ArtilesWhat is TranscommunalityLetters to the Editor

Who We Are

The Editor, John Brown Childs, was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1942. He is of Indigenous Native American descent (Massachusaug/Brothertown-Oneida) on his mother’s side of the family, and African-Madagascan descent on his father’s side of the family. He is author of several works including Leadership, Conflict, and Cooperation in Afro-American Social Thought (Temple Univ. Press, 1989) and Transcommunality: from the Politics of Conversion to the Ethics of Respect (Temple Univ. Pres, 2003). He is editor of Hurricane Katrina, Response and Responsibilities (New Pacific Press, 2005) and Co-editor of Global Visions: beyond the New World Order (South End Press, 1993). He participated in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and urban community organizing in the 1960’s and today works with a variety of community groups, such as Barrios Unidos in California that are dedicated to constructively ending gang violence and bringing peace on the streets of the cities. He is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz and Coordinator for the Transcommunal Studies Group of the Chicano/Latino Research Center there. In 1997 he was awarded the Fulbright, “Thomas Jefferson Chair of Distinguished Teaching” in the Netherlands at the University of Utrecht.


The Editorial Advisory Board

In the spirit of transcommunality, with its emphasis on diverse constructively interactive perspectives, I invited a wide range of people with varied concerns and interest to serve as editorial advisors to this magazine. I appreciate their generosity of support for this project.—JBC

Bettina Aptheker is Professor of Feminist Studies and History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In addition to her many years of social justice political activism including the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and the Peace Movement during the Vietnam War, she is author of many works including: Woman’s Legacy: Essays on Race, Sex, and Class in American History (Univ. of Massachusetts, 1982); The Morning Breaks: The Trial of Angela Davis (Cornell Univ., 1999); and her most recent Intimate Politics: How I Grew Up Red, Fought for Free Speech, and Became a Feminist Rebel (Seal Press, 2006).

John David Brewer is Professor and Head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He has served as Chair of the British Sociological Association. He was formerly Head of the School of Sociology and Social Policy at Queens’ University Belfast, Northern Ireland. He has held visiting appointments at Yale University, St. Joh’s College Oxford, Corpus Christi College Cambridge, and the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University. Among his different areas of emphasis are the sociology of peace processes; religion and ethno-religious conflict. He pays close attention to peace making in Northern Ireland and South Africa. He has been an active participant in community-based peacemaking in Northern Ireland. Among his many books are: Anti-Catholicism in Northern Ireland, 1600-1998: The Mote and the Beam (Oxford Univ, 1997); Inside the RUC: Routine Policing in a Divided Society (Oxford/Clarendon, 1991); and After Soweto: an Unfinished Journey (Oxford/Clarendon, 1987). He is editor of Can South Africa Survive? and Restructuring South Africa (both with Macmillan). Among many research projects he is currently working on comparative understandings of peace processes in Rwanda, Sri Lanka, and South America in addition to Northern Ireland and South Africa

Anthony Brown is a noted percussionist, composer, and ethnomusicologist who works out of Berkeley, California. From his directorship of the “Asian-American Orchestra” to his current role as Director of “Anthony Brown’s Orchestra” he continues to pioneer the creative development of complex cultural interweavings from Asia, Africa, Europe, and African-American culture. The San Francisco Chronicle says of his work, “If music is a language then Berkeley percussionist Anthony Brown is probably one of the most articulate men in jazz.” Among his many orchestral recordings are Rhapsodies, Far East Suite, and Monk’s Moods—a trilogy that builds on the classics of the composers Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, and George Gershwin. His Far East Suite was nominated for a GRAMMY award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance in 2000. His Monk’s Moods was rated “a five star masterpiece” by Downbeat Magazine in its “Best CD’s of 2003” awards. Jazz Critic Neil Tesser says that “When it comes to integrating Asian musical traditions with jazz no one has better credentials than….Anthony Brown.” Brown’s father was of African/Choctaw heritage and his mother is a native of Tokyo Japan. His book, Give the Drummer Some! The Development of Modern Jazz Drumming (University of California) will be published in 2007. In his complex and fruitful cultural intertwinings, that respect diverse roots while seeking out connections both historic and possible, Brown’s musical creativity embodies both the spirit and practice of transcommunality.

