Aliya Hana Hussain: Advocacy Program Manager for the Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative at the Center for Constitutional Rights and travels to Guantanamo regularly to meet with CCR's clients. She also works on the issues of drone killings, profiling and spying on Muslim communities, and accountability for torture and other war crimes.
Ash Kyrie: A veteran, artist, activist , and co-chair of the National Veterans Art Museum. Kyrie was deployed to Iraq with the Wisconsin National Guard in 2003. After service, he completed an MFA from the Ohio State University. Kyrie's political work informs and complements his art, whether solo or in cooperation with the Dirty Canteen veteran artist collective.
Aziz Huq: Teaching and research interests include constitutional law, criminal procedure, federal courts, and legislation. His scholarship concerns the interaction of constitutional design with individual rights and liberties. He served as Senior Consultant Analyst for the International Crisis Group, researching constitutional design and implementation in Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka.
Baher Azmy: Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He directs all litigation and advocacy around issues related to the promotion of civil and human rights. While a Clinical Law Professor, Baher represented Murat Kurnaz, a German resident of Turkish descent imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, until his release in August 2006.
Bart de Kroon: Dutch guitarist and singer songwriter. De Kroon has roots in the DIY scene, playing in experimental rock bands. Since 2010 he has recorded three albums as Homemade Empire blending folk songwriting with an experimental sound that borrows from minimal drone music and lo-fi. Bart is working in collaboration with Jeremiah Day.
Ben Thompson: Served at BCCF on Forward Operating Base Abu Ghraib in 2004-2005 as a compound guard. After returning to the United States, he participated in a documentary which examines the state of US detention in operations in Iraq through the eyes of two of his former prisoners.
Fatima Ashghar: Poems have appeared or are forthcoming in POETRY Magazine, PEN Poetry Series, The Paris-American, The Margins, and Gulf Coast. In 2011, she created Bosnia and Herzegovina's first Spoken Word Poetry group, REFLEKS, while on a Fulbright studying theater in post-violent contexts. Her chapbook After was released by Yes Yes Books fall of 2015.
Fresh Expressions Poets: Sadia Nawab, Katie Marciniak, and Jasmine Wells.
Gerald Hankerson: Outreach coordinator at the Council on American-Islamic Relations and a host on Radio Islam. Through CAIR, Gerald addresses Human Rights violations in the areas of Islamophobia, media bias and forms of representation.
James Yee: Former US Army Chaplain and graduate of West Point who served as the Muslim Chaplain for the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. After being officially recognized twice for outstanding performance, Captain Yee was arrested and imprisoned for 76 days in September 2003 while being falsely accused of spying, espionage, and aiding the alleged Taliban and Al-Qaeda prisoners. He was held in solitary confinement and subjected to the same sensory deprivation techniques that were being used against the prisoners in Cuba that he had been ministering to. After months of government investigation, all criminal charges were dropped.
Jeremiah Day: Berlin based, American artist re-examining politicalconflicts and resistance through unfolding their subjective traces and contexts in photography, speech and body language. Day’s work has been presented at the Centre George Pompidou, Paris, this year’s Thessaloniki Biennial, and presently at MAXXI, Museum of Art of the Twenty First Century, Rome.
Kathy Kelly: Peace activist, pacifist and author, one of the founding members of Voices in the Wilderness, and currently a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. As part of peace team work in several countries, she has traveled to Iraq twenty-six times, notably remaining in combat zones during the early days of both US-Iraq wars. Her recent travel has focused on Afghanistan and Gaza, along with domestic protests against U.S. drone policy.
Ladan Osman: Poet, lives in Chicago and is the winner of the African Poetry Book Fund's 2014 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets for her manuscript The Kitchen-Dweller's Testimony. A 2012 Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Life in Poetry, Broadsided, Narrative Magazine, Prairie Schooner, and Vinyl Poetry.
Larry Siems: Balancing writing and activism, he has published scores of articles on human rights and cross-cultural themes. He served for many years as director of Freedom to Write Programs for the writers advocacy organization PEN. He has three books out including The Torture Report: What the Documents Say About America’s Post 9/11 Torture Program and Guantánamo Diary.
