Masood Akhtar is an Indian-born proud American Muslim entrepreneur and activist. He has been living in Madison for over 30 years and actively involved with numerous community projects. To address the environment of Islamophobia and fear during Presidential campaign, he spent significant amount of time addressing this issue in cooperation with leaders from the Madison Muslim Community, law enforcement officers, elected officials, local media and the general public. After the Presidential election, the environment of Islamophobia and Fear transformed into an environment of Hate against many minorities. To address that, he has created a Movement “We Are Many: United Against Hate” (formerly Anti-Hate Registry), a platform where people of different faiths, no faith, Latinos, African American, LGBT, Native Americans, Sikh community and others can unite together against hate and build an inclusive community. This Movement is not us vs. them.
Martin Alvarado has served on the ACLU of Wisconsin Board since 2010. He works for the Madison Public Library and considers free access to information and privacy as inherent citizen rights. Born to a mother from the United States and Mexican father, he believes there are basic rights that apply to all humans, regardless of their immigration status.
A.J. Nino Amato
Nino is a former member of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, the University of Hospital & Clinic Authority Board and is a former President of the Wisconsin Technical College System Board of Directors. Besides his leadership role as President of CWAG, which helps protect the rights of Wisconsin’s 1.3 million elderly and people with disabilities – he is a part-time Adjunct Professor at University of Wisconsin – Platteville, teaching “Women, Law & Social Control,” in the Criminal Justice Department and “Energy, Environment & Society” in the School of Engineering. Nino the co-author of “Today’s Hidden Racism: A Polite Apartheid,” which alerted American fifteen years ago,to the hidden racism of “racial disparities” in our public educational system, the growing income disparities, as well as the racial disparities in the American criminal justice system. Nino has had a successful business career as a Senior Executive in the Healthcare and Energy Industries, along with serving on numerous local, county and state committees, boards, commissions and task forces for both Democrat and Republican Governors. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Council of Consumer Organizations (NCCO) and has played a major role in founding three of Madison’s Sister Cities with Vilnius Lithuania, Camaguary Cuba and Mantova Italy. Nino international professional experience is extensive and was a free-lance journalist, behind the Soviet Iron Curtain in 1983,1988 and 1990 and witness the fall of the Soviet Union, during its control of eastern Europe and Russia.
Omie Baldwin is a licensed clinical social worker, retired from the University Health Services at the University of Wisconsin. She is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and is a member of the American Indian community of Madison. Omie has dedicated her time to many cross-cultural initiatives and groups over the years. She currently serves on the board of the Create-Ability Program of Madison, which serves the differently-able population with residential assistance and work training, and also as an advisory board member for the Rainbow Project, providing mental health services for ethnic minority families. She has previously served as board chair for the Eugene and Linda Farley Center for Peace, Justice and Sustainability and as a board member of the Parliament of the World Religions.
Rev. Brad Brookins
Brad Brookins has been the pastor at the United Church of Christ in Mt Vernon for the past 12 years. He lives with his wife on a small homestead in rural Green County where he raises chickens and Jersey beef. Brad is also active in several community organizations and is on the boards of the Food, Faith and Farming Network, the Mt Horeb Farmer’s Market and is a founding member of the new Mt Horeb chapter of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), in addition to serving on the advisory board of United Against Hate.
Tim Cullen is a life long resident of Janesville, WI and a graduate of UW-Whitewater. He served as a Wisconsin state senator from 1975-1986 (as majority leader from 1982-1986) and again from 2011 – 2015. Tim served as the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services from 1987-1988 and as a member of the Janesville school board from 2007-2010. His the author of “Ringside Seat: Wisconsin Politics, the 1970s to Scott Walker” and is currently co-chair of Common Cause Wisconsin.