Guillermo Delgado-P is an ethnic Quechua from the Andes, a noted Andean anthropologist, and widely drawn upon Latin American scholar, who teaches in the Latino/Latin American Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Dr. Delgado-P is Editor of the on-line Bolivian Studies Journal (,). He is a prominent Indigenous rights activist who works throughout the Americas. He also writes widely in those areas of concern. He is the author, co-author, and co-editor of numerous works. Among these are: (with Dr. John Schecter) Quechua Verbal Artistry: the Inscription of Andean Voices/ Arte expresivo Quechua: Inscripción de Voces Andinas (Bonner Amerikanistische Studen, [Bonn, Germany] 2004). He is author of numerous works including “The Making of a Transnational Movement” [about how a cross-border indigenous movement is re-defining the relationship between indigenous peoples and the nation-state in the Americas[ (NACLA Report on the Americas, May/June 2002); “Solidarity in Cyberspace: Indigenous Peoples Online” (NACLA, March/April 2002). He has served on the Board of Directors of the pivotal Abya Yala News: Journal of The South and Meso American Indian Rights Center.

Troy Duster is Chancellor’s Professor of Sociology at the University of California Berkeley and Professor of Sociology at New York University, where he is Director of the Center for the Study of Knowledge Production. He is the author of many works including Backdoor to Eugenics (Routledge, 1990) and is co-author of Whitewashing Race: the Myth of a Colorblind Society (Univ. of California, 2003). He is past President of the American Sociological Association and a founder of the Institute for the Study of Social Change at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a widely sought advisor and speaker on the subject of the social consequences of genomic research and practice as well as many topics relating to social justice.

Jack Fong is a Professor in Psychology and Sociology at California Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is the author of several forthcoming works including: “Transcommunal Coalition Politics in Burma’s Self-Determination Groups” [forthcoming as a special “In-Depth Production” of the second issue of Transcommunal Cooperation News; and “Dialectics and Denials of US Multiculturalism: Assessing Amartya Sen and John Brown Childs’ Orientations toward Diversity in the Context of Crisis.” His studies of the situation in the border region of Thailand/Burma-Myanmar gives him a unique vantage point on issues of “self-determination” and interaction among distinct communities and the relations with one another and nation-states.

Herman Gray is Professor of Sociology at the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California and at the Univ. of California, Santa Cruz. He is author of several works including Producing Jazz (Temple Univ. Press, 1988); Watching Race: Television and the Sign of Blackness (Univ. of Minnesota, 1995); and Cultural Moves: African Americans the Politics of Representation, (Univ. of California, 2005). He writes widely on areas of media studies, cultural politics, and race and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Signifyin’ Works, an independent film company begun by Marlon Riggs. He participated in the making of Rigg’s documentary film about the history of black representation in television, Color Adjustment.

Natividad Gutierrez Chong was born in Mexico City. She is a sociologist from the National University of Mexico, UNAM. Holds an Msc and PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London. She is a senior lecturer and researcher based at the Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales. She is the chief editor of Revista Mexicana de Sociología and Vice-president of the Research Committee on Ethnic, Race and Minority Relations. She is Editor of the Newsletter Ethnic, Race and Minority Relations; Dr, Gutierrez Chong is also a Steering Committee Member of the Association for Research of Ethnicity and Nationalism in the Americas (ARENA). She has coordinated several national and international projects related with ethnicity and nationalisms in Latin America as well as ethnic politics in contemporary states. She is currently researching on ethnic conflicts, the plurinational state, and the democratic agenda for ethnic peoples. Dr. Gutierrez Chong is the author of many works including: (2004) Mujeres y Nacionalismo: De la independencia a la nación del nuevo milenio N Gutiérrez (ed) Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, UNAM.(2001) Mitos nacionalistas e identidades étnicas. Los intelectuales indígenas y el estado mexicano, IIS, CONACULTA – FONCA y Plaza y Valdés. (2001); Autonomía Étnica en China, Cuadernos de Investigación, IIS, Plaza y Valdés, México,(1999); and Nationalist Myths and Ethnic Identities: Indigenous Intellectuals and the Mexican State, Nebraska University Press, Lincoln and London.