Marc Falkoff: Provided legal representation for a number of detainees held in the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He edited Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak, a bestselling anthology and has been translated into a dozen languages. He currently teaches at Northern University School of Law. He received the Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award in 2007 from the Southern Center for Human Rights together with many other awards.
Mark Templeton: An Associate Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Chicago, Mark was special assistant and senior advisor to the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor and an advisor to the U.S delegation to the U.N Commission on Human Rights.
Mary Zerkel: Having worked at the American Friends Service Committee for twenty-two years and as member of Lucky Pierre, Mary combines activism and art. At AFSC Mary, among other vital roles, is co-coordinator on the Wage Peace Campaign, which works towards the demilitarization of U.S. foreign and domestic policy.
Michael Rakowitz: An Iraqi American Artist, best known for his conceptual art displayed in non-gallery contexts. He is an associate professor at Northwestern University. Michael Rakowitz conceptual art is deeply political and focuses mostly on the Middle East namely Iraq which is where his family fled from.
Melvin A. Lyons: Mel L. Da Misfit is a Hip Hop artist and road DJ with The Microphone Misfitz touring nationally and internationally for over 14 years. He is a visual artist and teaches workshops at National Veterans Art Museum.
Roger Reeves: Poems have appeared in journals such as Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and Tin House, among others. He was awarded a 2013 NEA Fellowship, Ruth Lilly Fellowship by the Poetry Foundation in 2008, two Bread Loaf Scholarships, an Alberta H. Walker Scholarship from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and two Cave Canem Fellowships.
Rohina Malik: Critically acclaimed playwright and solo performer for her one woman show Unveiled. She is an artistic associate at the 16th Street Theater and a company member at Voyager Theater Company in NYC. Her work had been produced or developed at The Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, 16th Street Theater, Crossroads Theater, Chicago Dramatists, Voyager Theater Company, Silk Road Rising and Theater Project Baltimore.
Sadia Nawab: Generously offering her family tea recipe for the April 2nd Tea Engagement, Sadia, through her work as Youth and Arts Manager at the Inner-City Muslim Action Network, is coordinating poets from CommUNITY Café and Fresh Expressions, which are productions of socially conscious artists that connect a diverse array of communities and celebrates the rich storytelling, music, movement and visual art of urban and folk cultures throughout the world.
Sarah Ross: An artist who works in sculpture, video and photo. Her projects use narrative and the body to address spatial concerns as they relate to access, class, anxiety and activism. Sarah also works collaboratively with other artists on projects such as Compass (of the MRCC), Regional Relationships, Chicago Justice Torture Memorial, and Prison and Neighborhood Arts Project.
Seemi Choudry: Nicknamed "SeemiChai" by her family, one of Seemi's favorite past times is to make and serve tea. A child of Pakistani immigrants, Seemi was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela and is deeply committed to community development and empowerment.
Tauseef Akbar: Research Coordinator at CAIR-Chicago and also Web Content Director with Justice For All/Burma Task Force. He studied Arabic and foundational Islamic disciplines in Cairo, Egypt at the Al-Fajr Institute, affiliated with Al-Azhar University. He received a BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in Chemistry at North Park University. He is slated to receive his MA in Islamic Studies from American Islamic College at the end of the year. His research work has primarily focused on Islamophobia and demographic trends within the Muslim American community. As a researcher he has worked with leading Muslim organizations and was also a past consultant to Georgetown Univesity's Bridge Initiative for the study of Islamophobia. He has written and been published on the topic of Islamophobia, the War on Terror and the genocide against the Rohingya Muslims in various news media outlets including The Diplomat.
Tom Ginsburg: Focuses on comparative and international law from an interdisciplinary perspective. His books include Judicial Review in New Democracies (2003), winner of the C. Herman Pritchett Award from the American Political Science Association; The Endurance of National Constitutions (2009), which also won a best book prize from APSA; Constitutions in Authoritarian Regimes (2014); and Law and Development in Middle-Income Countries (2014).