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Speakers

Check out our 2021 speaker lineup!

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Keynote Speaker
Viet Thanh Nguyen

Viet Thanh Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American novelist, University Professor, the Aerol Arnold Chair of English, and a Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California.

 

Nguyen's debut novel, The Sympathizer, won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction among other accolades, including the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction from the American Library Association, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel from an American Author from the Mystery Writers of America, and the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in Fiction from the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association. He was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2017. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Nguyen is also a regular contributor, op-ed columnist for The New York Times, covering immigration, refugees, politics, culture and Southeast Asia.

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Speakers & Presenters

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ADRIENNE KINNE

President, Veterans For Peace Board of Directors

Adrienne Kinne has been active in the peace movement since 2007, first with Iraq Veterans Against the War and currently with Veterans For Peace. She served stateside in the US Army from 1994 to 2004 as an Arabic linguist, having enlisted during her senior year of high school. She has an educational background in psychology and social work, with over ten years of experience in a variety of positions with the Veterans Administration. Since connecting with the Veteran peace movement, she has worked with organizations at the local, state, and national/international level. After living in London for two years, she recently returned with her husband, Danny - a Veteran and member of VFP, and their cat, Duffy, and dog, Pax, to her home area of Central NY. They are getting connected with local community and activism organizations while Adrienne maintains her role as the President of VFP's Board of Directors.

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ALEX MANNIX

Organizer, Gamers For Peace Founding Member

Alex was a U.S. Army intelligence officer for five years, serving in Missouri, Hawaii, and Arizona. He has been a member of Gamers for Peace since its early stages and regularly streams across a variety of topics and games. He now works in tech in Chicago, IL and is passionate about providing mentorship and career assistance to young adults and transitioning veterans.

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ALYN WARE

Peace Educator, International Peace and Disarmament Campaigner

Mr. Alyn Ware is a peace educator and international peace and disarmament campaigner. Originally from New Zealand he has lived in the United States and Switzerland, and now resides in the Czech Republic. Mr. Ware is a co-founder and the Global Coordinator of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (USA), the Peace and Disarmament Programs Director for the World Future Council (Germany), the Director of the Basel Peace Office (Switzerland), and an International Representative for Aotearoa Lawyers for Peace. He previously served as Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy (USA). Mr. Ware founded and directed the Mobile Peace Van, and co-founded a number of peace education initiatives, international peace projects and peace advocacy networks.

Mr. Ware’s successful efforts in New Zealand include being a member of the Department of Education advisory group that developed the New Zealand Guidelines for integrating peace studies into the national school curriculum and leading the campaigns to prohibit nuclear weapons from New Zealand in the 1980s and to achieve a ruling from the International Court of Justice on the illegality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons in 1996. He has won several peace awards including the Right Livelihood Award (Sweden), Alliance for Nuclear Accountability Award (USA), World Peace Award (Canada), United Nations International Year for Peace Award (NZ) and Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Award (NZ), and has been nominated a number of times for the Nobel Peace Prize.

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ANGELA PEACOCK, MSW

Former U.S. Army Sergeant

Angela Peacock, MSW is a former U.S. Army Sergeant and subject in the film, Medicating Normal. Diagnosed with PTSD after one deployment to Iraq in 2003, she was overmedicated for it for over a decade and a half. Angie is part of the film’s outreach team, facilitating more than 150 post-screening panel discussions with communities worldwide. Her past roles include VFW Legislative Fellow, Wounded Warrior Project Courage Award recipient, and finalist for Student Veteran of the Year with Student Veterans of America. She is a mental health advocate, writer, and YouTube creator who travels in her campervan across the United States with her service dog Raider, in an effort to improve the mental health care system for veterans and civilians alike.

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ANN WRIGHT

Veterans For Peace Advisory Board Member,

Retired U.S. Army Colonel / Former U.S. Diplomat

Ann Wright is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and former U.S. diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the US War on Iraq. She reopened the US Embassy in Afghanistan in December 2001. She has been to Guam, Okinawa, Japan, North Korea and South Korea and speaks internationally on the threats US policies in Asia and the Pacific are causing. She has been to Gaza numerous time and on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. She is the co-author of "Dissent: Voices of Conscience".

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ARASH AZIZZADA

Filmmaker, Journalist and Community organizer

Co-Founder of the Afghan Diaspora for Equity and Progress (ADEP)

Arash Azizzada is a filmmaker, journalist and community organizer currently living in Los Angeles, California. The son of Afghan refugees who fled Afghanistan in the wake of the Soviet invasion, Azizzada is deeply involved in organizing and mobilizing the Afghan-American community, co-founding the Afghan Diaspora for Equity and Progress (ADEP) in 2016.  ADEP, the first organization of its kind to emerge in the Afghan-American community, aims to raise awareness of social injustice and train and empower change-makers to tackle issues ranging from environmental racism to access to voting.  In the past few years, he has committed to promoting the voices of women and other marginalized groups in Afghanistan as peace talks and reconciliation efforts continue to take shape, as well as ending US military involvement in Afghanistan by launching the Afghans For A Better Tomorrow Campaign.

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ARLYS HEREM

Army Nurse Corps, 1970-1975

Save Our VA National Project Steering Committee

Arlys is a Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing graduate who served in the Army Nurse Corps from 1970-1975, including a tour in Vietnam. The majority of the rest of her nursing career has been overseas where she served in Peace Corps Belize, worked in Cambodian refugee camps in Thailand and ended her career in Cambodia. Before retiring in 2018, she spent the last 20 years in Cambodia with a local NGO she founded providing home care for those dying at home in an AIDS affected district. On retiring to Minneapolis, she joined Veterans For Peace and is a member of the SOVA National Project Steering Committee.

