About This Podcast

If Hamilton and 60 Minutes gave birth to a podcast, it would be News Beat. The News Beat Podcast is a short-form educational and political news podcast focused on social justice and civil liberties issues, that melds the worlds of journalism and music.

We elevate journalistic storytelling through interviews with experts, thought leaders, academics and activists, coupled with original verses from musicians and independent hip-hop artists to foster a deeper connection with listeners and deliver an alternative narrative on some of the most pressing issues, events and people shaping our world.

Morey Creative Studios, longtime publisher of the award-winning Long Island Press, launched News Beat to continue the mission of truth-telling and journalistic integrity that guided the Press for its nearly 15 years of publication. News Beat utilizes verse, beats, and audio to educate, inform, and inspire our readers and listeners—interacting with the public on a whole new level in the process.

News Beat combines all the facets of Morey Creative Studios—content production, inbound marketing and alternative news perspective—and embodies our ideals and our strengths as a company: collaboration, storytelling, alternative news, history and education.

With News Beat, you’ll no longer simply read the news; you’ll hear it, and you’ll literally feel it. Most importantly, News Beat presents an alternative take to widely accepted narratives on its featured topics, arming listeners with important knowledge and insights that they likely wouldn’t hear from mainstream media—provoking thought, spurring questions, and challenging long-held beliefs. News Beat episodes clock in at roughly 20 minutes each—far less than the average podcast length of 35 minutes, and yet long enough to listen to in their entirety during the commute to work.

Think how “Schoolhouse Rock” broke down educational barriers by leveraging an original score in a televised cartoon format, and more recently, how “Hamilton” has brought history to life through hip-hop and theater.

The host and producer of News Beat is Michael “Manny Faces” Conforti, hip-hop journalist, DJ, producer and lecturer, founder of New York hip-hop publication Birthplace Magazine and hip-hop non-profit The Center for Hip-Hop Advocacy. News Beat’s Executive Producer is Morey Creative Studios President Jed Morey. Its editor in chief is Christopher Twarowski. Rashed Mian is News Beat’s managing editor.

We encourage you to send us your feedback and share with others you think might enjoy it.

The News Beat Team

Jed Morey

Executive Producer

Jed Morey is the Executive Producer of News Beat and CEO of Morey Publishing, an Inbound Content Marketing agency based on Long Island. Morey began his career in broadcasting at WLIR-FM in New York, the heritage alternative rock station in the country. In 2002 he founded the Long Island Press, an alternative weekly publication that garnered more than 400 local and national awards over the next 15 years. Morey is also the author of a political book, The Great American Disconnect: Seven Fundamental Threats to our Democracy, which was published in 2013. The Long Island Press migrated to a strictly digital format in 2014 and was sold in 2017 and during his tenure as Publisher of the Press, Morey branched out and started the Inbound Marketing agency—a Gold HubSpot Partner Agency—where he continues as CEO today.

In 2016, Morey began working on what would become News Beat. Frustrated with the glut of misinformation in the corporate media and the race to the bottom of online news media, Morey constructed the framework for a different kind of news organization that melded his experience in broadcasting, investigative journalism and inbound marketing to attract a new and discerning audience hungry for a fresh perspective in an original format. He partnered with former Press Editor-In-Chief Christopher Twarowski, Civil Liberties editor Rashed Mian and Morey Publishing engineer Michael Conforti, a respected New York hip-hop journalist to bring this vision to life. The result is News Beat, an unconventional podcast and website that challenge conventional wisdom. News Beat infuses high quality journalism with hip-hop and rhythms to create a memorable and compelling narrative around pressing issues and events.

Morey is married to Eden White, a New York-based singer songwriter. They live in Glen Cove, NY and have two daughters.

Rashed Mian

Managing Editor

Rashed Mian is the managing editor of News Beat. Mian previously covered civil liberties and the Muslim American community for Long Island Press. Mian graduated with a degree in journalism from Hofstra University. Mian is interested in under-reported stories that impact disenfranchised communities as well as issues related to civil liberties. You can find him on Twitter at @rashedmian.

Michael 'Manny Faces' Conforti

Producer / Host / Engineer

Michael Conforti is an award-winning new media journalist and digital strategist with more than 15 years' experience in news publishing and online journalism, much of which was spent at Morey Publishing's previously owned alternative news outlet, Long Island Press.

Under his Manny Faces pseudonym, he is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Birthplace Magazine, a thriving online entertainment and lifestyle destination focusing on hip hop music and culture in the New York metropolitan area, creator and host of The NY Hip Hop Report, a popular, weekly, live video show/podcast.

In late 2015, he founded The Center for Hip-Hop Advocacy, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of hip-hop’s important artistic and cultural contributions.

In addition, he is accomplished DJ/producer/remixer, event/TV/radio host/personality, an outspoken media critic and a die-hard advocate for hip hop music and culture, who has lectured, conducted workshops and participated in panel discussions at many conferences and festivals, including A3C Music Festival and Conference (Atlanta), La Place Hip-Hop Culture Center (Paris, France), Trinity International Hip-Hop Festival (Hartford, CT), Circling the Elements Hip-Hop Conference (Albany, Ga.), Hip-Hop Literacies Conference (NYC), Spotify x HipHopHacks (NYC), Medgar Evers College (NYC), Farmingdale State College (NY) and more.