I am with Madison Chapter 25 of Veterans for Peace (VPP), a national non-profit 501(c)(3) educational and humanitarian organization dedicated to the abolition of war. VFP was founded in 1985 by ex-service members committed to sharing the horrors they experienced. We know the consequences of American foreign policy because once, at a time in our lives, so many of us carried it out. We find it sad that war seems necessary and justified, so often, to those who have no knowledge of it. We will steadfastly, and patriotically, continue to denounce war despite whatever misguided sense of euphoria supports it. I served in the United States Air Force for four years, 1962-1966. I was a Scoutmaster for three years and was a volunteer on the Belleville Fire Department for almost 30 years. When the USA invaded Iran I discovered there was a Veterans for Peace chapter in Madison and joined. My focus is on installing the Memorial Mile in Olbrich Park for a week before Memorial Day that represents the cost of war in lives lost by the USA.
Kris Gorton is the pastor at Memorial United Church of Christ (UCC) in Fitchburg. She and her husband grew up in Southwestern Wisconsin and enjoy bicycling, hiking, and traveling. In seminary, Kris’ studies focused on interreligious engagement which included a Study Tour to Israel and Palestine in 2016. Currently, Kris is on the Stewardship of Public Live committee of the Wisconsin Council of Churches, the Board of Worker Justice Wisconsin, and is a founding member of the UCC’s Economic Justice Movement.
Molly is an education consultant with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). In her role at DPI, Molly manages a grant that works with school districts across the state to create safe and supportive environments for LGBT students, promote exemplary sexual health education, and increase access to key sexual health services. Prior to joining the team at DPI, Molly worked for over 15 years as a health educator at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services in the AIDS/HIV Program’s Prevention Unit. Molly also works as a private consultant on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) health with experience training providers, conducting research with LGBT communities, and developing strategies to increase inclusion in mainstream services. Molly brings over 18 years of experience as a trainer and educator, specializing in LGBT health, intimate partner violence, HIV, and community readiness assessments.
Elana Kahn is director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, which works to create a just community that reflects the best of American and Jewish values by convening and mobilizing the Jewish community through education, advocacy, social justice and support for Israel. Its program, Hours Against Hate, mobilizes people to connect with people across lines of race, religion, culture, class, and more, in an effort to dismantle bigotry and promote respect. She serves on the organizing committee of the Community Coalition for Quality Policing, a diverse group of organizations and faith leaders who are working to improve police community relations, reduce crime, and improve the lives of community members by implementing a new model of policing. She also serves on the executive committee of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee and the Lux Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies at Sacred Heart School of Theology. An award winning writer and editor, she was formerly editor of The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle and president of the American Jewish Press Association.
Pardeep is a Licensed Psychotherapist with D & S Healing Center specializing in utilizing a trauma-informed approach to treat survivors of assault, abuse and acts of violence. A native of Punjab, India, Pardeep Singh Kaleka grew up in Milwaukee and received his B.A. at Marquette University, and M.S. at Alverno College in Community Psychology. As a former Police Officer and Educator in the inner city of Milwaukee Pardeep understands the difficulty facing our communities locally and abroad. He firmly believes that the lamp of knowledge, truth, and wisdom outshines all the darkness in the world.Both in his practice and out, Pardeep’s passion remains one of healing and recovery. An example of this is Serve2Unite, an organization he founded in response to tragedy. This organization engages youth in service learning, artistic response, and global engagement to build positive school environments and communal identity addressing conflict and de-radicalization from a trauma-informed lens. Over the past 4 years, the work of Serve2Unite has been locally and internationally recognized as the recipient of The Guru Nanak Award, and The Parliament of World Religions for the work of building safe, inclusive communities. Partnership organizations include; Arts@Large, Against Violent Extremism, The Forgiveness Project, Interfaith Council of Milwaukee, Not In Our Town.
Isadore serves as the Political Action Chair of the NAACP-Dane County and is also the President of the Board for the South Metropolitan Planning Council, Inc. and the Southside Raiders Football & Cheerleading, Inc. He is a former Common Council Alder for the 13th District [South Madison].Isadore currently works as the Manager of Equal Employment Opportunity for Dane County’s Tamara D. Grigsby Office For Equity & Inclusion. He is the former Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity for Dane County. Isadore has previously been employed by the State of Wisconsin for over 18 years working in various state agencies in both professional and management capacities.
