BIOGRAPHIES 

 

DIRECTOR / PRODUCER / EDITOR

 

Helen Garvy:  Helen was born in New York and became active in the civil rights, university reform, and peace movements while in college at Harvard in the early sixties.  She helped start the Harvard SDS chapter in 1963 and was elected assistant national secretary of SDS in 1964 and spent the next year in the national office where she also edited the SDS Bulletin.  She worked in SDS’s ERAP project in Hoboken, New Jersey, and in 1967 moved to San Francisco to teach in an alternative school, while continuing her involvement in SDS and anti-war activities.

Helen has been making films for over 20 years as a producer, director, writer, and/or editor.  She is also a writer and the author of several books, including Before You Shoot:  A Guide to Low-Budget Film and Video Production, now in its fourth edition.  She now lives in Santa Cruz, California. 

 

INTERVIEWEES

Jane Adams:  Raised in southern Illinois, Jane attended Antioch College and Southern Illinois University before dropping out to work first in the civil rights movement in Mississippi and then in the growing anti-war movement.  She worked for SDS as a regional traveler around the Midwest, then as national secretary in 1966, and later in Cleveland and Oklahoma.  She is now a professor of anthropology at Southern Illinois University and the author of several books.

Bill Ayers:  Bill was raised in Chicago, went to the University of Michigan, and joined SDS as the war in Vietnam heated up.  He taught for several years in a progressive alternative school in Ann Arbor but turned his energy full time to stopping the war in 1968 and became a regional organizer for SDS and then internal education secretary in 1969.  He was a founder of Weatherman.  He is now a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago and author of several books on education.   He is co-author of Sing a Battle Song and his memoir of the ‘60s is titled Fugitive Days.

Carolyn Craven:  Carolyn grew up in Chicago and became involved in the civil rights movement and SDS while at Goucher College.  In 1964, she dropped out of college and worked in the SDS national office.  In 1965 she moved to San Francisco and helped set up SDS’s first regional office.  She later became a radio and television journalist in San Francisco and also was White House correspondent for NPR and co-host of South Africa Now.  Carolyn died in November 2000.

Carl Davidson:  Carl grew up in Aliquippa, in western Pennsylvania, attended Penn State University, where he became involved with SDS, and then graduate school in philosophy at the University of Nebraska.  He dropped out of school after participating in the civil right march through Mississippi in 1966 and then went to work in the SDS national office.  He was elected vice-president in 1966 and then inter-organizational secretary in 1967.  He currently teaches computer repair to inner-city kids and prisoners in Chicago.  While now emphasizing new theoretical work, he never stopped his activism for peace and human rights.

Bernardine Dohrn:  Bernardine grew up in Chicago and Milwaukee, became involved with the civil rights movement in the mid-1960s while in law school at the University of Chicago.  She joined SDS as the war and anti-draft movement heated up and organized National Lawyers Guild student chapters.  In 1968 she was elected national inter-organizational secretary of SDS.  She later joined Weatherman.  She is now the director of the Children and Family Justice Center of the Northwestern University School of Law.  She is co-author of Sing a Battle Song.

Alice Embree:  Alice grew up in Austin and was one of the early SDS members at the University of Texas.  In the late sixties she did research for the North American Committee on Latin America and also worked with the RAT newspaper in New York.   She still lives in Austin and is active in anti-war, union, and women’s issues.

Dick Flacks:  Dick grew up in New York, joined SDS in 1962 while at the University of Michigan, and continued SDS and anti-war activities when he began teaching at the University of Chicago in 1964.  He recently retired as professor of sociology at UC Santa Barbara.  He and his wife Mickey have been community activists in Santa Barbara for nearly forty years. 

Todd Gitlin:  Todd grew up in New York, became involved in the peace movement while at Harvard in the early 1960s, joined SDS in 1962, and served as president in 1963-4.  While in graduate school at the University of Michigan, he was coordinator of SDS’s Peace Research and Action Project.  He later worked with SDS’s Chicago ERAP project and co-wrote Uptown: Poor Whites in Chicago about the people there.  He taught sociology at UC Berkeley, media studies at New York University, and is now a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University.  He is the author of many books, including The Sixties:  Years of Hope, Days of Rage.

Carol Glassman:  Carol grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and learned about SDS while at Smith College.  After graduation in 1964, she worked as a community organizer in SDS’s Newark ERAP project where she remained until 1968.  Then, along with other SDSers, she moved to the Ironbound neighborhood of Newark and began another organizing project.  She left in 1978 to return to school.  She now teaches social work and has a private psychotherapy practice in New York.