Michael and Manny are both married to the same wonderful woman, and they lovingly raise their children and pets together on Long Island in New Jersey.

Silent Knight

Silent Knight

Artist in Residence

A prolific recording and performing artist, Silent Knight has a reputation for being one of the hardest working artists in independent hip-hop. And it’s easy to see why. From being the frontman of The Band Called FUSE, to hosting and curating their Line Up showcase in NYC, to releasing almost a dozen albums independently in less than 10 years. Charismatic yet humble, SK’s genuineness comes across in his music and in his energetic and engaging stage show.

A seasoned performer, SK has captivated crowds on many world-renowned stages and opened for, or collaborated with, a wide array of acts. Some of these artists include Inspectah Deck of the Wu-Tang Clan, Nneka, Talib Kweli, 112, and members of The Roots. He has also worked with many notable producers including !llmind (Drake, J,Cole), Jake One (JAY Z), & M-Phazes (Eminem).

Christopher Twarowski

Editor In Chief

Christopher Twarowski is editor in chief of News Beat, and former editor in chief and chief of investigations of the alt-weekly Long Island Press. He holds an M.S. in Journalism with a specialization in investigative journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and was an inaugural member of the school’s Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. He also holds an M.A. from the school with a concentration in business and economics. Twarowski has written for the financial and metro desks of The Washington Post and has earned more than 150 local, state and national journalism awards and accolades. Follow him on Twitter at @investigations1.

LiKWUiD

LiKWUiD

Artist in Residence

LiKWUiD is a New York-based hip hop fusion music artist, DJ, songwriter and educator born Faybeo’n LaShanna A Mickens, committed to using her gift of song to empower the portrayal of women in the entertainment industry. She’s performed nationwide with artists such as Slick Rick, 9th Wonder, Matt and Kim, Lyfe Jennings, Jazmine Sullivan, Talib Kweli, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Bow Wow, Rah Digga, The Last Poets, DJ Evil Dee, and world-renowned comedian Cedric the Entertainer. LiKWUiD’s writing style often includes multiple entendres, extended metaphor and religious paradox. She is a member of the Hunger Division and often collaborates with Lower Eastside dynamic production duo 2Hungry Bros. Her current album, Fay Grim is now available via HiPNOTT Records.

Contributors

Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West

Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University

Dr. Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris. Cornel West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. West is a the author of more than a dozen books, including “Race Matters” and “Democracy Matters.”
Johann Hari

Johann Hari

Author: Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs

Johann Hari is a British journalist. He has written for The New York Times, Le Monde, the Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, and several other notable news outlets. He was an op-ed columnist for the Independent, one of Britain’s leading newspapers, for nine years. Hari is the author of The New York Times best-selling book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.
Maia Szalavitz

Maia Szalavitz

Author: Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction

Maia Szalavitz is one of the premier American journalists covering addiction and drugs. She is the author of Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction, and co-author of Born for Love and The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, both with Dr. Bruce D. Perry. Her book, Help at Any Cost, is the first book-length exposé of the tough love business that dominates addiction treatment. She writes for TIME.com, VICE, The New York Times, Scientific American Mind, Elle, Psychology Today and Marie Claire, among other publications and news outlets.
Silent Knight

Silent Knight

Recording Artist

A prolific recording and performing artist, Silent Knight has a reputation for being one of the hardest working artists in independent hip-hop. And it’s easy to see why. From being the frontman of The Band Called FUSE, to hosting and curating their Line Up showcase in NYC, to releasing almost a dozen albums independently in less than 10 years. Charismatic yet humble, SK’s genuineness comes across in his music and in his energetic and engaging stage show.

A seasoned performer, SK has captivated crowds on many world-renowned stages and opened for, or collaborated with, a wide array of acts. Some of these artists include Inspectah Deck of the Wu-Tang Clan, Nneka, Talib Kweli, 112, and members of The Roots. He has also worked with many notable producers including !llmind (Drake, J,Cole), Jake One (JAY Z), & M-Phazes (Eminem).

Photo: xiv.Optix
Alex Claremont

Alex Clermont

Author, Prison-Reform Activist

Alex Clermont is a copywriter and creative writer born and raised in New York City. He’s the author of You, Me and the Rest of Us: #NewYorkStories, a collection of stories about those people who are all trying to find their place in the world; Eating Kimchi & Nodding Politely, a collection of creatively written narratives about his time as an English teacher in South Korea; and the literary short story romance Missing Rib. He's also a prison-reform activist.
Kayem

Kayem

Hip Hop Artist

Son of a Libyan revolutionary, Kayem is a Chicago-based hip hop artist who was born into the struggle. His father was a political prisoner who helped form a pro-democracy movement after escaping prison. Kayem’s first trip to Libya, after spending a lifetime of advocacy in exile, was filmed in the docu-series “Sing Freedom.”
Hussein Rashid