In the late 1980′s and early 1990′s, Arno Michaelis was a founding member of what went on to become the largest racist skinhead organization on Earth, a reverend of a self-declared “Racial Holy War,” and lead singer of the hate-metal band Centurion, which sold 20,000 CDs by the mid-nineties and is still popular with racists today. Single parenthood, love for his daughter, and the forgiveness shown by the people he once hated all helped to turn Arno’s life around, bringing him to embrace diversity and practice gratitude for all life. Today Arno is a speaker, author of My Life After Hate, and very fortunate to be able to share his ongoing process of character development working with Serve 2 Unite. Arno enjoys spending time with his daughter, art, music, and all forms of fearless creative expression, along with climbing things, being underwater, and the wonderful natural beauty of our planet Earth.
Amitabh Pal is the Communications Director of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Prior to joining in February 2016, he was the Managing Editor of The Progressive magazine for more than a decade. He was also the editor of the Progressive Media Project, an affiliate of The Progressive that sends out op-eds through the Tribune Wire Service to hundreds of newspapers in the United States and other countries. Pal has appeared on C-SPAN and BBC and television and radio stations all over the United States and abroad. His articles have been published in school and college textbooks in the United States and Australia. Pal teaches a course at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin. He has a Master’s in Journalism from the University of North Carolina and a Master’s in Political Science from North Carolina State University.
A. Steven Porter is a Madison civil rights lawyer who litigates to protect individuals and groups against deprivations of their civil rights and employment discrimination. Mr. Porter has successfully litigated to protect First Amendment rights of an assistant professor seeking the right to protest at the State Capitol with the Solidarity Singers (Kissick v. Huebsch), people demonstrating in support of Native American spearfishing treaty rights (Koser v. Price County), an organization presenting LGBT theater productions (MGAC v. Milwaukee), and a Muslim women subjected to searches of her hijab when visiting a loved one in a state prison (Rhouni v. Casperson), among others. He also litigates Constitutional claims of police and other governmental misconduct.Mr. Porter serves on the board the Civil Rights and Liberties Section (CRL) of the State Bar of Wisconsin where he is active on its legislative committee. He is a cooperating attorney with and former board member of the ACLU-WI, a member of the steering committee for the American Constitution Society Madison Chapter, and a member of various employment lawyers associations. He is regularly called upon to present at continuing legal education (CLE) seminars on topics related to civil rights and employment discrimination, and, he has produced many CLE seminars on civil rights and employment discrimination topics. His article on the civil rights of children was published in the Wisconsin Bar Journal.
Gloria Reyes is Deputy Mayor to Public Safety, Department of Civil Rights, Public Health and Community Services for the city of Madison. She also serves on the Education committee serving as liaison to the Madison Metropolitan School District and the University of Wisconsin Madison. Gloria has served 5 years as the board president of the Dane County Chapter of the National Latino Peace Officers Association.
Ulrich Rosenhagen is Director of the Center for Religion and Global Citizenry and Lecturer in Religious Studies at UW-Madison. He has written on Jewish-Christian relations, Social Protestantism, and interreligious dialogue in academic journals as well as outlets like The Christian Century, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Commonweal, Religion News Service, Sojourners, Dissent, and the Huffington Post. He was a researcher at the Technical University of Dresden and has held a research fellowship at Boston University. Prior to coming to Madison in 2006, he worked for several years as a Lutheran pastor in Germany and Miami, FL.
Senator Schultz earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the School of Business at UW-Madison. He is a licensed real estate agent, and he and his wife, Rachel, own and operate a 210-acre century farm in Sauk County. They have two adult daughters, and currently make their home in Richland Center. Dale was elected to the State Assembly in 1982, and then to the State Senate during a special election in the fall of 1991 where he remained until his retirement in 2014. During his legislative tenure, he was elected Majority Leader in 2003, and served on numerous committees, including the Joint Finance Committee. Senator Schultz, who is known as a consensus leader, continues to remain engaged by promoting reforms for public schools, encouraging appropriate funding for education, and, along with Senator Cullen, is active in re-districting reform. Senator Schultz believes bi-partisan collaboration is the best way to accomplish change that will be long lasting.
