These are some of the professors from the School of Authentic Journalism in recent years.
Veteran journalist Al Giordano founded Narco News (www.narconews.com) in 2000 and in 2002 issued the first call for applicants to the School of Authentic Journalism. Although the project has refused advertising for 15 years, it continues to survive because readers support its work.
Chiapas based human rights defender who trained and coordinated thousands of international observers in the 1990s during the most crucial and tense years of the Zapatista rebellion. No one understands better than Mercedes how journalists should, and should not, conduct themselves in the midst of conflict.
Community organizer, former factory worker, union leader and founder of the April Foundation in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Oscar is most well known for his key role as an organizer and spokesperson of the successful movement to prevent the privatization of the municipal water supply in Cochabamba in 2000, a watershed event which changed the balance of power in Bolivia and galvanized movements to defend water around the world. He currently teaches organic gardening to children and helps develop autonomous community efforts to increase access to water.
Fabiola Rocha, a Mexico City born and raised writer and performer, and veteran of the historic #YoSoy132 student movement in 2012. Like Uriel, Fabiola is also a founding member of the Salon de Estrategia. Fabiola was the director of the 2013 School of Authentic Journalism.
The Reverend Jim Lawson, who Martin Luther King Jr. called the “leading nonviolent strategist in the world.” Rev. Lawson was the primary architect of the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins from 1959-1960, which changed the course of the American Civil Rights’ movement through its use of massive numbers of civilian participants trained intensively in the strategies and tactics of nonviolence.
Laura Garcia, Mexican born and U.K. based journalist. Laura was co-Director of the school in 2013 and currently teaches television, radio and multimedia journalism at the University of Kent. She is also the administrator of the No Nukes Oral History Project.
Noha Atef is a Blogger and journalist from Cairo Egypt. Her blog “Torture In Egypt” took the problem of police torture and human rights’ abuses to a national and international audience. Her work was part of a long-term sustained effort to challenge Hosni Mubarak’s regime in the years preceding the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.
Mkhuseli “Khusta” Jack
Mkhuseli “Khusta” Jack led a successful consumer boycott in the South African city of Port Elizabeth during the anti-apartheid struggle in 1985. The boycott turned many white South African merchants against the apartheid regime and was a crucial turning point in the nonviolent battle against the brutal South African regime.
Arzu Geybullayeva is a leading blogger and dissident voice in the movement against the authoritarian regime of Azerbaijan. Arzu was named “one of the 100 most influential women in the world” by the BBC in 2014.
Greg “Gringoyo” Berger
Greg Berger is the director of the Narco News TV video channel and the creator of the popular “Gringoyo” series of viral videos from Mexico. A self-identified “recovering documentary filmmaker,” in 2010 he stopped producing films for television, film festivals, and museums, and instead began to collaborate with social movements to make entertaining videos for mass audiences. He has been the co-director of the viral video program of the School of Authentic Journalism since 2010.
Johanna Lawrenson is a longtime political organizer and collaborator and partner of the late Abbie Hoffman. Johanna was a key organizer in the effort to stop environmentally hazardous winter navigation on the St. Lawrence river in upstate New York. She and Abbie mentored Al Giordano at a young age and first introduced him to Latin American political movements in Nicaragua in the 1980s.
Born and bred in NYC, Andrew Stelzer’s radio and print work has covered movements for social justice throughout the US. He’s currently a producer at the weekly radio show Making Contact and for KQED Radio in the San Francisco bay area. He’s received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.
(1953-2004) Investigative journalist Gary Webb wrote a series of stories in 1996 for the San Jose Mercury News that documented the US-government-backed Contra insurgents’ drug pipeline into Los Angeles. More importantly, Webb’s reporting revealed that CIA assets were involved in the sale of millions of dollars worth of crack cocaine in South Central LA to raise funds for the Contras, who in the 1980s, during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, were seeking to overthrow the democratically elected Sandinista government in Nicaragua. The 2014 motion picture, Kill the Messenger, starring Jeremy Renner, was based on his story.
Mary E. King
King won a Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award for Freedom Song: A Personal Story of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, about her work — at times alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. — in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. This four-year immersion was to define her life. King is professor of peace and conflict studies for the UN mandated University for Peace; Distinguished Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford, Britain; and Scholar-in-Residence, School of International Service, American University, Washington, DC.
Richard Bell has worked in media, national electoral politics (DSCC, DNC, John Kerry for President), and grassroots organizing. He is the co-author of Nukespeak: Nuclear Language, Myths and Mindset, and is a recipient of the George Orwell Award from the National Council of Teachers of English. He is currently senior editor for the Eastern Shore Cooperator, a Nova Scotia monthly, and board chair of The Deanery Project, which combines environmental education, natural building, youth and community organizing, and the arts.
Heather McCuen, Montreal based writer, director and media strategist whose writings and plays have been published and staged internationally. A 9/11 civilian first responder originally from New York, Heather now teaches social media strategy for the United Nations mandated University for Peace. Heather is also a video producer and since 2013 has been co-director of the School of Authentic Journalism’s viral video group.
Uriel Perez, Mexico City based cartoonist, designer and founding member of the Salon de Estrategia, a training center for nonviolent civil resistance which grew out of the massive #YoSoy132 student movement in Mexico in 2012.
Longtime Narco News’ investigative reporter Bill Conroy, who is unquestionably the most original, accurate, and important journalist on the trail of the U.S. backed Drug War. His work includes the ongoing “House of Death” series which revealed widespread corruption and criminal activity perpetrated by U.S. agents. Bill has decades of experience in investigative reporting and his work has changed the way the media reports the Drug War.
Nathan Mgangala is a Tanzanian political cartoonist. His quick witted, poignant, and entertaining messages have made him one of the most important satirists in East Africa.
Mariana Rebuá Simões
Mariana Simoes is a Brazilian journalist and web producer living in Rio de Janeiro. Mariana reported for the New York Times, N + 1 and Al Jazeera on how the World Cup exacerbated social-political issues in Brazil and instigated protests in the region. She currently freelances for the New York Times and creates online content for Brazilian broadcasting station EBC.
Renny Cushing made history nearly four decades ago, when he organized his New Hampshire town against the Seabrook nuclear power plant. The struggle against Seabrook was a turning point in the movement to stop the growth of nuclear power in the United States, and one of the most powerful and effective nonviolent social movements in the country’s history.
Mario Menéndez is the editor and publisher of Mexico’s third largest daily newspaper, Por Esto!, and formerly the editor-publisher of the most circulated magazine in Mexican history, ¿Por Que? He is the inventor of the term “Authentic Journalism,” and the first daily newspaper publisher in América to hold regular assemblies of his readers to solicit their advice as to how the newspaper can better serve the community.
Leah Hennessey is a New York based actor, composer, and journalist. She is the co-creator of the internet TV series “Zhe Zhe” and was a member of the punk band Make Out. She has been a professor at the School of Authentic Journalism since 2013.
A Narco News loyalist since 2003, and primarily a cable tv editor, his work as a video journalist includes collaborations with storytellers from Mexico, Bolivia, Iraq, Cambodia, & his native New York. He is one of the school’s most senior professors, having first chaired the video group in Bolivia in 2004 overseeing the production of the documentary “Chew On This” in ten days.