Hussein Rashid

Professor of Religious Studies at Barnard College

Hussein Rashid, PhD, is a professor of religious studies at Barnard College and founder of islamicate, L3C, a consultancy focusing on religious literacy and cultural competency. He works with a variety of NGOs, foundations, nonprofits, and governmental agencies for content expertise on religion broadly, with a specialization on Islam. His work includes exploring theology, the interaction between culture and religion, and the role of the arts in conflict mediation. Hussein has a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Columbia University, a master's degree in Theological Studies focusing on Islam, and an M.A. and PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, focusing on South and Central Asia from Harvard University.
Daisy Khan

Daisy Khan

Founder of the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE)

Daisy Khan is executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), a New York-based nonprofit dedicated to strengthening an expression of Islam based on cultural and religious harmony, as well as building bridges between Muslims and the general public. At ASMA, Daisy Khan has created a number of groundbreaking intra- and inter-faith programs. She has led numerous interfaith events, such as the theater production, ``Same Difference,`` and the Cordoba Bread Fest Banquet. She continues to mentor American Muslims on assimilation issues, balancing faith and modernity, the challenges of living as a minority, and intergenerational questions. To strengthen the voices of women and youth within the global Muslim community, she created two cutting-edge programs of international scope: Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow (MLT) and the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE).
Murtaza Hussain

Murtaza Hussain

National Security Reporter at The Intercept

Murtaza Hussain is a national security reporter at investigative news outlet The Intercept. Hussain reports on America’s ongoing War on Terror and issues related to the Muslim American community. Hussain’s articles have also appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian and Al Jazeera English.
Alan Newton exoneration

Alan Newton

Exoneree

In 1984, Alan Newton, of Brooklyn, was arrested for a crime he did not commit, and ultimately convicted. He spent 21 years in prison for rape, robbery, and assault before being exonerated on DNA evidence. Newton maintained his innocence throughout, and had spent a decade of his incarceration, beginning in 1994, petitioning for exoneration on the basis of DNA evidence. He currently counsels fellow exonerees and advocates for state statutes compensating others who’ve spent time in prison for crimes they did not commit.
Rebecca Brown Innocence Project

Rebecca Brown

Director of Policy, Innocence Project

Rebecca Brown joined the Innocence Project in 2005 and directs its federal and state policy agenda, which seeks to prevent and reveal wrongful convictions and assure compensation for the wrongfully convicted upon release from prison. She has also served as a Policy Analyst for the Mayor’s Office in New York City and a Senior Planner at Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES), where she conducted research, evaluation and planning work around its alternative to incarceration programs.
Emily Bazelon

Emily Bazelon

Staff Writer, New York Times Magazine

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and the Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School. Before joining the Times Magazine, Bazelon was a writer and editor for nine years at Slate, where she co-founded the women’s section DoubleX. She continues to co-host the Slate Political Gabfest.

Kevin Gosztola

Managing Editor, Shadow Proof

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast “Unauthorized Disclosure.” Gosztola was among a handful of journalists providing day-to-day coverage of Chelsea Manning’s court martial in the summer of 2013, then as a reporter for the website Firedoglake.
Trevor Timm

Trevor Timm

Executive Director, Freedom of the Press Foundation

Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a journalist, activist, and lawyer who writes a weekly column for The Guardian on privacy, free speech, and national security. He has contributed to The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Foreign Policy, Harvard Law and Policy Review, PBS MediaShift, and Politico.
John Kiriakou

John Kiriakou

Former CIA Analyst and Whistleblower

John Kiriakou is a former CIA analyst who blew the whistle on the agency’s much-rumored, illegal torture program. He played a key role in the capture of the first alleged high-level al Qaeda operative following the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, and spent 30 months in prison after being convicted under the Espionage Act, a World War I-era law intended to prosecute spies. He is the co-author of 2009’s The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror, a book detailing his service in the CIA, and author of 2017’s award-winning Doing Time Like A Spy: How the CIA Taught Me to Survive and Thrive in Prison.
Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith

Former U.S. Army Captain

Nathan Smith is a former U.S. Army Captain who was based in Kuwait as part of counter-ISIS mission “Operation Inherent Resolve.” Smith in 2016 sued the Obama administration for what he believed was an unconstitutional war against ISIS because Congress had yet to declare war or on the terror group. Smith comes from a three-generation military family.
Elizabeth Beaverrs

Elizabeth Beavers

Foreign Policy Manager at Indivisible

Elizabeth Beavers is nonprofit Indivisible’s Foreign Policy Manager. Previously, Elizabeth was a Senior Campaigner for the U.S. section of Amnesty International, focusing on national security and human rights issues. She also advocated for anti-militarism and pro-civil liberties policies at the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a Quaker lobby in the public interest.
Greg Tannen

Greg Tannen

Musician and writer

Greg Tannen is a musician and writer. Born in Australia, raised in Toronto and New York, briefly a resident in Colorado, Ohio, and North Carolina, he’s the son of an amateur jazz pianist and the grandson of a magician. Greg’s music has been featured as a “New and Noteworthy” release on iTunes, played on renowned radio stations (WFUV, NPR, Acoustic Cafe), won international songwriting awards, and can be heard on national TV and in award-winning films. He also writes songs with other artists (Amanda Brown, the Weepies, Amanda Brecker) and has shared the stage with musical greats such as Rosanne Cash and John Hammond.
Pastor Roger C Williams

Rev. Roger C. Williams

Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Glen Cove

Williams answered the call to serve as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Glen Cove, N.Y. in 1999. In 2007, he served as co-chair of the New York State “Enough is Enough Campaign” to demand corporate responsibility in the media, exposing and eradicating negative images in music videos. Rev. Williams serves currently as President of the Glen Cove Chapter of the N.A.A.C.P.

