In May 2015, Carl Dix and Cornel West put out a Call for Rise Up October. Members of the #RiseUpOctober Advisory Board are: Gina Belafonte, Carl Dix, Eve Ensler, Jamal Joseph, Arturo O'Farrill, Rev. Stephen Phelps, and Cornel West.
Click below to hear many of them speak at the event August 27, 2015:
Born and raised in New York City, Gina Belafonte has spent her life in the arenas of entertainment and activism where her professional work thrives today. As the youngest child of Julie and Harry Belafonte, whose impact in these fields is among the most influential and progressive in the world, Gina’s passions come as no surprise. Gina was the lead producer on the internationally acclaimed documentary film, SING YOUR SONG, exploring the extraordinary life and legacy of Harry Belafonte that was selected as the opening film for the Sundance Film Festival in 2011. She is the Co-Director of Sankofa.org.
Carl Dix is a co-founder, with Dr. Cornel West, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, and has spent his life opposing injustice. He is a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party. In 1970, Carl was one of the Fort Lewis 6, the largest mass refusal to go to Vietnam by US soldiers during that war. He spent two years in a US military prison for this stand. Carl has been a leader in the fight against police terror and of the annual October 22 marches to stop police brutality. In 2011, he and Cornel West called for mass, nonviolent protest at NYC police precincts with the highest rates of “stop and frisk,” contributing to mass public opposition to the practice. Along with Dr. West, Carl put out the Call for the October 2014 Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. In August and October 2014 Carl joined mass protests in Ferguson, Missouri, against the police murder of Mike Brown, and was arrested while standing with the “defiant ones” on the first night of the national guard mobilization there. With Cornel West, he issued a Call for a national Shut Down 4/14/15 to Stop Murder by Police.
Eve Ensler is the Tony Award winning playwright, activist and author of the theatrical phenomenon, The Vagina Monologues, which has been published in 48 languages and performed in over 140 countries. Eve’s plays include Necessary Targets, The Treatment, The Good Body, and Emotional Creature. Her books include Insecure At Last: A Political Memoir; the New York Times best seller I Am An Emotional Creature, and her latest critically acclaimed memoir In the Body of the World. She is founder of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls which has raised over 100 million dollars to end violence and One Billion Rising, a global mass action campaign in over 200 countries. Her play O.P.C. recently had its world premiere at American Repertory Theater where she will also debut and perform In the Body of the World, based on her memoir in Spring of 2016, directed by Diane Paulus. Her newest short play Avocado opened to rave reviews this summer at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and at the Latitude festival in the UK. She has written numerous articles for The Guardian, Time Magazine, Washington Post and the International Herald Tribune. She was named one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Changed the World” and The Guardian’s “100 Most Influential Women.”
Jamal Joseph Eddie Joseph was a fifteen-year-old Bronx honor student when he joined the Black Panthers in 1968. At sixteen, by then called Jamal, he was in prison with the legendary Panther 21 and would later serve more years at Leavenworth, where he earned two college degrees and found a new calling in prison theater. Now a film professor at Columbia University and former chair of their Graduate Film Program, as well as a recent Oscar nominee, he tells the remarkable story of his transformation in Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention. He is the executive artistic director of the New Heritage Theater in Harlem and cofounder and executive artistic director of IMPACT Repertory Theater, which has mentored over one thousand Harlem teens, providing an artistic voice for their lives and a constructive channel for social activism.
Arturo O’ Farrill, pianist, composer, educator, and founder and Artistic Director of the nonprofit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. His debut album with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, Una Noche Inolvidable, earned a first GRAMMY Award nomination in 2006. His next album Song for Chico, earned a GRAMMY Award for Best Latin Jazz Album in 2009. The 2015 release of The Offense of the Drum was yet another Grammy Award winner. Arturo was, in addition, the winner of the Latin Jazz USA Outstanding Achievement Award, and a Cubadisco Award for The Offense of the Drum in 2015. His newest album release (August 21, 2015) is Cuba: The Conversation Continues on the Motéma label.
Rev. Stephen Phelps focuses practices of inner development and social transformationtoward a just economy, for inner revolution is key to the permanent revolution the world needs. In 2014, Rev. Phelps concluded three years as Interim Senior Minister of The Riverside Church in New York City. Now, Joined with a wide network of progressive organizations, he works to strengthen the hand of people with too little power and weaken the grip of them with too much.Rev. Phelps speaks and writes on these and related themes and contributes to national blogs and journals.
Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He is a Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris. Cornel Westgraduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. He has written over 20 books and has edited 13. Though he is best known for his classics, Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and for his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, his most recent releases, Black Prophetic Fire and Radical King, were received with critical acclaim.
In May 2015, Carl Dix and Cornel West put out a Call for Rise Up October. Members of the #RiseUpOctober Steering Committee are Nkosi Anderson, Nellie Hester Bailey, Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, Carl Dix, Alice Howell, James Lane, Rev. Jerome McCorry, Travis Morales, and Debra Sweet.