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ASH-LEE WOODARD HENDERSON

Co-Executive Director of Highlander Center

Leader of Movement for Black Lives

(she/her/hers) Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson is a 36-year-old Affrilachian (Black Appalachian), woman from the working class, born and raised in Southeast Tennessee. She is the first Black woman to serve as Co-Executive Director of the Highlander Research & Education Center in New Market, TN. As a member of multiple leadership teams in the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), Ash-Lee has thrown down on the Vision for Black Lives and the BREATHE Act. Ash-Lee has served on the governance council of the Southern Movement Assembly, the advisory committee of the National Bailout Collective, and is an active leader of The Frontline. She is a long-time activist who has done work in movements fighting for workers, for reproductive justice, for LGBTQUIA+ folks, for environmental justice, and more.

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BRIAN TERRELL

Anti-drone War Protester

Brian Terrell participated in the first protests in the U.S. against killing by remote control in 2009, shortly after newly elected President Obama made assassination by Predator and Reaper drones the cornerstone of his military policy. Since his arrest at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada that spring, Brian has participated in nonviolent protests around the country and abroad as this deadly technology has been proliferating. At these protests he has been arrested many times, serving jail sentences in New York, Wisconsin and Nevada and in 2013, Brian spent six months in federal prison for presenting a petition at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Brian has travelled extensively, making several visits to Afghanistan where he met with drone victims and their families. A peace activist for more than 45 years, Brian lives on a Catholic Worker farm in Maloy, Iowa.

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BRIGITTE GYNTHER

Program and Research Coordinator, School Of Americas Watch

Brigitte is SOA Watch's Program and Research Coordinator. She has been with SOA Watch since 2012 in several different roles, including as a human rights accompanier in Honduras, where she accompanied social movements and human rights organizations and documented the role of the U.S. in human rights violations, militarization, and repression. She has also coordinated delegations for SOAW throughout the hemisphere. Most recently, Brigitte has led SOAW's human rights and solidarity work to challenge the militarized imposition of the U.S. neoliberal extractivist model in Central America. Prior to SOA Watch, Brigitte spent almost a decade coordinating national religious organizing in solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), playing an integral part of successful national campaigns to bring about dramatic change for Florida farmworkers. She has a degree in Anthropology and International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame.

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BRITTANY RAMOS DEBARROS

Community Organizer and Combat Veteran

Brittany Ramos DeBarros is a proud Afro-Latina Staten Islander, community organizer, and combat veteran running for Congress in New York’s 11th District. She grew up in a deeply patriotic military family and entered the Army in order to help pay for college. DeBarros' time in Afghanistan changed her mind about war, as she came home angry, hurt, and feeling betrayed by a system that covered up greed and corruption with the veneer of freedom. She quickly realized that these same problems were happening at home, across the country and directly within her own community. DeBarros is determined to help lead the fight to build a better, more just world; the world that we deserve.

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BRUCE CARRUTHERS

U.S. Army Veteran,

Save Our VA National Project Steering Committee

Bruce Carruthers is married with three sons in Denver, Austin, and San Diego, a granddaughter in Denver, and two grandsons in San Diego. He is a U.S. Army veteran, and served a tour of duty in Viet Nam in 1967 and 1968. He was honorably discharged from the Army in May 1968 after completing a tour in Viet Nam. His education background is as follows: BA, Sociology, Iowa ’66; MA, Sociology, Syracuse ’71; MA in Healthcare Administration, University of Colorado, Denver ’97; MA, History, Wichita State University, ’06. In 2002 he retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs as a member of the Federal Executive Service. He moved ten times in his career including Philadelphia; Washington D.C.; Tacoma, Washington; Lexington, KY; and Birmingham, AL.

In July 2012 Bruce moved to Waynesville, Western North Carolina. Approximately half of Bruce’s career was in human resources and half in hospital administration. He has been active in the VFP National Save Our VA Project since February 2019 and serves on the Project’s Steering Committee. He recently testified before the House Veterans Affairs Committee on behalf of SOVA. His hobbies include woodworking, travel, and reading.

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CHANTELLE BATEMAN

Organizer, Strategist, and Advisor

Chantelle is a mama, artist, and "jawntreprenuer" living and working in Philadelphia. She has been a part of the veteran's demilitarization movement as an organizer, strategist, and advisor since joining About Face aka IVAW in 2008.

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CHARLES HOGE, MD

Colonel (Retired)

Charles Hoge, MD, Colonel (retired) served a total of 20 years in the U.S. Public Health Service (1989-1991) and U.S. Army (1991-2009). Dr. Hoge directed psychiatric and neuroscience research at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) from 2000-2009. He deployed to Iraq in 2004 and to Afghanistan (as a civilian) in 2011. A national expert on war-related mental health issues and traumatic brain injury, Dr. Hoge has testified to Congress and authored over 200 peer-reviewed medical articles, including some of the most cited from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His self-help book for combat veterans and families is titled, Once a Warrior—Always a Warrior: Navigating the Transition from Combat to Home.

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CHRIS VELAZQUEZ

Organizer, Gamers For Peace Founding Member

Veterans For Peace Digital Organizer

Chris Velazquez is a life-long gamer having served in the United States Marine Corps as a Civil Affairs Operator with combat deployments to Fallujah, Iraq and Helmand Province, Afghanistan. After receiving an honorable discharge in 2010, Chris navigated academia, the fitness industry, and corporate finance sector until stepping into an advocacy role with Disabled American Veterans as a National Service Officer. Chris resides in Pennsylvania where he continues working as a veterans advocate and activist in his role with Veterans For Peace.