Rev. Williams can be contacted via email at pastorrcw@yahoo.com and on Twitter at @FBCGlenCove.

Charles Kurzman

Charles Kurzman

Professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Charles Kurzman is co-director of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations. He is author of The Missing Martyrs (2011), Democracy Denied, 1905-1915 (2008), and The Unthinkable Revolution in Iran (2004), and editor of the anthologies Liberal Islam (1998) and Modernist Islam, 1840-1940 (2002).
Mehdi Hasan

Mehdi Hasan

Journalist

Mehdi Hasan is an award-winning independent journalist, political commentator, broadcaster and author, currently the host of UpFront and Head to Head on Al Jazeera English in Washington, D.C., a columnist at The Intercept, contributing editor of New Statesman, and contributing writer at The Guardian. He’s an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, the author of two books, and a broadcasting veteran who’s worked for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky News, among other outlets.
LiKWUiD

LiKWUiD

Hip Hop fusion music artist

LiKWUiD is a New York-based hip hop fusion music artist, DJ, songwriter and educator born Faybeo’n LaShanna A Mickens, committed to using her gift of song to empower the portrayal of women in the entertainment industry. She’s performed nationwide with artists such as Slick Rick, 9th Wonder, Matt and Kim, Lyfe Jennings, Jazmine Sullivan, Talib Kweli, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Bow Wow, Rah Digga, The Last Poets, DJ Evil Dee, and world-renowned comedian Cedric the Entertainer. LiKWUiD’s writing style often includes multiple entendres, extended metaphor and religious paradox. She is a member of the Hunger Division and often collaborates with Lower Eastside dynamic production duo 2Hungry Bros. Her current album, Fay Grim is now available via HiPNOTT Records.
Larry Hamm

Larry Hamm

Activist

Lawrence “Larry” Hamm is a lifelong activist and the chairman of the Newark-based People’s Organization for Progress. Hamm was 13 years old during the Newark Rebellion of 1967. At just 17, he became the youngest-ever member of the Newark Board of Education, and later led a movement at Princeton University that led to the college to divest from the South African economy during apartheid. In 2015, Hamm received the key to the city of Newark.
Rosa Clemente

Rosa Clemente

Activist, community organizer, and journalist

Rosa Clemente is an activist, community organizer, political commentator, journalist, and former Green Party vice presidential candidate. She is the founder of Know Thy Self Productions, which focuses on such issues as hip-hop activism, third-party politics and immigrant rights. Clemente has also written thought-provoking articles on Afro-Latinx identity and liberation movements in the United States.
Elizabeth Nix University of Baltimore

Elizabeth Nix

Associate Professor, University of Baltimore

Elizabeth Nix is an associate professor and chair of the Division of Legal, Ethical and Historical Studies at the University of Baltimore. In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death, Nix and her UB colleagues, along with their students, created the Baltimore ’68 project. Along with oral histories and a driving tour, the project culminated in an anthology titled “Baltimore ’68: Riots and Rebirth in an American City,” which Nix co-authored.
The Band Called Fuse

The Band Called Fuse

Hip-hop, rock & jazz fusion band

The Band Called FUSE brings together street-philosopher MCs Silent Knight (Rawkus 50, 2016 Wake Up Show top artists list) and Soul Qloc, soul diva K. Desireé, Belgian rock brothers X and Toast and road veteran drummer Mr. Pokkett. Uniting the traditions of The Roots, Rage Against The Machine and The Fugees into a fresh new sound know as “Soul Rock,” they deliver an intoxicating mix of powerful lyrics, raw beats and driven jams perfected over hundreds of live shows.
Bryce Covert

Bryce Covert

Independent Journalist

Bryce Covert is an independent journalist writing about the economy. She is a contributing op-ed writer at The New York Times and also writes for The Nation and other outlets. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Daily News, New York Magazine, The New Republic, Slate, and other publications, and she won a 2016 Exceptional Merit in Media Award from the National Women’s Political Caucus. She has appeared on ABC, CBS, MSNBC, and NPR, among other news programs.
Samuel Brooke

Samuel Brooke

Deputy Legal Director of the Economic Justice Project

Sam Brooke is the Deputy Legal Director of the Economic Justice Project at the nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center. Brooke and his team challenge public and private systems that trap people in poverty and punish them simply for being poor. Brooke previously served as a Soros Justice Fellow and worked in its Immigrant Justice Project for five years before joining the Economic Justice team. He previously clerked for the Honorable Joan B. Gottschall of the Northern District of Illinois and earned a law degree from the New York University School of Law, a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Sciences from Drake University.
Peter Goldberg