Renate Holub teaches social theory and comparative European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley where she is Director of the Program in Interdisciplinary Studies. Among many works, Dr. Holub is author of Antonio Gramsci: Beyond Marxism and Postmodernism (Routledge, 1992). She is instrumental in expanding the implications of Gramsci’s work for today’s world. She travels widely and is active a variety of diverse networks that are both scholarly and activist in their social justice intentions, methods, and actions.

Norma Klahn is a Professor of Literature/Latin American Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is also a co-founder with Dr. Pedro Castillo, of the Chicano/Latino Research Center at the University. The CLRC was conceived by Klahn and Castillo in part as a venue for the study of connections—connections among the many diverse peoples of the Americas from South America to North America, and connections of the intellect and the spirit that respect the distinct cultural/historical rooted locations of different peoples while also look both for their historical interactions and ways in which mutual understanding and cooperation among them in the present can be comprehended. Indeed the first journal publication by J.B. Childs on his “transcommunality” concept took place within the through the support of the CLRC when it appeared as Working Paper number one in their CLRC Working Paper Series. Dr. Klahn is the author, co-author, and editor of numerous works. Among these are Los Novelists Como Criticos (1991) Las Nuevas Fronteras del Siglo XXI (2000); and Chicana Feminisms: A Critical Reader (2003).

Patrick Lavaud is the founder and director of the major music festival “Nuits Atypiques de Langon” in Occitania in Southern France (Bordeaux area). The Festival is, from the perspective of this magazine, an important and dynamic example of transcommunal cooperation. It is famous and significant for the way in which it brings together musicians and their creative productions from around the world. For the Nuits Atypiques de Langon Festival “there is no aesthetic that is without ethics…and no emancipation without education.” (P. Lavaud, 2006 Nuits Atypiques de Langon, 15 Ans). The Festival emphasizes the bringing together of diverse interaction musicians and musics; that are the constructive, practical, and positive opposite of the asserted negative “clash of civilizations” in the very reality of their practice. In the Festival the musicians and audience see and hear a transcommunal interaction of civilizations in which distinctive roots are respected while face to face communication among musicians and audiences take place. Among those who have participated in the various makings of the Festival are Sahra from the Western Sahara, the Tyhours Gnaquas of Essadouira from Morrocco, the Sami singer Inga Juuso from Samiland, Norway, Saaba from Burkina Faso, Fanfare Ciocarlia from Rumania, Gilberto Gil from Brazil, Compay Segun from Cuba, Santiago Jimenez, Jr. from Texas, Susan Baca from Peru, Manu Dibango from Cameroon. Cesaria Evora from Cape Verde, Miqueu Montanaro from Occitania-- to name but a few of the many who have participated in this gathering over the years. The Festival is a living example of the transcommunal sense of respect for the distinctiveness of diverse communities and traditions and the equal respect for dialogue, communication, and shared practical activity that is Music. Patrick Lavuad is also the Artistic Director of the CD music label “daqui/le label des nuits atypiques” (

John Paul Lederach is Distinguished Scholar at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) and concurrently Professor of International Peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame. He is widely known for his activist practical work as mediator, negotiator, and peacebuilder in a wide range of settings including Somalia, Northern Ireland, Nicaragua, and Columbia. He is the founder of the EMU Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. He is the recipient of the “Martin Luther King Order of Peace” award from Martin Luther King Institute at the Polytechnical University of Nicaragua and the World Council of Churches Peace Program. Dr. Lederach is author of numerous works on peacebuilding and reconciliation including: Preparing for Peace: Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (Syracuse Univ, 1995); A Handbook of International Peacebuilding: Into the Eye of the Storm (Jossey-Bass, 2002); The Little Book of Conflict Transformation (Good Books, 2003) and The Moral Indignation: The Art and Soul of Building Peace (Oxford Univ, 2005). As Dr. Lederach, a committed Mennonite Christian, explains in his book The Journey Toward Reconciliation (Herald press, 1999), his Christian faith has inspired and leads his work on non-violence as a solution to conflict.