Steve Starkey is the Executive Director at OutReach LGBT Community Center. He has worked with social justice nonprofit organizations and cooperatives since the 1970s, as a volunteer, donor, board or committee member, or staff member. Throughout his career Steve has been involved in addressing issues such as peace and justice, environmental preservation, economic justice, racial justice, lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights and many other causes.Steve served two terms on the board of New Harvest Foundation (LGBT fund for Dane County) from 1996 to 2002, was the Founding Vice President of the Social Justice Center from 2001 to 2003, the Treasurer of the Board of Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund from 2003 to 2007, and served on the board of Community Shares of Wisconsin from 2008 to present. Steve is from a blue collar union family and strongly supports the rights of people to collectively bargain.
Caroline Tu Farley
Caroline Tu Farley is the Program Director for the Linda and Gene Farley Center for Peace, Justice and Sustainability located in Verona, WI. The Farley Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to progressive change, community partnership, environmental sustainability, peace and social justice. The Center consists of three primary areas that include a farm incubator, a nature preserve burial ground , and programs that promote peace and justice. Caroline provides the coordination and oversight of the programs, volunteers and event planning and implementation of programs at the Center.She also develops and nurtures partnerships with community based groups and organizations working toward making this a more peaceful, just and sustainable community.
John W. Vaudreuil was the United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin from August 2010 to March 10, 2017. . Prior to his appointment to this position in by President Barack Obama, he was an Assistant United States Attorney in the district since January 1980 representing the United States in criminal cases in federal court. As US Attorney, Vaudreuil led an office committed to the fair and equal enforcement of federal law, including civil rights laws, both in civil and criminal cases. His office aggressively pursued civil housing discrimination cases and cases involving violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. As the chief federal law enforcement officer, Vaudreuil also tirelessly worked to build relationships of trust and understanding with communities that might be targets of civil rights crimes.
Vaudreuil also has international teaching experience. Since 2001 he has supported the rule of law efforts of the U.S. Department of Justice, teaching prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges in Albania, the Czech Republic, Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Macedonia, Uzbekistan, Kosovo, Republic of Georgia, Russia, Serbia, Uganda, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Estonia, Moldova, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bangladesh, Kenya, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Nepal, and Tanzania.
Tim White is an activist in the greater Mt. Horeb area. For the past 11 years he has coordinated educational programming, direct action, and communication for Southwest Wisconsin Area Progressives. The organization is a local democracy-in-action group advocating progressive government policies for a sustainable future. Other organizations he has invested his time in over the years are as union shop steward, rural town association organizer, local and state historical societies volunteer, and area park advocacy. He understands the importance of diverse communities in a healthy democracy, and knows the dangers of employing divisive actions for political purposes.
Rabbi Paula Jayne Winnig is the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Madison, Wisconsin. She was the Executive Director of the Bureau of Jewish Education in Indianapolis, IN from 2011-2017. She previously served as the spiritual leader of congregations in Roslyn, Queens and Lawrence, New York after receiving her ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1986. She was a student rabbi at the Vista Del Mar Center, Los Angeles, CA and Congregation Beth Shalom in Auckland, New Zealand. She has served as the High Holyday rabbi for the Oak Village Nursing Home in Cincinnati, Ohio and Congregation Adat Israel in Guatemala City. Rabbi Winnig was a prison chaplain for New York State for five years, serving in both the Women’s maximum and medium security prisons in Bedford Hills, NY. Rabbi Winnig was a lecturer teaching Hebrew at the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. Rabbi Winnig is the past co-chair of the Indiana Board of Rabbis and served similar roles in New York area rabbinic and inter-faith organizations throughout her career. In 2015 Rabbi Winnig was named woman of the year by Unite magazine for her advocacy of equal rights for LGBTQ individuals in Indiana.