Peter Goldberg

Executive Director, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund

Peter Goldberg is executive director of the nonprofit Brooklyn Community Bail Fund and has been with the group since its inception. In 2012, while at Cleary Gottlieb, he assisted pro bono in the Fund’s formation. In 2013, he became a member of the founding board. In order to pay bail for those who cannot afford it, Peter applied to become a licensed bail bond agent in 2014. He was thrilled to become the Fund’s first Executive Director in 2015. Peter previously worked at Cleary Gottlieb and Lawyers Alliance for New York, is a member of the NYC Bar Non-Profit Organizations Committee, and has counseled nonprofits on an array of legal issues. Peter lives in Brooklyn with his wife. He has a B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University and J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.
Terrence Bogans

Terrence Bogans

Director of Bail Operations, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund

Terrence Bogans is the director of bail operations at the nonprofit Brooklyn Community Bail Fund. He previously practiced as a public defender at Brooklyn Defender Services, representing indigent clients in criminal cases across the borough. His passion for advocating for those with underrepresented voices stems from both his personal experiences and educational background. Throughout law school, he focused on wrongful convictions, racial biases in arrest and sentencing decisions, and the over-policing of impoverished neighborhoods. Terrence was a member of his law school’s Youth Justice Clinic, served as the President of the Death Penalty Project, and also had the opportunity to work with the Bronx Defenders, Orange County Public Defender, and the Office of the Capital Defender (NC). He has a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology and a J.D., both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Rabbi Darkside

Rabbi Darkside

Hip-Hop Artist

Rabbi Darkside is an MC/DJ/Beatboxer. His movements aim to incite empathy and empowerment through social justice and creative freedom, seen and heard in his musical recordings, live shows and published writings. His prowess as a multi-elemental artist has led to 15 international tours, landed his latest album atop the CMJ Hip Hop charts and found him on MTV’s Made, Okayplayer, The New York Times, The Today Show, CBS Early Show, HipHopDX, 2DopeBoyz and The Village Voice.
Mark Fallon

Mark Fallon

Former NCIS Special Agent

Mark Fallon is a former U.S. Department of Defense official and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Special Agent. He was the lead investigator on the Criminal Investigation Task Force (CITF) at Guantanamo Bay Naval Camp in Cuba, which was charged with investigating terror suspects rendered to the camp following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and is currently a national security consultant. Fallon documented much of his experience as one of the country’s preeminent experts on Guantanamo Bay and the United States’ illegal torture program in 2017’s “Unjustifiable Means: The Inside Story of How the CIA, Pentagon, and U.S. Government Conspired to Torture,” published by Regan Arts.
Pardiss Kebriaei

Pardiss Kebriaei

Senior Staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights

Pardiss Kebriaei is a senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where she works on challenging U.S. government abuses in the context of national security. She was lead counsel for CCR in Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta, which challenged the killings of three American citizens in U.S. drone strikes in Yemen, and Al-Aulaqi v. Obama, which challenged the authorization for the targeting of an American citizen added to secret government “kill lists.” She also represents current and former Guantanamo detainees.
Shelby Sullivan-Bennis

Shelby Sullivan-Bennis

Staff Attorney at Reprieve

Shelby Sullivan-Bennis is a staff attorney at Reprieve, an international human rights group. She currently represents two men detained indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay prison who have already been cleared for release, as well as victims of America’s “targeted killing” program.
Robert McCaw

Robert McCaw

Director of the Government Affairs Department at the Council on American-Islamic Relations

Robert McCaw is the director of the Government Affairs Department at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim civil rights group in the country.

Barrett Brown

Barrett Brown

Award-winning Journalist

Barrett Brown is an award-winning journalist and founder of the online anti-injustice civic ecosystem Pursuance Project, who spent four years in prison for crowd-sourcing an investigation into the U.S. cyber-industrial complex, known as Project PM, among other things. His work has appeared in Vice, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, The Intercept, Huffington Post, New York Press, Skeptic, The Daily Beast, al-Jazeera, and dozens of other outlets. Formerly a columnist at The Intercept, Brown received the 2016 National Magazine Award for columns and commentary
Margaux Ewen

Margaux Ewen

Executive Director Reporters Without Borders North America

Margaux Ewen is executive director at nonprofit Reporters Without Borders (RSF) North America and runs the U.S. activities for the organization and advocates for journalists, bloggers and media rights worldwide. Acting as RSF’s spokesperson in the U.S., Margaux regularly appears on American media (CNN, VOA, The Daily Show, etc.) and foreign media (BBC, Al Jazeera, France 24, etc.) on press freedom violation issues and the work of RSF.

Philip Alston

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights

The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the Human Rights Council, charged with presenting research, conducting country visits, and informing respective governments whether alleged violations of human rights of people living in extreme poverty has taken place. Alston also teaches international law, international criminal law, and human rights at New York University, and is the John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law at New York University School of Law.