Click below to hear many of them speak at the event August 27, 2015:
Nkosi Anderson is currently a PhD student in Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, NY. He has been committed to youth education and human relations work for close to 20 years. Nkosi is excited about bringing this passion and experience to his efforts with The Roots Project, Inc. He has worked in public education, government, academia and with nonprofit, community, and religious organizations. Nkosi holds a BA in Political Science and an MA in African-American Studies, both from Columbia University. He also received his MDiv from Union Theological Seminary, NY. Nkosi remains active in a number of movements for social justice.
Nellie Hester Bailey is a human rights activist who has worked in peace and justice movements for over forty years. From her early organizing with the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, to tenant rights and anti-war struggles, to advocacy on behalf of women Bailey has been at the forefront of social justice and social change organizing. Bailey co-founded the Harlem Tenants Council (HTC) in 1994. She is a host on WBAI, and on Black Agenda Report on the Progressive Radio Network.
Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo received her BA degree from Barnard College/Columbia University and her doctorate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She was a Senior Policy Analyst in the Office of the Administrator at the US Environmental Protection Agency, and won an historic lawsuit against the EPA on the basis of race, sex, color discrimination, and a hostile work environment. She is founder of the No FEAR Institute, devoted to educating the American public about federal sector discrimination, and a leader in Hands Up Coalition, Washington DC.
Carl Dix is a co-founder, with Dr. Cornel West, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, and has spent his life opposing injustice. He is a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party. In 1970, Carl was one of the Fort Lewis 6, the largest mass refusal to go to Vietnam by US soldiers during that war. He spent two years in a US military prison for this stand. Carl has been a leader in the fight against police terror and of the annual October 22 marches to stop police brutality. In 2011, he and Cornel West called for mass, nonviolent protest at NYC police precincts with the highest rates of “stop and frisk,” contributing to mass public opposition to the practice. Along with Dr. West, Carl put out the Call for the October 2014 Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. In August and October 2014 Carl joined mass protests in Ferguson Missouri against the police murder of Michael Brown, and was arrested while standing with the “defiant ones” on the first night of the national guard mobilization there. With Cornel West, he issued a Call for a national Shut Down 4/14/15 to Stop Murder by Police.
Alice Howell is the grandmother of Justus Howell, killed by Zion IL police April 4, 2015. She said recently "Stand up and Rise Up October and say this has to stop. Enough is enough! Man, I’m excited for it, actually. I want to see progression. I want to see a change somewhere, somehow, I want to see something change. I want to see something crack through the surface, like I really need to see a difference. They need to start indicting these police and charging these police—that’s what I want to see."
James Lane is an internet media professional and political activist. A lifelong New Yorker, James resides in Brooklyn and has been a Green Party activist for over 15 years. In 2013 he was the Green Party candidate for New York City Public Advocate and in 2015 he ran for Congress against the Republican candidate Dan Donovan who was the District Attorney that failed to indict anyone in the killing of Eric Garner. He is a member of the Adoptee Rights Reform and Black Lives Matter movements. His current titles include: Director of Analytics & Implementation, GroupM; Editor-in-Chief, Hot Indie News; State Committee Member, Green Party of New York State; National Diversity Committee Member, Green Party of the United States.
Rev. Jerome McCorry is the former president of the Dayton Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He led what remains the longest civil rights march in Ohio’s history, leading a voter registration and education march seventy plus miles from Dayton to Columbus, Ohio. During his tenure, the Dayton SCLC became a full-time chapter. He served as director of pastoral care at the Dayton Mental Health and Forensic Hospital. McCorry has served churches in Dayton, Columbus, and Portsmouth, Ohio, as well as Atlanta, Georgia. He is on the Steering Committee of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, and is its Faith Coordinator.
Travis Morales was a leader of the 1978 Moody Park Rebellion in Texas after Houston police murdered Joe Campos Torres one year earlier. Six cops viciously beat Torres, handcuffed him, and threw him into Buffalo Bayou to drown. Two cops were convicted only of criminally negligent homicide—and fined $1. After the trial of the police, when police attacked a Cinco de Mayo celebration, over one thousand Chicanos and Mexicanos rose up. The people won a small taste of justice. Five days later, Travis and two others (the Moody Park 3) were arrested, charged with “felony riot” with a bond of $500,000, and faced 140 years in prison. The Moody Park 3 did not back down. They were able to win the case after a seven year legal battle and walk free. In the years since then, Travis Morales, as a long time supporter of the Revolutionary Communist Party, has been active in and a leader in many different struggles, including in the fight against the repression of immigrants, police brutality, and mass incarceration.
Debra Sweet is the Director of World Can’t Wait, initiated in 2005 to “drive out the Bush regime” by repudiating its program, forcing it from office through a mass, independent movement and reversing the direction it had launched. Based in New York City, she leads World Can’t Wait in its continuing efforts to stop the crimes of our government, including the unjust occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and the torture and detention codes, as well as reversing the fascist direction of U.S. society. Since the age of 19, when she confronted Richard Nixon during a face-to-face meeting and told him to stop the war in Vietnam, she has been a leader in the opposition to U.S. wars and invasions. Debra says, “Stop thinking like an American, and start thinking about humanity!”