In our spring newsletter we announced that Gina Belafonte is the latest addition to our Advisory Board. This group is comprised of artists, activists, public intellectuals, and others with valuable skills or expertise, who publicly endorse our work and take other actions to support us in special ways. Gina – an actor/director/producer and activist – co-directs Sankofa.org, the organization her father Harry started to encourage artists to use their visibility to further movements for social justice. Harry Belafonte also has been on our Advisory Board since 2003.
Many prominent individuals have been part of this group over the years, including in memoriam members Pete & Toshi Seeger, Studs Terkel, Adrienne Rich, Ossie Davis, Ronnie Gilbert, and Richie Havens. Well-known present members include Angela Davis, Susan Sarandon, Chuck D, Eve Ensler, Holly Near, Ed Asner, and Mandy Patinkin, among others.
But whether or not they’re household names, all members of the RFC’s Advisory Board have powerful credentials and do exciting work in different realms. Here are short profiles of several of them.
It might be hard to imagine a music video that shows a young father singing about love and hopes for his toddler son, behind scenes of the family changing diapers, break dancing, and marching with the baby at a protest against the School of Americas torture training camp in Georgia.
Last week I presented at the 2016 Rebellious Lawyering Conference at Yale University. The largest student-run public interest law conference in the country, RebLaw “seeks to build a community of law students, practitioners, and activists seeking to work in the service of social change movements.”
I recently received two striking letters at the RFC. Although they are very different in almost every regard - tone, content, and the personal histories of the authors - taken together I believe they illuminate the core of the RFC and our work.