Friday, January 9, 2009

About Us

Here is what we have to say about ourselves.

* abu dharr

* Brad

* commandante

* Dumi
Things I know about
Race, education, Hip-Hop, Race, Black People, did I mention Race?

What I do
By day I "kick the truth to the young Black youth" as professor of sociology and black studies. By night, I spark the revolution with affiliations I'm not gonna write in here.

Some More Background
I have a PhD, which means I can talk to you for hours on end without you getting a word in edge-wise. I also care less about credentials than I do about critical thought. The people I look up most don't have college degrees or standard pedigree.

What does the name mean?
Dumi means, "I am the Northeast wind pushing, cajoling and inspiring greatness in myself and others." Yes, it means all of that... and no I didn't name myself.


* falcon

* j.e.n.
Things I Know Some Things About: Environmental Management, Environmental Policy & Economics, The Corporate Grind, Contract Law, Logic Games

What I Do: Study, research, and write about ecological and environmental topics. I teach part time and shell out freelance project management work to pay the bills. Graphic design and art projects (usually on the craftier side of the spectrum) help to keep me out of the red while also feeding my soul.

Some More Background: I did a 7 year stint in the corporate world working for a few, large financial services companies. In the summer of 2007 I resigned from my job during my annual review meeting. It was one of the best decisions of my life. It's so easy to get swept along by a current and so many decisions are made without a thought. I don't think a person needs to go against the current all the time, but decisions should be made deliberately. I'm trying to figure out how to do that.

What Does the Name Mean?: J.E.N. = Just Enough Nonsense... which I think sums me up quite well.

* fp
Things I Know Some Things About: international politics, US politics, music, media.

What I Do: study, research, and write about the above topics, primarily. I also dabble in the performance world...I'm an occasional playwright and actor, essayist and creative writer, and can claim to be a slam poet. In an alternate life, I'd probably be a journalist, writer, or photographer. Or some sort of Emperor. Yeah, that would actually be pretty sweet.

Who Moves Me: a lot of folks, big names and small. Basically, anyone who gives voice to the voiceless. Malcolm X, Howard Zinn, Edward Said, Tariq Ali, Amy Goodman, Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Yusuf Islam, Arundhati hundreds of community organizers and activists from all walks of life who I've had the honor of meeting on my path to wherever I'm going.

Why Blog?: Its cheaper than therapy, right? I also do firmly believe that words have the possibility to transform from time to time, and this is a much quicker way to get some initial thoughts down and circulated than other forms of discourse. Will anything we post here change the world? Probably not (though that would be sweet). Might it make some people think differently about some issues? Yes...I think that's fairly likely, actually. That's enough of a reason to do this thing.

* Shahid Buttar
Shahid Buttar is a civil rights lawyer, non-profit leader, hip-hop & electronica MC, independent columnist, grassroots community organizer, singer and poet. Professionally, he leads the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, a national grassroots organization defending civil liberties eroded by the War on Terror. He also serves as co-Director of the Rule of Law Institute, a U.S.-based organization supporting international efforts to defend the Rule of Law against threats imposed by U.S. foreign policy. Shahid also writes for The Huffington Post.

From 2008-2009, Shahid directed a national advocacy program to combat racial & religious profiling while based in SF. While in DC from 2003-2008, he organized the first litigation seeking marriage equality for same-sex couples in the State of New York; represented the campaign finance reform community in an ultimately successful appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; and built the media and communications operations of the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy, as well as the groundbreaking ACS ResearchLink program.

Shahid also served as a spokesperson for grassroots resistance at the 2005 Counter-Inaugural and the 2004 Republican National Convention – where Democracy Now! named one of his public addresses among "The Best of 2004." As an organizer, Shahid founded a variety of grassroots groups across the country, including the Stanford Spoken Word Collective; the San Francisco Collaborative Arts Insurgency; the DC Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency; the DC Resistance Media Collective and ShantiSalaam.

Shahid graduated in 2003 from Stanford Law School, where he served as Executive Editor of the Stanford Environmental Law Journal, as well as the 2002-03 Teaching Assistant for Constitutional Law. He worked in the investment banking industry while pursuing his undergraduate degree from 1991 until 2000, when he graduated from Loyola University Chicago and was invited to join the Foreign Service of the U.S. State Department.

As a musician, Shahid has performed around the world for audiences as large as 50,000. His debut CD, Get Outta Your Chair, was released in 2008 and features music from the funk, blues, hip-hop, house, drum 'n bass, and South Asian fusion traditions, including Bumpin’ in My SUV and the Baghdad Blues.

A comprehensive list of Shahid’s prior publications, as well as his music, is available at

* the silent type