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CHRISTINE AHN

Founder & Executive Director of Women Cross DMZ,

Korea Peace Now

Christine Ahn is the Founder and Executive Director of Women Cross DMZ, a global movement of women mobilizing to end the Korean War, reunite families, and ensure women’s leadership in peace building. In 2015, she led 30 international women peacemakers from 15 countries across the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) from North Korea to South Korea. In March 2019, Women Cross DMZ launched a global campaign, Korea Peace Now! Women Mobilizing to End the War, with a coalition of women’s organizations, including the Nobel Women’s Initiative, Korean Women’s Movement for Peace, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Since 2014, Ahn has helped leverage over $3 million from over 1,000 donations for Korea peace and women’s leadership in peacebuilding.

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CLAIRE CLARK

Activist & Organizer, Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL)

Claire Clark is an activist and organizer with the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL).

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DAN KELLY

Founding President - VFP Chapter 110 (Orange County, CA)

Dan Kelly is a a Vietnam Vet and father of an OIF Marine vet. He and his late wife were among the founding families of MFSO (Military Families Speak Out) and he was the founding president of VFP Chapter 110 in Orange County, CA. He was involved in the initial planning stages of Arlington West collaborating with the chapters in Santa Barbara and Santa Monica and together with Chapter 110 established Arlington West at Huntington Beach, CA. Dan was active in coordinating Katrina Relief out of the Los Angeles Basin with the cooperation of KPFK Pacifica Radio from which they raised over $50,000 in relief cash contributions and the organization of over 1,000 volunteers running caravans of food and water materials to Covington and other relief work. Dan stepped down from the board of MFSO last year due to health issues. After his wife, Kathie, passed in 2016 he relocated to the small village of Arivaca, AZ located in the mountains of the Sonoran Desert along the Mexican border where he has actively supported and participated in the Samaritan movement, People Helping People in the borderlands and No More Deaths in providing humanitarian care to migrants crossing the Sonoran Desert.

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DANNY SJURSEN

Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy 

Director of the Eisenhower Media Network (EMN)

Danny Sjursen is a retired US Army officer who served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at West Point.  While still on active duty, Sjursen wrote critical articles about U.S. military policies. He is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and director of the Eisenhower Media Network (EMN). His work has appeared in the NY Times, LA Times, The Nation, Common Dreams, Huff Post, The Hill, Salon, Mother Jones, ScheerPost, and TomDispatch. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, "Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge" (2015) and "Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War" (2020).  Along with fellow vet Chris "Henri" Henriksen, he co-hosts the podcast “Fortress on a Hill.” He is a member of Veterans For Peace.

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ELI PAINTEDCROW

U.S. Army (E-7) Retired, Founder of Turtle Women Rising

Eli PaintedCrow Yaqui, Mayan lineage, served 22 yrs as a soldier, U.S. Army, 15 yrs decolonizing her life. Called to serve as a peace worker establishing Turtle Women Rising in 2007 after leaving Iraq and retiring from military. A sister and mother of two military veterans. Founder of Turtle Women Rising and indigenous women’s drum group to promote peace, unite people and bring the voice of indigenous women to the forefront and those who recognize earth as a living being willing to stand for her healing. Eli is a ceremonialist of indigenous ways and advocate for the mother and her inhabitants.

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ERIN ROPER

Organizer, Gamers For Peace Founding Member

Rocket League Coach

Erin is a librarian at a community college. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering and playing games.

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ERIK EDSTROM

West Point Grad, Afghan War Veteran

Author of Un-American: A Soldier's Reckoning of Our Longest War

Erik Edstrom graduated from West Point in 2007. He deployed to direct combat in Afghanistan where, serving as an infantry platoon leader, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Erik spent the remainder of his military service as the Presidential Escort Platoon Leader during the Obama administration. He is a graduate of U.S. Army Ranger School and was selected for the U.S. Special Forces (SFAS). After the military, Erik went on to earn an MBA and Master of Science, studying climate change, at Oxford University. He is the author of Un-American: A Soldier’s Reckoning of our Longest War (Bloomsbury, 2020). His work has been featured on the BBC, OZY Media, NBC News, USA Today, Politico, WGBH, The New Republic, The Nation, NY Daily News, Huffington Post, Salon, and others.

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FIDA QISHTA

Gazan Filmmaker and Video Journalist

Fida Qishta grew up in Gaza and witnessed her parents’ house of 30 years bulldozed by the Israeli army. Fida became the first Gazan female video journalist and started documenting the destruction inflicted on Gaza by Israeli military attacks. Her 2013 documentary film “Where Should the Birds Fly", is the first film about Gaza made by Palestinians living the reality of Israel’s siege and blockade of this tiny enclave. She has returned to Gaza is making a second documentary of the continuing effects of the Israel blockade of Gaza. The new documentary is provisionally titled "Our Dreams Are Not Rubble.”

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FRANK COCORAN

Marine, 1968-1969 (Vietnam 1968)

Member of VFP Chapter 31 (Philadelphia, PA)

Frank served in the Marines from 1968-1969 (Vietnam 1968). He was an elementary school teacher for 20 years, and has been a member of the Veterans For Peace Philadelphia chapter since 1991. He volunteered for IVAW in their Philadelphia office from 2004-2008. He was also a member of the first Veterans for Peace Iraq Water Project Team that travelled to Iraq in 2000.

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HARVEY BENNETT

Co-host, VFP Nashville Weekly Radio Hour

Member, VFP Chapter 89 (Nashville, TN - Hector Black Chapter)

Harvey Bennett served in the Navy from 1965 to 1969. His service included two years on Destroyer on East Coast and the last two years as an Auxiliaries Officer USS Ranger (CVA-61) deployed to Yankee Station in Gulf of Tonkin. He came to view the American war on Viet Nam as a moral atrocity during his service on Yankee Station. He's been nvolved in varying degrees of anti-war and social justice causes throughout '70's and '80's including Radical Education Project 70-71, GI Coffee House Ft. Campbell KY 71, Nuclear Freeze Nashville 1980's. He joined VFP Middle TN Chapter (now HECTOR BLACK Chapter) following Operation Dire Distress opposing imminent 2003 Iraq War. He is now the co-host with Jim Wohlgemuth of Pacifica affiliate weekly VFP Radio Hour since January 2016.