Liz Theoharis

Co-Chair, Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

Theoharis is co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, co-director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice, and a founder and the coordinator of the Poverty Initiative. She has spent the past two decades organizing amongst the poor in the United States, working with and advising grassroots organizations with significant victories including the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the Vermont Workers Center, Domestic Workers United, the United Workers Association, the National Union of the Homeless and the Kensington Welfare Rights Union.

Premilla Nadasen

Professor of history at Barnard College, Columbia University

Nadasen joined the Barnard faculty in 2013 and is affiliated with the American Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies programs. She teaches, researches, and writes about race, gender, social policy, and organizing. Her most recent book, Household Workers Unite, examines how African American domestic workers in the U.S. strategically used storytelling to develop a political identity and through their organizing reshaped the landscape of labor organizing. She is co-founder of Scholars for Social Justice, a coalition of progressive professors that fights for justice for all people, especially the most vulnerable, and also author of the award-winning book Welfare Warriors: The Welfare Rights Movement in the United States.
Raymond Bonner

Raymond Bonner

Foreign correspondent and Pultizer-prize winning journalist

Bonner has been a foreign correspondent and investigative reporter for The New York Times, a staff writer at The New Yorker, and has written for The New York Review of Books. He has reported from more than a hundred countries. He is the author of four books, including “Weakness and Deceit: America and El Salvador’s Dirty War,” and the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a shared Pulitzer, and the Louis M. Lyon award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism from the Nieman Fellows at Harvard.
Jose Miguel Cruz

Jose Miguel Cruz

Director of Research at Florida International University’s Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center and Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs.

Jose Miguel Cruz is the Director of Research at Florida International University’s Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center and Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs. He’s an expert in criminal violence, gangs, police, democratization and public opinion in Latin America. Cruz recently wrote a piece in The Washington Post, titled: “Trump is wrong about MS-13. His rhetoric will make it worse.”
Patrick Young CARACEN

Patrick Young

Immigration attorney at Centeral American Refugee Center

Young is an immigration attorney, immigrant rights advocate, the Program Director at CARECEN—the Central American Refugee Center—and co-founder of the Long Island Civic Engagement Table. He has represented thousands of immigrants before the immigration courts, the INS, and the Department of Homeland Security. He was co-counsel on two successful Federal lawsuits and he wrote the winning brief in the United States Court of Appeals case that established the standard of eligibility for political asylum in New York. He is the co-author of the Master Exhibit on Human Rights in Peru published by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Rebel Diaz

Rebel Diaz

Revolutionary hip hop duo

We are Rebel Diaz. Somos hermanos—RodStarz and G1—who grew up in Chicago and came up in The South Bronx. Somos hijos de political refugees from Chile who fled a CIA-funded dictatorship in the 1970s. Revolution raised us, and the culture of Hip-Hop provided us our own Nueva Cancion. We’ve been doing rebel rap since the Clinton era, sharing our story and those of our people; el barrio, the hood, the poor, los inmigrantes. Our bilingual sound has been shaped by pieces of South American folk, house, and latin percussion gettin down with boom-bap breaks and 808s. Hip-Hop and a vision for liberation have taken us around the world. We’ve rocked stages in front of thousands at festivals, and in front of dozens in squat house living rooms. We learned about tomas in our international tours, then came back to The Bronx, took over an abandoned building and started a community center, The RDACBX. We’ve given lectures at Ivy League schools, but are college dropouts. We went from rapping about being ‘periodistas de la esquina’ to actually hosting a television news program on Telesur English. We’ve been blessed to open for the likes of Public Enemy, Calle 13, and Rage Against the Machine. The New York Times, Washington Post, and NPR among others, have featured our work and words. Educators across the world use our music and videos as learning tools. Today, we continue in la lucha with our families and in our community through our music and multimedia work.
Cruz Kontrol

Cruz Kontrol

Salvadoran hip-hop artist

Cruz Kontrol, born Edwin V. Cruz, started his journey as a Bboy in his native El Salvador in the mid 1980s, but after having to immigrate to the United States because of the civil war of the 1990s, he lands in New York where he learns that Bboying (breakdancing) is just one element of the phenomenon known as Hip Hop. Since then, he becomes a student of the culture and begins learning about the elements, rap, Djing, Bboying, graffitty and the social impact of this art. Influenced by such artists as Run DMC, Public Enemy and KRS one, Cruz learns the importance of positive and strong messages that can be propagated by this new culture and the effects it has on the youth and society. As a founding member and leader of the Hip Hop group Reyes Del Bajo Mundo, the group credited with being the pioneers of the rap movement in their native El Salvador, Cruz has traveled throughout the United States and Central America bringing the message of positivity and progress using Hip Hop culture as a tool peace, creativity and entrepreneurship.

Mishi Faruqee

National Field Director of nonprofit Youth First Initiative

Mishi Faruqee is the National Field Director of the nonprofit Youth First Initiative, where she provides technical assistance, training and strategy support to state-based campaigns. Previously, she worked as the juvenile justice policy strategist for the national ACLU and campaign director at the Washington State ACLU.

