Jeff Chang has written extensively on culture, politics, the arts, and music. His first book, Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, was named one of the best nonfiction books of the last quarter century by Slate. A revised Young Adult edition of the book—co-written with legendary hip-hop journalist Dave “Davey D” Cook—was published in 2021. His other books include Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop, Who We Be: A Cultural History of Race in Post Civil Rights America, and We Gon' Be Alright: Notes On Race and Resegregation. His next project is a cultural biography of Bruce Lee called Water Mirror Echo: Bruce Lee and the Making of Asian America (HarperCollins). Considered a national expert in narrative strategy and cultural equity, he serves as a Senior Advisor at Race Forward and runs the Butterfly Lab for Immigrant Narrative Strategy
Vikas Saini, MD is president of the Lown Institute. He is a clinical cardiologist trained by Dr. Bernard Lown at Harvard, where he has taught and done research. Dr. Saini leads the Institute’s signature project, the Lown Institute Hospitals Index, the first ranking to measure hospital social responsibility. In his role at the Lown Institute since 2012, Dr. Saini led the development of the Right Care series of papers published by The Lancet in 2017; convened six national conferences attracting more than 200 attendees annually and featuring world-renowned leaders in health care; and guided other Lown Institute projects such as the “Shkreli Awards.” He is also a founder and Co-Chair of the Right Care Alliance, a grassroots network of clinicians, patient activists, and community leaders organizing to put patients, not profits, at the heart of health care. Dr. Saini is a board-certified doctor of Cardiovascular Disease, Internal Medicine, and Nuclear Cardiology, and has served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health.
Bryan Stevenson is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a human rights organization in Montgomery, Alabama. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults. Mr. Stevenson has argued and won multiple cases at the United States Supreme Court, including a 2019 ruling protecting condemned prisoners who suffer from dementia and a landmark 2012 ruling that banned mandatory life-imprisonment-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger. Mr. Stevenson and his staff have won reversals, relief, or release from prison for over 135 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row and won relief for hundreds of others wrongly convicted or unfairly sentenced. Mr. Stevenson is the author of the acclaimed best-seller, Just Mercy, on which the 2019 feature film of the same name is based. He is also a Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law. In 2014, Mr Stevenson was the recipient of the ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism.
ALBA was saddened to learn of the passing of our honorary board member Jim Skillman and we extend our deepest sympathies to his family and all who loved him. Jim Skillman was a social justice activist/organizer from Atlanta, Georgia. He served as a coordinator with the Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition, the Atlanta Jobs with Justice Organizing Committee, and as a member of the Atlanta chapter of Veterans for Peace and the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism.
John Sayles is the writer and director of acclaimed independent films including Return of the Secaucus 7, Matewan, Lianna, Baby It’s You, The Brother From Another Planet, Eight Men Out, City of Hope, Passion Fish, The Secret of Roan Inish, Lone Star, Men with Guns, Limbo, Sunshine State, Casa de los Babys, Silver City and Honeydripper. Sayles has also written novels and short stories. Among his awards: John D. MacArthur Award, Eugene V. Debs Award, John Steinbeck Award, John Cassavettes Award, Ian McLellan Hunter Award. He has been nominated twice for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Antonio Muñoz Molina is a Spanish writer and, since 1995, a full member of the Royal Spanish Academy. He studied art history at the University of Granada and journalism in Madrid. He began writing in the 1980s and his first published book, El Robinsón urbano, a collection of his journalistic work, was published in 1984. His columns have regularly appeared in El País and Die Welt.
Howard Lurie is the Associate Director for Educational Productions at WGBH Boston. For more than 20 years he has led professional development efforts for K-16 teachers featuring the use of digital media, technology and inquiry based learning. He holds degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Teachers College, Columbia University.
Robin D.G. Kelley is the Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA. His books include the prize-winning Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original (Free Press, 2009); Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times (Harvard Press, 2012); Yo' Mama's DisFunktional!: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America (Beacon Press, 1997); Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class (Free Press, 1994); and Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination (Beacon Press, 2002). He also edited (with Franklin Rosemont) Black, Brown, and Beige: Surrealist Writings from Africa and the African Diaspora (University of Texas Press, 2009), recipient of an American Book Award, and (with Stephen Tuck) The Other Special Relationship: Race, Rights and Riots in Britain and the United States (New York: Palgrave, 2015). Kelley's essays have appeared in several anthologies and publications, including The Nation, Monthly Review, The Voice Literary Supplement, New York Times (Arts and Leisure), Counterpunch, Black Music Research Journal, Callaloo, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noir, Social Text, Boston Review, American Historical Review, Journal of American History, and Souls, to name a few.
For over 40 years Joyce Horman has pressed the United States and Chilean governments, and legal authorities in both countries, to investigate and resolve the wrongful death of her husband Charles in the violent aftermath of Pinochet’s 1973 military coup. With the CCR she sued Kissinger for cover up and collusion in Charles' wrongful death. The movie Missing told of her husband's disappearance in the midst of Pinochet's dictatorship with the cooperation and possible direction of American military intelligence. Her Foundation produced the "Tribute to Justice" in 1973 honoring those who fought to bring Pinochet to justice for human rights crimes.
Adam Hochschild is the author of ten books, including "Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939," which appeared in 2016. "Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves" won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the PEN USA Literary Award, the Gold Medal of the California Book Awards, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. He has twice been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.