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HELEN JACCARD

VFP Golden Rule Project Manager

Helen Jaccard holds a BS in Chemical Engineering but was a computer programmer and trainer as a career, retiring at the end of 2010. She is co-chair of the Veterans For Peace Nuclear Abolition Working Group, a member of the VFP Nuclear Disarmament Campaign, and chaired the former VFP Environmental Cost of War and Militarism Working Group. She is a researcher and co-author of a bill for cleanup of 15,000 abandoned uranium mines in 16 Western States as part of the CleanUpTheMines! Campaign. From February 2015 Helen has devoted her life to the VFP Golden Rule Project. She helped with restoration and was crew the entire 2015 voyage down the California coast and back. She is now Project Manager and travels with the Golden Rule during the sailing season, crewing as needed.

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JEFF ROY

Retired Teacher, Social Worker & Longtime Community Organizer

Save Our VA National Project Coordinator

Jeff is a retired teacher, social worker and longtime community organizer living in Minneapolis. He entered Vietnam as a Marine radio operator in October 1968, and served in the 3rd Marine Division in Quang Tri Province and later on the border with Laos until October 1969. While in Vietnam, he turned against the American War and once he was state side, organized other Marines to oppose the war; and for that was kicked out of the service.

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JENNY TRUAX

National Organizer/Workshop Facilitator

Jenny Truax has more than 20 years of experience in group facilitation. Her two decades at Karen House, a collectively-run shelter in North St. Louis for unhoused people, gave her a deep interest and expertise in political education and group dynamics. She currently serves as a Program Associate for NCCJ St. Louis, focusing on the “train the trainer” program, curriculum design, and workshop implementation on anti-oppression topics such as racism, sexism, bias, and privilege. Jenny is also a National Organizer/Workshop Facilitator for Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training. Jenny is also part of the St. Louis Anti-Racism Organizing Collective, which educates and organizes white people into supporting local BIPOC-led organizations. Jenny has a Master’s Degree from St. Louis University in Physical Therapy, and in her free time, expresses her true inner nerd by creating Harry Potter-inspired Treasure Hunts, Star Wars-themed Escape rooms, and other geeky adventures. She lives in the St. Louis area with her wife Annjie, hilarious dogs, and a variety of chickens and stray cats.

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JEREMIAH KNOWLES, LMSW

Organizer, Gamers For Peace Founding Member & eSports Coordinator

Mental Health Professional

Jeremiah is a Army National Guard veteran who served in Kabul Afghanistan 08-09 as an intelligence analyst. Jeremiah joined in 2006, during his junior year of high school and completed AIT in 2007 at Ft Huachuca Arizona in December 2007, leaving for Afghanistan just a few months later. Growing up on a low income, Jeremiah joined the military largely for the economic benefits; the monthly income from drill and the college support. Jeremiah graduated from SUNY Oneonta in upstate New York with a Bachelors in Adolescent Education and later with a Master in Social Work from University at Buffalo. Jeremiah currently works as a mental health clinician at Nazareth College in Rochester NY. While working on his masters degree, Jeremiah had the opportunity to focus on masculinity, abusive relationships, and veteran mental health. Jeremiah joined VFP in the summer of 2020 and quickly became engaged in various committees and his local chapter. He was excited to find an organization that helped him reconcile his identity as a veteran and his values of non-violence, service, and social justice. Currently Jeremiah serves on the Transformative Justice Committee, the Membership Committee, Gamers for Peace, and serves as the Chapter 23 secretary in Rochester NY.

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JESSE GOULD

Founder and President, Heroic Hearts Project

Jesse Gould is a pioneer in psychedelic therapies. As Founder and President of the Heroic Hearts Project, he has spearheaded the research and acceptance of ayahuasca therapy programs for military veterans. Jesse has raised over $500,000 in scholarships from donors including Dr. Bronner’s, partnered with the world’s leading ayahuasca treatment centers, and is researching psychiatric applications with the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Georgia. His mission is to help military veterans struggling with mental trauma and spread awareness of the benefits that ayahuasca therapies offer as an alternative treatment to pharmaceuticals.

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JIM WOHLGEMUTH

Co-host, Weekly VFP Nashville Radio Hour

Member, VFP Chapter 89 (Nashville, TN - Hector Black Chapter)

Jim Wohlgemuth was in the Navy from 68 to 72 serving on the USS Westchester County Lst 1167, and the Point Defiance both spending most of our time off the coast of Vietnam in support of ground troop and riverine operations. It did not take long for him to understand the futility of Vietnam but he kept quiet just wanting to serve his time and get out. He got out, went to university, got married, had kids, and tried to forget Vietnam. He paid dues to VVAW and joined VFP by paying dues in early 2000's. He worked for the Federal government for 30 years, then taught middle school for 7 and moved to Nashville to be close to grand kids. VFP and the radio show are his primary platform to try to spread the word about the futility of war and the insanity of the military budget while domestically we crumble.

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JONATHAN W. HUTTO, SR.

Activist, Political Organizer, Strategist & Author

Jonathan Hutto served in the US Navy from 2004-2011. He is an activist, political organizer and strategist, who has been involved in many campaigns, including Veterans Challenge Islamophobia. Jonathan's acclaimed book Antiwar Soldier: How to Dissent Within the Ranks of the Military, chronicles his time onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) from July 2004 to September 2008, when he helped launch "The Appeal For Redress" calling on the United States Government to end the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Using the Military Whistleblower Protection Act, they successfully mobilized over 2000 Service-members to send appeals to their members of Congress. He has received numerous awards for his activism, including the Letelier Moffitt Human Rights Award from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).