James Williams

James Williams

Juvenile Justice Field Organizer at New Jersey Institute for Social Justice

James Williams IV is the Juvenile Justice Field Organizer at New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. He worked previously for the United States Air Force’s Family Advocacy Program at Goodfellow Air Force Base and Kirtland Air Force Base. Prior to that, he worked primarily in higher education for Fayetteville State University, Troy University, Brown Mackie College and Park University. A frequent speaker at community events throughout the state, Williams has collaborated with police departments, military installations and community organizations on a wide variety of issues, including: Community Policing, Juvenile Justice and Police Procedures.
Hernan Carvente

Hernan Carvente Martinez

National Youth Partnership Strategist for nonprofit Youth First Initiative

Hernan Carvente Martinez is the National Youth Partnership Strategist for nonprofit Youth First Initiative. He manages the Youth First Youth Leaders Network, which provides young emerging leaders with the training and tools to lead the fight against youth incarceration. Previously, he served as a Program Analyst for the Center on Youth Justice at the Vera Institute of Justice, where he worked on policy analysis, program development, and elevated the voices and needs of youth and families in statewide policy reform.
Napoleon Da Legend

Napoleon Da Legend

Brooklyn-based hip-hop artist

Napoleon Da Legend is a Paris-born, East African and Washington DC-raised, Brooklyn-based lyricist who evokes the bleak reality of the world today without losing hope for a better tomorrow. N.D.L.’s innovative short-film Wise Men, featuring the late great Sean Price, quickly became a cult hit among Hip-Hop heads with its overt challenge of the music industry establishment. His signature wordplay and voice rose from relative obscurity after the groundbreaking Oxygen record, featuring Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon. He has since been touring Europe and the United States. Known for his poignant social commentary and deeply introspective music, the release of his Steal This Mixtape series resulted in spots on “Sway in the Morning,” Fox 5 News DC, the Essence Festival, and Rocksteady 40th Anniversary Show In 2017, among many other media outlets, showcases and venues.

Fred Harris

Fred Harris

Former U.S. Senator

Fred Harris is a former U.S. Senator from Oklahoma, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of New Mexico, the last surviving member of the 1968 Kerner Commission, and co-editor of its latest update “Healing Our Divided Society: Investing in America Fifty Years After the Kerner Report.” He coined the political term “New Populism” in the ’70s to describe his platform, and authored two books on the subject, Now Is The Time (1971) and The New Populism (1973). He also served as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1969 to 1970.
Dorothy Stoneman

Dorothy Stoneman

Founder & Former YouthBuild CEO

Dorothy Stoneman is the founder and former CEO of nonprofit YouthBuild—a worldwide movement and network of more than 260 locally controlled programs in the United States and more than 80 programs in 21 countries—and an author of a chapter within the 2018 report “Healing Our Divided Society: Investing in America Fifty Years After the Kerner Report.” Stoneman has a long and storied legacy within the civil rights movement and been involved with developing, expanding, analyzing and evaluating programs for low-income young people for about 50 years. Among other initiatives she’s either led or been a part of: Harlem Action Group, Head Start, and East Harlem Block Schools. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and science from Harvard University, a master’s degree in early childhood education and a doctorate of humane letters from Bank Street College of Education, and has been recognized with many awards for her lifetime of work on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised.
Michael McBride

Rev. Michael McBride

Founder & Lead Pastor of The Way Christian Center

Rev. Michael McBride is Director of Urban Strategies and the Live Free Campaign to end gun violence and mass incarceration with nonprofit PICO National Network. He is a graduate of Duke University’s Divinity School, holding a Master of Divinity with an emphasis in Ethics and Public Policy, and the founder and lead pastor of The Way Christian Center in West Berkeley, California. McBride was honored as the #9 ‘Top Clergy Leader to Watch in the U.S.’ by the Center for American Progress in 2013, and has served on a variety of local and national task forces with the White House and Department of Justice regarding gun violence prevention, boys and men of color, and police-community relationships. He is also a regular guest on MSNBC, CNN and Al-Jazeera programs, providing commentary for issues related to faith and racial justice.

Eryn Wise

Youth Voice Amplifier for Seeding Sovereignty

Eryn Wise is the Youth Voice Amplifier for Seeding Sovereignty. She comes from the Jicarilla Apache Nation and Laguna Pueblo people. She is the Youth Voice Amplifier for Seeding Sovereignty, working with our passionate young organizers to bring impactful change to indigenous communities across Turtle Island. In addition to her work within Seeding Sovereignty, she is the “Ina” or mother of sorts for the International Indigenous Youth Council, and has collaborated with Honor the Earth, Sacred Stone Camp, Seeding Sovereignty, and Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center to guide young organizers committed to movement work and defending the sacred.

Vera Eidelman

William J. Brennan fellow with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project

Vera Eidelman is the William J. Brennan fellow with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. Vera is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School. During law school, she worked in Yale’s Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic, interned with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and was a member of Yale’s San Francisco Affirmative Litigation Project. Before joining SPT, she served as a law clerk to the Hon. Beth Labson Freeman, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of California.

