CHARLOT LUCIEN is a Haitian storyteller, poet, visual artist, lecturer, and the founder of the Boston-based Haitian Artists Assembly of Massachusetts. He uses his art and writing to promote Haitian culture and advocate for many civil rights, public health, and humanitarian issues through his involvement with various cultural and civic organizations. Lucien has been a long-term public health manager for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is a lecturer on Haiti-US historical connections with the OLLI Institute at the University of Massachusetts. He frequently participates as a guest speaker on Haiti’s culture and history in various academic and cultural venues in the US. He holds membership with various civic/humanitarian organizations, including the think-tank Groupe of Reflection and Action for a New Haiti (GRAHN-USA), the West African Research Association (WARA), Société des poètes francophones, the Haitian Americans United Inc (HAU), The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Haiti Projects. He is the recipient of several awards acknowledging his cultural contributions from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Boston, the Haitian Roundtable 1804 Haitian Americans Changemakers List, and various cultural and academic institutions. JOSEPH BOCCHICCHIO is an activist and community organizer having facilitated Poverty, Creative Writing and Theater of the Oppressed Workshops for the indigent and working poor. Bocchicchio worked for 24 years in Community Mental Health in Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, and did grass roots organizing for opiate addiction treatment and suicide prevention for the Last Letter Project in Akron, Ohio. He now works part time for Revolutionary Spaces, where he researches and does presentations on various historical topics. His poetry and creative non-fiction have appeared in Ovunque Siamo, Cut-Throat, Up-street, Jawbone, Entropy, Panning for Poems, Enclave, and The Daily Clout. LYNN SMITH is a volunteer Board Member for the Friends of Linden Place, which oversees the operations of an 1810 Federal style mansion in Bristol, RI that was built from the profits of the DeWolf Family slave trading business. Smith is an interpreter there and helped Linden Place with re-evaluation and re-interpretation of its history, with input from leading scholars from the African American and Indigenous communities. She is currently mapping the neighborhood founded by the 1850 free black population of Bristol, called Goree. Most of her professional career was spent in commercial banking, first in Boston and then in New Haven. While living in Brockton, MA she helped found a number of neighborhood associations designed to increase citizen engagement, one of which was the Frederick Douglass Neighborhood Association.
Old South Meeting House
Dr. Michael E. O’Hanlon
Boston Public Library - Rabb Lecture Hall
Steve Curwood is the executive producer and host of “Living on Earth.” He created the first pilot of “Living on Earth” in 1990 and the show has run continuously since April 1991. “Living on Earth” is currently aired on more than 250 National Public Radio/Public Radio International affiliates and XM/Sirius Satellite Radio.
Boston Public Library - Abbey Room
Dr. Joe Roman
New England Aquarium
ELI MERRITT is a political historian at Vanderbilt University who specializes in the founding era of the United States and the intersection of demagogues and democracy. He has written for the American Journal of Legal History, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune, among other publications. The editor of How to Save Democracy: Inspiration and Advice from 95 World Leaders, he also writes an online newsletter called American Commonwealth that explores the origins of the United States’ political discontents and solutions to them.
Old South Meeting House
Clancy Martin is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. He is also a happily married father of five children. His latest book, How Not to Kill Yourself is a portrait of the suicidal mind – his own – and in it he provides both a personal account of the multiple attempts he had made to end his life but also the positive strategies he has devised to safeguard his future and that of others.
RYAN BUSSE, a former firearms executive pulls back the curtain on America's multibillion-dollar gun industry, exposing how it has fostered extremism and racism, radicalizing the nation and bringing cultural division to a boiling point. Busse provides consulting services to progressive organizations with the aim of undoing the country's dangerous radicalization. He lives in Montana.
About the Participants DR. JOAN DONOVAN is a leading public scholar and disinformation researcher, specializing in media manipulation, political movements, critical internet studies, and online extremism. She is the Research Director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy and the Director of the Technology and Social Change project (TaSC). Through TaSC, Dr. Donovan explores how media manipulation is a means to control public conversation, derail democracy, and disrupt society. She is the co-author of Meme Wars, and she has appeared on The Problem with John Stewart on Apple+. MATTHEW WILDING is the Director of Interpretation & Education at Revolutionary Spaces, and curator of the upcoming exhibit "Impassioned Destruction: Politics, Vandalism & The Boston Tea Party" at the Old State House.
Old South Meeting House
Ronald W. Bailey is a Professor in the Department of African American Studies at the University of Illinois, serving as department Head from 2012 to 2022. He is a 1965 graduate of Evans County History School in Claxton, GA and a 1969 Phi Beta Kappa graduate with a BA in Liberal Arts (Cross-Cultural Studies) from Michigan State University’s Justin Morrill College. His undergraduate major included fluency in Russian and a certificate from Moscow State University. He holds an MA in Political Science from Stanford and a Ph.D. in Black Studies from Stanford, one of the first such degrees awarded in the United States. He has taught at Fisk, Cornell, Northwestern, University of Mississippi, and Northeastern, where he chaired the Department of African American Studies for eight years. He also served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at South Carolina State University and at Knoxville College, and as a senior scientist with the Education Development Center, Inc. Bailey’s publications include Introduction to Afro-American Studies: A Peoples College Primer; Remembering Medgar Evers . . . For a New Generation; Let Us March On: Civil Rights Photographs of Ernest Withers, Jr.; and Black Business Enterprise: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Social Issues, Journal of Negro Education, Agricultural History, Review of Black Political Economy, Black Scholar, Souls: Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, and the Journal of African American History. NSF and NEH grants supported the development of two website projects he initiated: www.dignubia.org and www.nubianet.org. He was also a co-founder of ACT-Roxbury (Art, Culture, and Trade—Roxbury), an organization that now operates the Roxbury Center for the Arts @ Hibernia Hall and the Roxbury Film Festival. Bailey has consulted on museum, curriculum, and technology projects. He was also the principal investigator of a project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services to build capacity in six African American museums in the Savannah area. He is the current co-principal investigator of a six-year digital tools project called AFRO PUBLISHING WITHOUT WALLS, or AFRO PWW-2, funded for the past six years by the Mellon Foundation.
Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation
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