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JULES VAQUERA

Organizer & Artist,

VFP Member Coordinator

Jules Vaquera is a veteran of the USAF and Operation Iraqi "Freedom." She has been making anti war art for nearly a decade as a poet, songwriter, playwright, and visual artist.

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KATIE CONSIDINE

Organizer, Gamers For Peace Founding Member

Military Ad Slammer

Katie Considine is a Marine Corps veteran currently attending university in Colorado. She is staunchly anti-war and wants to fight against the "economic draft." In her spare time she enjoys thwarting military recruitment efforts and playing with her dog.

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KATHY KELLY

Peace Activist, VFP Advisory Board Member

Kathy Kelly has traveled to war zones and lived alongside ordinary people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon, Bosnia, Haiti and Nicaragua. She and her companions in various peace team delegations believe the U.S. should end all U.S. military and economic warfare and pay reparations for suffering already caused by U.S. wars.

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KELLY DOUGHERTY

Co-founder Iraq Veterans Against the War (About Face)

Kelly Dougherty served for eight years in the Colorado Army National Guard and took part in the invasion and occupation of Iraq as a Military Police soldier from 2003-2004. After returning home, Kelly helped co-found Iraq Veterans Against the War with several other Iraq vets during the 2004 Veterans For Peace annual convention in Boston. Kelly started the first IVAW chapter in Colorado Springs, served on the board, and worked for a time as IVAW's executive director. Currently, Kelly is a public health professional who works to promote the health of children and families. She lives in Arvada, Colorado with her husband, two children, and new puppy.

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KEN MAYERS

Co-founder, VFP Santa Fe Chapter

VFP Board of Directors

The Marine Corps paid Ken’s way through Princeton as an NROTC scholarship holder. He graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1958 and accepted a commission as a regular Marine Corps Officer, intending to make the service his career. However, his experience as an instrument of US foreign policy drove him out of the Corps at the end of 1966. In 1986 Ken was recruited into Veterans For Peace by then President John Barr, another former career Marine Corps Officer. In July 2002, Ken co-founded the Santa Fe Chapter of VFP. Ken was a member of the national VFP Board of Directors from 2004 through 2009 and national treasurer from 2005 through 2009. He was again elected in 2020.

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KEN JONES

Retired Professor of Teacher Education

Member of VFP Chapter 99 (Asheville, NC)

Ken Jones is a retired professor of teacher education and a member of the Asheville VFP Chapter 099. Over the years, he has also been active with School of the Americas Watch, Pastors for Peace, Witness Against Torture, and Christian Peacemaker Teams. In his work for peace & justice, he has been part of solidarity and accompaniment delegations to Honduras, Cuba, Haiti, Korea, the US Borderlands, and Line 3 in Minnesota. He is an organizer, teacher, and writer.

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KJ NOH

South Korean Veteran, Peace Activist, Author & Scholar

KJ Noh is veteran of the South Korean military, a peace activist and a scholar specializing on the geo-politics of Asia-Pacific region. His articles have been published in LA Progressive, CounterPunch and Dissident Voice. He is a member of Veterans For Peace.

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KRYSTAL TWO BULLS

Oglala Lakota/Northern Cheyenne

Director, LANDBACK Campaign

Krystal Two Bulls, Director of the LANDBACK Campaign, is Oglala Lakota and Northern Cheyenne from Lame Deer, Montana. She has extensive experience as an organizer and on the frontlines with campaign development and management on local, national and transnational campaigns for social, racial and environmental justice. Krystal’s identity as a Native American veteran is central to her organizing and storytelling. At the heart of Krystal’s work are the connections between collective wellness, environmental justice, Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, and anti-militarism. In healing from her experience as a soldier, Krystal has dedicated herself to embodying what she views as the essential quality of a warrior: a commitment to the well-being of not only her People and their relationship to the land, but that of all Peoples.

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DR. KYLE KAJIHIRO

Professor, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Founder, Hawaii DeTours Project

Dr. Kyle Kajihiro is a professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, teaching courses in Ethnic Studies and Geography and Environment. He also is the founder of the Hawaii DeTours Project, which aims to teach people the true history of Hawaii and spread awareness of social justice issues from a decolonized perspective.

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DR. LISA NATIVIDAD

Professor of Social Work, University of Guam

Primary Convener, Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice

Dr. Lisa Natividad is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Guam. She is also the primary convener of the Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice and a founding member of I Hagan Famalao’an Guahan. She is an indigenous CHamoru who has championed the exposure of the human rights violations against her people and homeland Guahan, which is a military colony of the United States. She has spoken globally on the topics of demilitarization, decolonization, and the critical role women play in the creation of safe and thriving communities. Dr. Natividad has presented interventions on the halting of the massive military build-up on Guahan before the United Nations Fourth Committee, Decolonization Committee, and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She is a former member of the Guam Decolonization Commission and has spoken on these issues in Japan, the Philippines, the United States, Norway, Ecuador, Fiji, and other countries. Dr. Natividad is a member of the International Peace Bureau Council.

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MATTHEW HOH

Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy

VFP Advisory Board Member

Matthew Hoh had twelve years of experience with America’s wars overseas with the United States Marine Corps, Department of Defense and State Department. Hoh served in Iraq from 2004 to 2005 in Salah ad-Din Province with a State Department reconstruction and governance team and from 2006 to 2007 in Anbar Province as a Marine Corps company commander. He then joined the State Department as director of the Afghanistan Study Group, a network of foreign and public policy experts and professionals advocating for a change in US strategy in Afghanistan. Matthew resigned in protest from the State Department in 2009 over the American escalation of the war. Matthew is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy. Matthew’s writings have appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Defense News, the Guardian, the Huffington Post, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. He has been a guest on many news programs on radio and television networks including the BBC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC, MSNBC, NPR, Pacifica. and RT. He is a member of Veterans For Peace.

