices for Creative Nonviolence. She spent October, 2010, with the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in Bamiyan and Kabul, Afghanistan. She lives at the White Rose Catholic Worker and is involved in the Witness Against Torture campaign and Kairos Chicago. She can be reached at .
Johnny Barber—MT— Johnny has traveled to Iraq, Israel, Palestine (the West Bank and Gaza), Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, & Afghanistan to bear witness and document the suffering of people who are affected by war. He advocates for reconciliation and nonviolent strategies in the face of violence and oppression. His work can be viewed at www.oneBrightpearl.com and www.oneBrightpearl-jb.blogspot.com.
Buddy Bell —Chicago, IL— Buddy has been a co-coordinator with Voices for Creative Nonviolence since January 2012. He organized the 180-mile walk from Madison to Chicago in protest of the NATO summit, then visited Afghanistan in late May and June 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. He organized Covering Ground to Ground the Drones, a 195-mile walk from Illinois to Des Moines, meant to build opposition to a proposed drone base in Iowa’s capital city. He was in Afghanistan again during July and August of 2013. In 2014 he will be planning On the Road to Ground the Drones, a 160-mile walk from Chicago to the Battle Creek, MI drone control site.
Since 2005, Buddy has been a volunteer and participated in or helped plan many Voices campaigns, including the Occupation Project, Walk Against War, Walk for Peace, Ground the Drones Lest We Reap the Whirlwind, Witness Against Torture, and the Peaceable Assembly Campaign.
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.
Stephen Clemens – Minneapolis, Minnesota – Steve has been active in numerous Voices campaigns and other peace/justice projects; he has also been a School of the Americas prisoner of conscience and serves as a founding board member of the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project. Steve participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars. Steve can be reached at 612.724.3255(home) or at . He blogs at www.mennonista.blogspot.com.
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.
Elizabeth Deligio — Chicago, Illinois – Elizabeth has led delegations to Columbia and is a former School of the Americas prisoner of conscience. She works full time at the 8th Day Center for Justice in Chicago. Elizabeth participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars. She can be reached at or 312.641.5151.
Christopher Doucot — Hartford, Connecticut – Chris is a member of the Hartford Catholic Worker community who led multiple Voices delegations to Iraq. He has participated in international nonviolent peacmaking efforts in Bosnia, Chiapas, Iraq, Palestine/Israel and Darfur. Chris has spoken widely on War and Peace, nonviolence, race and poverty, Iraq, and the genocide in Darfur. He is a teacher on race, class and gender, religion and nonviolence, and the history of Christian Peacemaking at Central Connecticut State University. Chris participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
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.
(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 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 & Democracy. He traveled to Iraq twice, with a Voices in the Wilderness delegation just prior to the U.S. invasion in 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, days before Mike was released from two months house arrest for painting “Troops Out Now!” on a highway overpass. He has been arrested several times for protesting the war in Iraq, including disrupting a Congressional hearing. He served as a Navy Hospital Corpsman during Vietnam, taking care of hundreds of wounded soldiers, was discharged as a conscientious objector and is on the national board of Veterans For Peace. Mike participated in a December 2010 delegation to Afghanistan.
Christine Gaunt – Des Moines, 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 Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
Jacob George—Fayetteville, AR—Jacob is a three tour veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) turned peace activist. He served as a paratrooper in the United States Army Special Operation Command (USASOC) between 2001 and 2004, and was honorably discharged as sergeant. Jacob is the founder of A Ride Till The End (ARTTE), which is a perpetual bicycle protest that began on May 1, 2010 and has covered over 6,000 miles in the American South. ARTTE facilitates a healing process for veterans interested in unconventional self-healing through art and cycling. ARTTE is the first Afghan veteran lead, direct action protest of the Afghanistan occupation in the U.S.
Peggy Gish – Athens, Ohio — Peggy was part of the Iraq Peace Team and has been active with numerous Christian Peacemaker Team delegations. Gish is a grandmother, farmer, community mediator, conflict management trainer, and former co-director of the Appalachian Peace and Justice Network in Athens, Ohio. Peggy participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
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.
G. Simon Harak, S. J. —Milwaukee, WI— Simon is a peace activist and professor of theology and Director of the Center for Peacemaking at Marquette University. From 2003 to January 2007, Fr. Harak served as the Anti-Militarism Coordinator of the National Office of the War Resisters League. He also helped found Voices in the Wilderness, which was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, 2002, and 2003. Fr. Harak was named “Metro New York Peacemaker of the Year” and “National Peacemaker of the Year” by Pax Christi Metro New York and Pax Christi Long Island in 2005. Simon traveled to Iraq with Voices in the Wilderness. In May of 2010, Simon participated in a VCNV delegation to Pakistan which researched the human consequences of U.S. military intervention and the CIA drone program in Pakistan.
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, at 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.
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, NY— Ed has long been committed to nonviolence and social justice. Ed is a retired educator. He used to teach math and biology in a one-room Quaker school in rural Kenya and anthropology in a community college near Seattle. He is also a writer of letters to the editor, op-eds, articles and reviews. Off and on since the seventies he has been an editor of the Syracuse Peace Council’s Peace Newsletter.
In February 2003 Ed joined the Voices’ Iraq Peace Team, remaining in Baghdad throughout “shock and awe” until the invasion’s end. In August 2003 he returned to Baghdad with Voices for ten weeks to help monitor the occupation. Back in the States Ed has worked against the U.S. occupation of Iraq and has spoken to many classes, congregations and communities about his Iraq experience.
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 coordinator of Australia’s “Pace e Bene” network. Simon recently participated in the Spring 2011 delegation to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in their campaign Live Without Wars.
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 2008 and 2009 he participated in Christian Peacemaker Teams delegations to Israel/Palestine and Columbia, respectively.
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—- Ken is a father of five children and has been a Catholic Worker volunteer with people who are homeless for 15 years. He has been involved since 1998 with numerous projects with Voices, including traveling to Iraq three times to break the sanctions and has served time in prison for nonviolent civil disobedience. Ken has also traveled on a human rights delegation to Israel/Palestine.
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 .
Eric Stoner— New York, New York— A freelance journalist and an adjunct professor at St. Peter’s College, Eric’s articles have appeared in The Guardian, Mother Jones, The Nation, The Huffington Post, In These Times, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and in newspapers across the country. He edits and writes for Waging Nonviolence, a blog that covers nonviolent actions and campaigns around the world, and serves on the national board of the War Resisters League. Eric participated in a December 2010 delegation to Afghanistan.
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.