Alice Speri

Reporter, The Intercept

Alice Speri reports on justice, immigration, and civil rights for The Intercept. She is originally from Italy and lives in the Bronx. Her work has appeared in Al Jazeera America, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, AFP, DNAinfo, Truthout, PassBlue, The Electronic Intifada, The Star-Ledger, and VICE News.
Desmond Meade

Desmond Meade

President, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition

Desmond Meade is a formerly homeless returning citizen who overcame many obstacles to eventually become the current State Director for Florida Live Free Campaign, President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), Chair of Floridians for a Fair Democracy, Chair of the Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation’s Black Men’s Roundtable, and a graduate of Florida International University College of Law. As President of the FRRC, which is recognized for its work on felon disfranchisement issues, Desmond has orchestrated the reorganization and incorporation of a coalition comprised of over 70 state and national organizations and individuals which includes, but not limited to the NAACP, ACLU, PICO, Florida League of Women Voters, A. Philip Randolph Institute, PICO Florida, and Florida Immigration Coalition. Desmond has also received many accolades, celebrating his hard work and dedication to leadership and commitment to social justice. He is presently leading efforts to restore civil rights to over 1.68 million Floridians, empower and civically re-engage local communities, and to reshape local, state, and national policies.

Nicole Porter

Director of Advocacy, The Sentencing Project

Nicole D. Porter manages The Sentencing Project’s state and local advocacy efforts on sentencing reform, voting rights, and eliminating racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Her advocacy has supported criminal justice reforms in several states including Kentucky, Missouri, and California. Porter was named a “New Civil Rights Leader” by Essence Magazine in November 2014 for her work to eliminate mass incarceration.

Since joining The Sentencing Project in 2009, Porter’s work has been cited in several major media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, and National Public Radio. She has given a number of talks on state sentencing policy, collateral consequences, and racial disparity to various audiences including the League of Women Voters, NAACP, and the United Methodist Women’s Assembly.

Sean Morales-Doyle

Counsel in the Democracy Program at Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law

Sean Morales-Doyle is Counsel in the Democracy Program at Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. His work is focused on voting rights and elections, including automatic voter registration, voter fraud, and voting rights restoration. Mr. Morales-Doyle is a seasoned litigator with experience in all manner of civil rights and constitutional matters, as well as a background in labor and employment law.

Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Mr. Morales-Doyle was a shareholder at Despres, Schwartz & Geoghegan, Ltd., in Chicago. There, he litigated cases involving voting rights, gerrymandering, free speech, police misconduct, race discrimination,and sexual harassment. He also represented workers and unions in a wide variety of labor and employment cases and advocated on behalf of consumers in a number of consumer fraud cases against payday lenders and other predatory businesses. Sean has experience in both state and federal courts and in virtually every aspect of complex litigation, including trials, oral arguments, and preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order hearings. He has repeatedly been appointed class counsel in class action litigation.

Ibraham Qatabi

Ibraham Qatabi

Senior Legal Worker at Center for Constitutional Rights

Ibraham Qatabi is a senior legal worker at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where he helps coordinate a large network of pro bono counsel representing Guantánamo detainees and assists with attorney-client meetings at the prison. Mr. Qatabi also serves as a UN/U.S. advisor to the Nobel Peace Laureate Tawakkol Karman of Yemen, and was a lead advisor on the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Prior to joining the Center for Constitutional Rights, he interned in the Terrorism/Counter-Terrorism section at Human Rights Watch in New York. He is a cum laude graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, where he earned a B.A. in international criminal justice with a certificate in dispute resolution and a minor in government. Mr. Qatabi is a frequent commentator on Yemeni affairs on various cable news networks, including Al Aljazeera, RT (Arabic and English), Aljazeera America, and Alhurra TV, among others. During the Arab Spring, Qatabi co-founded the Yemeni American Coalition for Change (YACC) to support change and the democracy movement in Yemen.

Dr. Debbie Almontaser

Educator, community leader & co-founder of the Yemeni Americans Merchant Association

Dr. Debbie Almontaser is an internationally recognized, award-winning educator, speaker and authority on cross cultural understanding. She is an influential community leader and the Founder and CEO of Bridging Cultures Group, Inc. Almontaser was the founding and former principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn, NY. A 25-year veteran of the NYC Public School System, she taught special education, inclusion, trained teachers in literacy, and served as a multicultural specialist and diversity advisor. Currently, she is the Board President of the Muslim Community Network. She frequently lectures, serves on panels, and facilitates teacher and public workshops on cultural diversity, conflict resolution, Arab Culture, Islam, Muslims in America, interfaith coalition building and youth leadership at schools, universities, libraries, museums, faith-based organizations, churches, synagogues, as well as national and international conferences. She is also the co-founder of the Yemeni Americans Merchant Association.
Mohammed Alobahy

Mohammed Alobahy

Yemeni American

Mohammed Alobahy is a Yemeni American who emigrated to the United States in 2006. Alobahy, who lives and works in upstate New York, has been trying to bring his wife to the United States since February 2016—nine months prior to the presidential election. His wife’s visa was approved and then revoked a few months later because of President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.