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MARCY WINOGRAD

Coordinator of CODE PINK CONGRESS

Marcy Winograd, Coordinator of CODE PINK CONGRESS, is a long-time anti-war activist and former congressional peace candidate who co-chairs the End Wars and Occupations Team for Progressive Democrats of America. As a 2020 DNC delegate for Bernie Sanders, Marcy organized a party platform submission calling for withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and repeal of Authorizations for Use of Military Force. Marcy's activism began in high school when she marched against the Vietnam War and later joined the defense team of Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. A retired public high school English and government teacher, Marcy blogs about militarism and foreign policy at LAProgressive, Salon and the Quincy Institute's Responsible Statecraft. This year Marcy joined the Veterans For Peace Climate Crisis & Militarism Project.

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MARJORIE COHN

Professor Emerita, Thomas Jefferson School of Law,

VFP Advisory Board Member

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, and a member of the bureau of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and the advisory board of Veterans for Peace. She served as one of 7 judges from 3 continents on the International People's Tribunal of Conscience in Support of the Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange in 2009. She is a member of the core of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign and the national advisory board of Veterans for Peace. Her books include "Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent." Read more: https://marjoriecohn.com.

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MELODY SHANK

Reject Raytheon AVL

Melody Shank, having grown up in the Church of the Brethren, one of the historic peace churches, has always considered herself a pacifist. In the roles of her 35-year education career, she worked to broaden students’ understanding of the world, helped resolve conflicts, and facili-tated paths to a more just and peaceful world. She has served on Christian Peacemaker Teams at the Arizona border and at a Stop Line 3 Camp in Minnesota. She helped form Reject Raytheon AVL and has learned a great deal about how war contractors gain favor from public officials and shield themselves from the scrutiny of citizens. She is the webmaster of rejectraytheonavl.com.

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MICHAEL A. MESSNER

Author - Guys Like Me: Five Wars, Five Veterans For Peace

Professor of Sociology & Gender Studies at USC

Messner, an associate member of VFP, is professor of sociology and gender studies at the University of Southern California. He is the author or editor of nineteen books on gender-based violence, men and feminism, and gender and sports. Recently Messner conducted research with U.S. military veterans who are advocates for peace and social justice. The first book based on this research, Guys Like Me: Five Wars, Five Veterans For Peace, was published in 2019. The new book, Unconventional Combat: Intersectional Action in the Veterans’ Peace Movement is hot off the press.

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MIKE PRYSNER

Activist, Journalist and Filmmaker

Mike is a former Army Corporal who joined the anti-war movement after serving 12 months in Iraq, including the US invasion. He testified at the 2008 Winter Soldier hearings and was arrested several times protesting the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. He became a central organizer of mass anti-war marches in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles as a member of the ANSWER Coalition and Iraq Veterans Against the War. In 2009 he co-founded an active-duty and veterans' organization called March Forward! which advocated for service members to refuse deployment, doing outreach on military bases and assisting soldiers filing for Conscientious Objector status. In 2015 he created The Empire Files with partner Abby Martin, an anti-imperialist video series where they have reported from conflict zones in Palestine, Venezuela and Colombia. He wrote and produced the film Gaza Fights For Freedom (2019) and remains an activist and counselor for service members trying to leave the military. His forthcoming film, Earth's Greatest Enemy, explores the US military's devastating impact on the environment.

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NAMAYA

Poet & Artist

Namaya – MIA, MSN, D.Sci. – is an internationally renowned poet, artist, who creates art and community building projects for peace. His expertise is creating community peace building art projects internationally. He is a veteran, served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Yemen, and is a lifelong peace activist. He has presented art and performance projects “Memoria. Hablar. Dignidad.” at human rights centers Villa Grimaldi in Santiago and other peace building projects around the globe. His art work has appeared in shows in San Miguel Allende and peace centers internationally. He was in Vietnam in 2020 for an art and writing residency called "Vietnam: Journey to Forgiveness". During that residency he designed a project "Do Not Forget Me: A Journey to Forgiveness."

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NATALIA CARDONA SANCHEZ

Environmental Justice Advocate, formerly of 350.org

Natalia Cardona Sanchez is a social justice activist, DEI practitioner & consultant with over twenty years of service in the non-profit sector. Her experience spans issues of climate justice, militarism, racial justice and critical race theory, economic justice, Indigenous rights, women’s rights, partnership development and peace. Natalia is a graduate of the New School, New York, where she obtained a Msc in International Affairs with a specialization in Poverty & Inequality. Natalia is originally from Guatemala and was forced to emigrate to Canada, with her family, at the age of 11 due to a civil war in home country, an experience that has marked her activism and work in movements for social justice. Most recently she served as the Associate Director for Justice and Equity at 350.org in the United States. In addition, she has held several posts with international and national organizations including the American Friends Service Committee, the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University, Social Watch and the Association for Women’s Rights in Development—a global feminist network.

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NATASHA ERSKINE

President, Chicago Veterans For Peace Chapter

Vice President, VFP Board of Directors

Natasha Erskine is a native of the South Side of Chicago and currently serves as President of the Chicago Veteran For Peace chapter. Natasha is a US Air Force combat Veteran, retiring in 2016 after 20 years on active duty. She is deeply involved with a myriad of projects rooted in racial/social justice, educational equity and replacing JROTC with career technical education in her local community. Natasha is a proud mother. Her daughter is immersed in community service and recently graduated with honors from Chicago Public Schools. She will study Biology at a historically black university.