Juan Gonzalez:  Juan was born in Puerto Rico, grew up in East Harlem and Brooklyn, NY.  He joined SDS while at Columbia University.  He was a founder and leader of the Young Lords Party.  A journalist for nearly 30 years, he has been a staff columnist for the NY Daily News since 1987, a co-host of Pacific’s Democracy Now since 1996, and a founder and past president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.  He is the author of several books, including Harvest of Empire:  A History of Chicanos in America and Fallout:  The Environmental Consequences of the World Trade Center Collapse.

Alan Haber:  Alan grew up primarily in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with a few years in Washington, DC, and a year in post-war Germany.  He entered the University of Michigan in 1954 planning to be a chemist.  In 1959 he was hired to be the field secretary for a small and fairly inactive student organization that had recently changed its name to SDS and he soon convinced the group to embrace his vision for a broader and more active student organization.  He served as SDS’s first president from 1960-62.  He is now a cabinet-maker in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and remains a political organizer.  He is currently helping in the creation of a new SDS.

Casey Hayden:  Casey (born Sandra Cason) grew up in segregated east Texas and became involved in the civil rights movement while at the University of Texas in the late 1950s.  She was a founding member of SDS and SNCC.  She worked for SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) until ‘black power’ led her to leave the South and she organized white women in SDS’s Chicago ERAP project.  In 1965 she co-authored a short paper titled “Sex and Caste” which helped set off the women’s movement within SDS and beyond.  She currently lives in Tucson and is a contributor to Deep in our Hearts:  Nine White Women in the Freedom Movement.

Tom Hayden:  Tom grew up attending Catholic schools in Royal Oak, Michigan and became involved in SDS when he was editor of the student paper at the University of Michigan.  He moved to Atlanta where he reported on the southern civil rights movement for SDS.  He was elected president of SDS 1962 and in 1964 went to work in the Newark ERAP project where he remained until 1967.  For years after that he devoted himself full time to organizing against the war in Vietnam.  He helped organize anti-war protests at the Democratic convention in August 1968 and was indicted for conspiring to incite violence there.  Although he was ultimately acquitted on appeal, he spent much of the next few years in court and jail.  By that time he had moved to California where he continued to be an activist, writer, and later California State Senator from Los Angeles.  He now teaches at the Claremont Colleges and is the author of numerous books, including Reunion:  A Memoir.

Mark Kleiman:  Mark was a high school member of SDS in Los Angeles when he was kicked out of school for distributing an SDS anti-war leaflet. He then worked full time for civil rights and against the war in Los Angeles and later in the Chicago national office and as northern California regional organizer in San Francisco.  He is currently a lawyer in Los Angeles, specializing in defending whistle-blowers.

Sue Eanet Klonsky:  Sue grew up in Washington DC and discovered SDS and the anti-war movement while at Ithaca College in 1965.  As the war escalated, she became active in the Cornell SDS chapter, dropped out of school to work against the Vietnam war, headed the NY SDS regional office in 1965, and later worked in the Los Angeles regional office and the national office in Chicago.  She now works for school reform in Chicago.

Sharon Jeffrey Lehrer:  Sharon grew up in Detroit and was one of the first members of SDS in 1960 at the University of Michigan.  After graduation in 1963, she worked full time in the civil rights movement, primarily with the Northern Student Movement, and later in SDS’s Cleveland ERAP project.  She is currently a leadership coach and co-owner of an art gallery north of San Francisco.

Steve Max:  Steve became a political organizer for reform Democratic candidates fresh out of high school in New York in the early 1960s, joined SDS in 1962, was an early SDS field secretary, and later director of its Political Education Project.  He still lives in New York and since 1973 he has been the Associate Director of the Midwest Academy, a Chicago-based training and consulting center for progressive organizing.

Carl Oglesby:  Carl grew up in Akron, Ohio, attended Kent State University and was a budding playwright.  In 1965 he was working in Ann Arbor, Michigan as a writer for a defense contractor, finishing college at the University of Michigan, and was married with three kids when he began to learn about Vietnam and was horrified by what he learned.  SDS members found him and in quick succession he joined SDS, spoke at the first teach-in at Ann Arbor, quit his job, was elected president of SDS in 1965, became one of SDS’s best-known speakers, and began years of traveling around the country speaking against the war.  He is the author of several books, including a memoir of the Sixties, Ravens in the Storm. Carl died in September 2011.

