Gender, Race and Militarization Conference Friday, Oct.

28, 2005
Guest Speaker Bios

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Congresswoman Barbara Lee was first elected to represent California's ninth Congressional District in 1998, in a special election to fill the seat of retiring Congressman Ron Dellums. She is the most senior Democratic woman on the House International Relations Committee where she serves on the Africa and the Western Hemisphere Subcommittees. She also serves on the House Financial Services Committee, where she sits on the Housing and Domestic and International Monetary Policy Subcommittees. She is the Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Whip for the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and a Senior Democratic Whip Congresswoman Lee's accomplishments in promoting effective, bipartisan legislation to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and bring treatment to the infected have earned her international recognition as a leader in the fight against global HIV/AIDS Congresswoman Lee's willingness to stand on principle earned her international attention when she was the only member of Congress to vote against the resolution authorizing President Bush to "use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons." In addition to being one of Congress' most vocal opponents to the war in Iraq, Congresswoman Lee has been a leader in promoting policies that foster international peace, security and human rights. She sponsored legislation disavowing the doctrine of preemptive war, co-sponsored legislation to create a cabinet level Department of Peace, and has led the bipartisan effort in Congress to end the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan. In her role on the Financial Services Committee, Congresswoman Lee has been a staunch advocate for programs that reflect her commitment to building healthy communities, fostering opportunity and protecting the most vulnerable in our society. For Congresswoman Lee, building healthy communities goes beyond her protecting our environment and fighting against pollution and environmental racism. It means supporting violence prevention programs, programs that help lay the foundation where a strong community can grow. It means working to eliminate disparities in quality and access to healthcare and protecting women’s right to make their own decisions about their reproductive health. It means recognizing the contributions of the entire community and supporting just immigration policies. It means working for quality education and smaller class sizes, making sure that the door to opportunity is open to everyone.

With her leadership roles in the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Congresswoman Lee has been a leader in the fight for civil rights and civil liberties. She was one of only several members of Congress to formally object to the certification of Ohio's electoral votes in an effort to push electoral reforms to address the widespread voting irregularities in Ohio and elsewhere during the 2004 Presidential elections. Congresswoman Lee has been active in fighting to protect financial privacy. She has also been a vocal opponent of the PATRIOT act and a leader in protecting free speech by opposing media consolidation. Congresswoman Lee was born in El Paso Texas. She graduated from Mills College in Oakland and received her MSW from the University of California in Berkeley.

Lakshmi Chaudhry Lakshmi Chaudhry earned a Ph.D. in political science, with an emphasis on international relations, at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs from Syracuse University. She has worked as a journalist for many years, for Mother Jones magazine, Wired News, and most recently for AlterNet. As senior editor for AlterNet, Chaudhry coordinated all aspects of the news service’s coverage of the Iraq war and the 2004 elections. The website she maintained won two successive Webby awards for Best Political News site and Best Online Magazine. As a freelance writer, Chaudhry has contributed to such publications as Ms. magazine, Village Voice, Bitch,, and the San Jose Mercury News. Chaudhry is the co-editor and a contributor to Start Making Sense: Turning the Lessons of the Election 2004 into Winning Progressive Politics. She is co-author of Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq, published by Seven Stories Press in 2003. She has spoken at many conferences, including the Power Matters conference hosted by the National Conference for Research on Women, the Society of Professional Journalists’ Multicultural Writer conference, and the annual conference of the Asian American Journalists Association. Catherine Lutz Catherine Lutz is a professor at Brown University, where she holds a joint appointment in the department of anthropology and the Watson Institute for International Studies. She earned her Ph.D. at Harvard University. Lutz has researched and taught in a number of areas, including cultural understandings of the emotions, popular photography and ideas of race and gender in the U.S., changes in local democracy with economic restructuring in the last part of the

twentieth century, and militarization and its shaping of social life beyond the battlefield. For the past ten years, her research has focused on questions of militaries, war, and society. Through research around military bases in North Carolina, Guam, Okinawa, South Korea, and the Philippines, she has examined the impact of military spending and military practice on communities in political economic and cultural historical perspective. With an interest in the relevance of anthropological research for social change efforts, some of my research has been conducted for service and activist organizations, including a domestic violence shelter, Cultural Survival, and the American Friends Service Committee. Lutz is the author of Homefront: A Military City and the American 20th Century (Beacon Press, 2001) and Unnatural Emotions: Everyday Sentiments on a Micronesian Atoll and Their Challenge to Western Theory (University of Chicago Press, 1988). She is co-author of Reading National Geographic (University of Chicago Press, 1993). Karen Houppert Karen Houppert, a New York journalist, is the author of The Curse: Confronting the Last Taboo, Menstruation (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) and, most recently, Home Fires Burning: Married to the Military--for Better or Worse (Ballantine Books), about military wives. As a military child herself, Houppert is an insider with an outsider's perspective on military wives, and in Home Fires Burning, she documents a year in the lives of a group of women living on an Army base while their husbands are in Iraq, Afghanistan, and South Korea. She explores their positions as women wedged between the military stance that they are vital as supporters of the national effort, and the social climate encouraging women to have careers and their own identities. Houppert is an adjunct professor at New York University and was a reporter for New York City's Village Voice for over ten years, covering social and political issues. She has also written for many news and consumer publications and web sites, including Newsday, Glamour, Parenting and She is a former Kaiser Family Foundation Fellow, and winner of a Newswomen’s Club of New York Award, among others. Houppert is also a playwright, author of The Packwood Paper, The Boys in the Basement, and most recently, Tragedy in 9 Lives.

Gwyn Kirk Gwyn Kirk holds a Ph.D. in political science from the London School of Economics. A longtime peace activist, she divides her time among teaching, research, writing, and organizing. She is a founding member of the East Asia-U.S.-Puerto Rico Women's Network Against Militarism, started in 1997 by an international group of academics and activists concerned about the negative effects of U.S. military bases, budgets, and operations on local communities, especially on women, children, and the environment. Kirk is also on the national board of Women's Action for New Directions (WAND) Education Fund. WAND empowers women to act politically to reduce

violence and militarism, and redirect excessive military resources toward unmet human and environmental needs. Kirk is the co-author of two books: Women's Lives: Multicultural Perspectives (McGraw-Hill College 2003) and Greenham Women Everywhere: Dreams, Ideas and Actions from the Women’s Peace Movement (Pluto Press, 1983.)