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NETA CRAWFORD

Professor & Political Science Department Chair, Boston University

Co-Founder/Co-Director, Costs of War Project

Neta Crawford, who regularly appears as an expert on radio and television, is the Chair of Political Science Department at Brown University where she teaches. In her role as Director of Brown's Cost of War Project, she leads a team of 50 experts who publish seminal research on the human and economic costs of US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and violence in Pakistan and Syria. Her research has contributed greatly to foreign policy decision making, sanctions, and post-conflict peacebuilding. It has, also, provided journalists with the firm footing needed to bring these concerns to the peoples of the world. An award- winning author, she has written two-dozen scholarly articles appearing in the Naval War College Review, Security Studies, International Security, Ethics and International Affairs, Africa Today, Press/Politics, Perspectives on Politics, International Organization, Journal of Political Philosophy. She has also published in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, and Newsday.

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NICK RABB

Tufts University PhD Candidate, Sunrise Movement

Nick Rabb - as a Tufts University PhD (computer & cognitive science) student, Nick has been a key Sunrise Movement hub leader who has been addressing the critical impacts of US militarism on climate change, and vice versa. Through political education on the interconnections between climate and militarism, he has worked to give organizers a deeper understanding of the militarized protection of government and corporate interests that has led to violent extraction from both people and planet. He also now works with Dissenters building the anti-militarism movement among young people on college campuses. His university research focuses on modeling the spread of mis/disinformation, and how media or state propaganda campaigns affect public opinion.

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DR. NGUYEN THI NGOC PHUONG

Physician/Researcher on the Effects of Agent Orange

Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong is a leading physician/researcher on the effects of Agent Orange/dioxin on women and children in Viet Nam. Dr. Phuong is a gynecologist/obstetrician, past chairwoman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacology. Dr. Phuong has studied, researched, and published extensively on the deleterious effects of Agent Orange on the people of Viet Nam. During the war she personally witnessed the births of babies born with severe birth defects to mothers sprayed by the chemicals. Dr. Phuong chaired the Vietnam-US Friendship Association in Ho Chi Minh City and was on the executive board of the HCMC Association of Agent Orange Victims.

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PAM CAMPOS-PALMA

Director of Peace & Security, Working Families Party

Pam Campos-Palma is a community organizer and the first-ever Director of Peace & Security at the Working Families Party. Known for expertly bridging grassroots and grass top coalitions for change in the US and abroad, Pam is a widely respected expert and advisor on matters of war, civilian-military affairs, national security, and US politics. Over the last decade, Pam has created many impactful campaigns, cultivated new leaders, and served as an influential national figure in the veterans advocacy and policy space. During her time in the U.S. Air Force Pam worked as an operations and anti-terrorism intelligence analyst with time in Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Named a "Top 40 Under 40 Latinos in Foreign Policy" by Huffington Post in 2019 and Champion of Change by UN NY, Pam is an often invited guest on MSNBC, NPR, Univision, as well as international outlets to share her work. She holds a Masters in Public Administration & International Policy from NYU and a political science degree from Portland State University.

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PATRICK EVANS

Turtledove Shelters: Homes for the Homeless

Following active duty in the Navy during the Vietnam conflict, Patrick completed graduate work in Health Care Management where he worked in for 20+ years and then switched to wireless communications where he works up to the present day. He’s always been interested in addressing issues of social equity and justice, particularly concrete actions that can impact folks in their daily lives. He is extremely optimistic that the Turtledove project can provide a means for the homeless person and their neighbors to engage in a direct, meaningful way to chip away at homelessness in their community and hopefully the world.

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SUSAN SCHNALL

Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign,

NYC Chapter President, VFP Board Member

Susan is a member of the core of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign, President of the New York City Chapter, Veterans For Peace, and member of the Veterans For Peace Board of Directors. For the past several years she has organized scientific panels for presentations about Agent Orange at the American Public Health Association annual meetings and at an international conference on Agent Orange in Hanoi, Vietnam. Susan was a nurse in the US Navy, and was dismissed in 1969 after a general court martial for her anti-war activities.

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SUZANNE GORDEN

Journalist & Author

Senior Policy Analyst, Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute

Suzanne is a journalist and the author of Wounds of War: How the VA Delivers Health, Healing, and Hope and The Battle for Veterans’ Healthcare: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Policy Making and Patient Care and Senior Policy Analyst, Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute. VHPI Our Work | VHPI

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TOBY BLOMÉ

Chief Organizer, Shut Down Creech

Toby Blomé is a S.F. Bay Area co-ordinator/volunteer with CODEPINK, Women For Peace. Her peace activism has focused on resistance to U.S. militarism and U.S. drone terror. She has led ongoing protests at U.S. drone military bases in California and Nevada since 2009. In 2012 she participated in the CODEPINK Peace Delegation to Pakistan, meeting directly with family members of U.S. drone victims, and hearing their tragic stories first hand. She has been arrested repeatedly at U.S. drone bases during nonviolent peaceful resistance, in an effort to "put her body where her heart is."

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TRICIA EUVRARD

Masters Student - Gender Studies and Law at SOAS, University of London

Tricia is a Masters student in Gender Studies and Law at SOAS, University of London. She is currently conducting an auto-ethnographic research as her thesis which focuses on the ways that identity and gender intersect within the Vietnamese diaspora in France, specifically in the context of being biracial. She is a member of the Collective Vietnam Dioxin based in France where she primarily works on the international aspect of the mutual fight for reparations for victims of Agent Orange."

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TRISTAN GUYETTE

Campaign Director, Beyond the Bomb

Tristan is Beyond the Bomb’s Campaign Director and has a passion for exciting and equipping activists to take on the biggest issues they face. Currently, Tristan sits on the board of the Nuclear Fusion Project. When they’re not organizing for change in Ohio and beyond, you can find them surrounded by a pack of shepherds, probably looking for a tennis ball. 

