National Press Club
March 17, 2006
Linda Schade, Executive Director of VotersForPeace
Linda Schade is a 20-year political veteran with experience in issue advocacy, electoral campaigns, media, coalition building, and grassroots organizing. She was a co-founder of TrueVoteMD and VoteTrustUSA - a state and national organization fighting for transparent elections voters can trust, and paper records for electronic voting machines, and of the Montgomery County Coalition for Alternatives to War.
Michael Berg, of Wilmington, Del., is a teacher and the son of a World War II pilot. He earned a B.A. in English literature and a teaching certificate at Bucknell University, and a Master’s from Temple University. He was thrust into the role of prominent spokesperson for the peace movement when his son Nick, a U.S. civilian, was abducted and killed in Iraq in retaliation for the torture of Iraqis in Abu Ghraib prison. Nick Berg was found beheaded on May 8, 2004. A video of his assassination was posted to the murderers’ website. Michael Berg has since received messages of condolence and support from six continents, and traveled and spoken out widely against the Iraq War. In August 2004, he was presented with the Courageous Resister Award at New York University. A year later he received the Adele Dwyer St. Thomas of Villanova Peace Award.
Kara Hopkins, Executive Editor, The American Conservative magazine
Kara Hopkins is executive editor of The American Conservative. She was previously the research director for Pat Buchanan's 2000 presidential campaign and worked on his bestseller, Death of the West. She has also been communications director at The American Cause, and an editor at the conservative weekly Human Events. She holds a Master's in International Relations from the University of Hawaii. The American Conservative was founded by Pat Buchanan, Taki Theodoracopulos and Scott McConnell in 2002. Its inaugural issue stated, “Not all conservatives do agree that the United States should engage—for reasons that hardly touch America’s own vital interests —in an open-ended war against much of the Arab and Muslim world.” Buchanan wrote then, “The conservative movement has been hijacked and turned into a globalist, interventionist, open borders ideology, which is not the conservative movement I grew up with.”
Kevin Martin, Executive Director, Peace Action
Kevin Martin has served as executive director of Peace Action since September 2001. Before that he directed Project Abolition, a national nuclear disarmament organizing effort, and was executive director of Illinois Peace Action. He has been a peace and justice activist for over 20 years. Peace Action, headquartered in Silver Spring, Md., is the country's largest grassroots peace and disarmament organization with over 90,000 members nationwide, 75 chapters and affiliates in nearly 30 states, and a Student Peace Action Network that works on about 100 campuses. Peace Action has both a political action committee, Peace Action PAC, and a non-partisan issue advocacy campaign, Peace Voter 2006. Peace Action has run its Peace Voter campaigns every election year since 1996, reaching tens of millions of voters across the country.
Susan Udry, Legislative Action Coordinator, United for Peace and Justice
Susan Udry has been legislative action coordinator since September 2005 of United for Peace and Justice, an umbrella group representing some 1,400 local and national peace groups. She began her activist career as a canvasser for SANE, the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (now Peace Action) during the Reagan Administration. She was executive director of the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights during the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990's. She led the effort to unite Chicago's activist community in public condemnation of FBI targeting of Arab Americans. She was also a founding member of a dynamic Chicago-based peace group called Women Against War. In 1995, Ms. Udry moved to the Day Care Action Council of Illinois to direct its statewide advocacy network and grassroots legislative campaigns. She is a leader in the PTA at her children's school, and is a Girl Scout Leader.
Kevin Zeese, Director, Democracy Rising
For more than 25 years, Kevin Zeese, of Takoma Park, Md., has been an advocate for a wide array of social and economic justice issues. He has helped develop more than a dozen advocacy organizations, brought people together to work in coalitions and built movements. Zeese is director of DemocracyRising.US, an organization working to responsibly end the Iraq War and Occupation. He was a founding member of the Montgomery County Coalition for Alternatives to War, in Maryland.
Bill Scheurer, of Lindenhurst, Ill., is editor of The PeaceMajority Report, an email newsletter and online resource with news and information for building the American peace community. He has degrees in religious studies and law, and has worked as a lay minister, an attorney, and a technology entrepreneur. He now is a writer and publisher.