Robert Pardun:  Robert was born in Kansas, grew up in Pueblo, Colorado, and was one of the founders of the SDS chapter at the University of Texas in 1963, where he was a graduate student in mathematics.  He dropped out of school to become a regional traveler for SDS, was elected internal education secretary in 1967.  He later lived on a commune in the Ozark Mountains and then became a metal worker.  He finally obtained his MA and became a math instructor in the mid 1990s.  He now lives in Santa Cruz, California, and is the author of Prairie Radical:  A Journey through the Sixties.

Bob Ross:  Bob grew up in the Bronx, NY, near Yankee Stadium, and was one of the first people to join SDS at the University of Michigan in 1960.  He was vice-president of SDS in 1961-2.  When he went to the University of Chicago for graduate school in 1964, he helped start the SDS chapter there and also worked in SDS’s Chicago ERAP project.  He is now a professor of sociology at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, and an anti-sweatshop campaigner.  He is the author of Slaves to Fashion:  Poverty and Abuse in the New Sweatshops.

Vivian Leburg Rothstein:  Vivian grew up largely in Los Angeles, was at UC Berkeley during the Free Speech Movement, went to Mississippi to work with the civil rights movement, then joined SDS’s Chicago ERAP project to continue organizing in the North.  She later became very active in the women’s movement.  For many years, she served as director of a homeless services organization and is currently deputy director of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy where she works on living-wage legislation to address low-wage poverty.

Judy Schiffer Perez:  Judy was born in New York and grew up in Pennsylvania and then Port Arthur, Texas.  She was one of the early members of SDS at the University of Texas.  She later moved to Los Angeles where she helped start the SDS regional office there.  She has spent many years teaching in Los Angeles inner-city schools, and is now principal of an elementary school and is on the executive board of her union.

Jeff Shero Nightbyrd:  Jeff grew up in Texas and moved with his family to various Air Force bases.  He was one of the first members of SDS at the University of Texas and was active in the southern civil rights movement.  He helped found The Rag in Austin later the New York RAT:  Subterranean News.  He was elected vice-president of SDS in 1965, and edited SDS’s New Left Notes.  He has been active in civil liberties questions.  He currently lives in Austin, Texas, and Louisiana, works in the movie industry, and owns Acclaim Talent.

Mike Spiegel:  Mike grew up in Portland, Oregon and joined SDS while at Harvard in the mid 1960s.  He was elected national secretary in 1967 and dropped out of school to devote his time to anti-war organizing.  He is currently a lawyer in New York, specializing in police brutality and death penalty cases.

Elizabeth Stanley:  Elizabeth grew up in Los Angeles, joined SDS while a freshman at Harvard in 1968, and soon dropped out of college to work against the war.  She has worked with various labor unions and is now a film producer in Los Angeles.

Marilyn Salzman Webb:  Marilyn was born in Brooklyn, NY and grew up on Long Island.  She joined SDS in Chicago and was active in both SDS and the women’s movement in Chicago & Washington, DC.  She continued to be active in the women’s movement, founding the women’s paper, Off Our Backs, and the Women’s Studies Department at Goddard College, the first women’s studies program in the country.  She currently lives half the year in New York where she is a writer and journalist and an advocate for better care for the dying and the other half in Illinois where she is co-chair of the journalism program at Knox College.  She is the author of The Good Death:  The New American Search to Reshape the End of Life.

Cathy Wilkerson:  Cathy grew up in Connecticut and became involved in the civil rights movement and SDS in 1963 while at Swarthmore College.  She later worked in the SDS national office and edited SDS’s newspaper, New Left Notes.  In 1968, she moved to Washington DC to begin an SDS regional office there.  She later joined Weatherman. She currently teaches math to inner-city kids and teachers in New York. Her forthcoming memoir, My Truths Be Told, will be out in the fall of 2007.

Junius Williams:  Junius was raised in Richmond, Virginia, went to Amherst College, and worked in the civil rights movement with SNCC. He worked with SDS’s Newark ERAP project during summer vacations and in his spare time while continuing at Yale Law School.  He has been in Newark ever since, serving as campaign manager for Ken Gibson, Newark’s first black mayor, and director of the Model Cities program.  He currently directs the Abbott Leadership Institute at Rutgers University Newark and has evolved as an advocate, bluesman, and griot.

Return to Rebels with a Cause Home Page