  • Follow Tristan on Social Media: @TrisInToledo. 

  • Follow Beyond the Bomb on Social Media: @BeyondtheBomb

  • Instagram: @Beyondthebomb_

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TRISTE ORDEX

National Organizer, Vets for the People

Tristeza Ordex is a mom, activist, advocacy educator, and retired Marine Corps Staff Sergeant. Her career in activism began with veterans in 2015 by addressing the issues that she faced as a student and disabled veteran. She  co-founded two Student Veteran Organizations, one  at TCC south campus and the other at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Texas. Through this platform, she connected veterans with resources and services, brought attention to VA tuition payment issues, and Veterans' suicide. For her work with Vets, she was named Veteran of the Year in 2016 by the Tarrant County Community College District. And I’m 2017, received the Congressional Veterans Commendation Award for Texas’s 33rd Congressional District. 2017 was the year Ordex began to work in the immigrants rights movement. After Texas passed the infamous “show me your papers,” law, Ordex dove into this work. To further her immigrants' rights experience, she traveled to the border in 2018 with other progressive veterans to assist with the border crisis in Tijuana, Mexico. Immigrants rights, equality, and equity is at the heart of her work. Today, as an National Organizer for Vets for the People (an organization under the Working Families Party umbrella), she continues to work to educate immigrant and the veteran communities of their rights, engage communities of color on the electoral process, consult on campaigns to help develop veteran and Latinx outreach, and make establishment politicians uncomfortable. “It’s our place to remind them that they fucking work for the People.”

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DR. VINCE SCAPPATURA

Professor of Politics and International Relations,

Macquarie University - Sydney, Australia

Dr. Vince Scappatura, Professor of Politics and International Relations, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, has written extensively on the US corporate lobby and Australian defense policies. He will speak on the second largest US military war maneuver in the Pacific-Talisman Sabre that is taking place in Australia.

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WENDY BARRANCO

Community Organizer,

Veteran - U.S. Army Combat Medic

Wendy Barranco is a community organizer and US Army veteran of the Iraq occupation ('05-'06) as a combat medic. She holds a Master of Arts in Urban Sustainability.

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YOYO

Licensed Professional Counselor & Art Therapist

Gamers For Peace Founding Member

Yoyo is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Art Therapist working towards advocacy and social justice in the mental health field. They are a veteran ally and VFP Associate Member with many personal connections to veterans. Yoyo is also a Gamer For Peace and Rocket League team member.

Musicians, Performers, and Yoga Instructors

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CASEY STINEMETZ

Casey is a 200-level CYT specializing in vinyasa and hatha based practice. Based in St. Louis, MO, she has been teaching yoga since 2017. Her classes blend mindfulness practices with physical movement and intentional breathwork. For Casey, yoga is a guiding force behind her activism and community work. Her time on her mat helps her better prepare for her time in the streets, and she is called to help others find a moment of peace in their own lives. Casey is currently a part time admin staff at VFP national, and has been with VFP for almost 10 years. 

  • Connect with Casey online: @acreativebalance

  • Follow Casey on Instagram: @casey_steinmetz

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CRASH BARBOSA

Crash Barbosa is a political activist, abolitionist, organizer, rapper, writer, and actor. Born in New York and raised in Los Angeles, Crash started writing poetry at a young age. When he turned 18 years old, Crash turned down an offer from Columbia University after realizing his morals didn’t align with many educational institutions and decided to focus on building himself. Over the span of his career, Crash has been an outspoken political activist and mental health advocate. By working in film/music and having family ties to the Hollywood scene, Crash is fully immersed when it comes to understanding the entertainment industry. Currently, Crash is partnered with “Underground Railroad Entertainment Group” while Executive Producing a Documentary Series and working on his upcoming Album “How to Be an Activist.” Early on, Crash decided to use his platform and large following/fan base and focus on changing the world. While only speaking truth to the masses, Crash stands behind his words, his politics, and his character.”

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JAMES SANDER

James is a trauma-aware embodiment and wellness facilitator in the Denver Area. He discovered yoga & mantra meditation through the Veterans Administration and David Lynch foundation. He has practiced embodiment since the age of twenty-two and draws from a handful of movement practices including: Ashtanga vinyasa, Rocket yoga, kundalini, Tai Chi Chih, calisthenics, mace-bell flow and functional fitness modalities. He has also studied with movement artists ranging from pole fitness, contortionists, gymnasts and mixed martial artists to expand his understanding of the mind-body-emotive connection and applies that knowledge in his practice and teaching. James is passionate about cohabitation with the environment and Earth's beauty, fostering inclusivity, and suicide prevention advocacy.

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JAMES TOLER

James is a trauma-aware embodiment and wellness facilitator in the Denver Area. He discovered yoga & mantra meditation through the Veterans Administration and David Lynch foundation. He has practiced embodiment since the age of twenty-two and draws from a handful of movement practices including: Ashtanga vinyasa, Rocket yoga, kundalini, Tai Chi Chih, calisthenics, mace-bell flow and functional fitness modalities. He has also studied with movement artists ranging from pole fitness, contortionists, gymnasts and mixed martial artists to expand his understanding of the mind-body-emotive connection and applies that knowledge in his practice and teaching. James is passionate about cohabitation with the environment and Earth's beauty, fostering inclusivity, and suicide prevention advocacy.

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WATERMELON SLIM

Watermelon Slim first appeared on the music scene with the release of the only known protest record by a veteran during the Vietnam War. Two of Slim’s records were ranked #1 in MOJO Magazine’s annual Top Blues CD rankings. Industry awards include The Independent Music Award for Blues Album of the Year, The Blues Critic Award and Canada’s Maple Blues Award for International Artist of the Year among others.

More speaker information coming soon so stay tuned!