Denis-Constant Martin is Director of Research at the National Foundation of Political Sciences, the Center for Studies and International Researches/Centre d’études et de recherches internationals [CERI] in Paris. He works on issues related to political systems of east and South Africa, the Caribbean, and the African Diaspora, with a focus on the construction of communal identities and social/political representations. He is the author, co-author, and editor of numerous works. Among these are Cartes d’Identité, Comment dit-on “nous” en politique? [Maps of Identity, How do we say “We” in the Political] (Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, 1994); Cultures populaires, identités, et politique [Popular Cultures, Identities, and Politics, with Bennetta Jules-Rosette, (1997); and Le Gospel Afro-Americain: Des Spirituals au Rap Religieux [Afro-American Gospel: from the Spirituals to Religious Rap (1998).

Manulani Aluli Meyer is the fifth daughter of Emma Aluli and Harry Meyer. She hails from a large family dedicated to raising the Hawaiian Nation. She works in the field of philosophy, teacher education, and charter school development. Her book, Ho’oulu: Our Time of Becoming, Hawaiian Epistemology and Early Writings (Ai Pohaku Press, 2003) summarizes thoughts on Hawaiian epistemology and indigenous ideas of research and hermeneutics. Her forthcoming work is Hawaiian Knowing: Old Ways for Seeing a New World (Koa Books, forthcoming 2007). She is a Professor in the Department of Education at the University of Hilo, Hawaii. She earned her doctorate from Harvard on the topic of Hawaiian epistemology.

Michael Pertschuk has been a progressive government insider and is a widely respected community self-empowerment, public health, and consumer advocate. He served as Chair of the Federal Trade Commission under President Jimmy Carter. He was also a major figure in tobacco and health related advocacy and legislation. As Chief Counsel and Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, he drafted pivotal legislation requiring warning labels on cigarette packages and health restrictions on the media advertising of tobacco. Pertschuk is a founder, along with David Cohen, of the Advocacy Institute in Washington, D.C. that provides support for community self-empowerment around the world and in the U.S. He played a major role in creating GLOBALink as a means of interaction for the world wide tobacco control movement. He is author of numerous works including: Revolt Against Regulation: The Rise and Pause of the Consumer Movement (Univ. of California, 1984); The Giant Killers (Norton, 1989); and Smoke in their Eyes: Lessons in Movement Leadership from the Tobacco Wars (Vanderbilt Univ., 2001). The Pertschuk Papers are housed in the U.S. Library of Congress and include conversations with John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter among others.

Sofia Quintero (AKA Black Artemis) is a noted writer, educator, speaker, and comedienne. Born into a working-class Dominican-Puerto Rican family in the Bronx, New York City where she still lives, she received a BA in history-sociology from Columbia University and her MPA from that University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She is the author of several novels written under the pen name Black Artemis. Among these is Explicit Content a novel about hip hop with central women characters (New American Library/Penguin, 2004). Her “chica light” series of novels, written under her own name include Divas Don’t Yield and the new 2007 Oshun’s Arrangement both by Random House. Quintero is the co-founder, along with Elisha Miranda of Chica Luna Productions that works to identify, develop, and support women of color seeking to make socially conscious entertainment. Chica Luna’s key project “The F Word” is a muli-media justice project for young women of color. Quintero also has written two short filrms directed by Elisha Mireandfa—“Corporate Dawgxz”—a hip hop drama and “Blind Date” “a feminist anti-romantic comedy. Her feature length screenplay “Interstates” won the 2001 San Francisco Black Film Festival screenplay competition. She has twice been a finalist for the screenwriting lab at Sundance. She is a much sought after speaker on a wide range of topics including alliance building, hip hop, multiculturalism, racism, and women & feminism.

Jai Sen, an architect by training, is actively involved as a participant in both the practice and understanding of global popular movements. He works closely with the Critical Action-Center in Movement (CACIM) in New Delhi. He has worked with numerous organizations such as the National Campaign for Housing Rights in India, and civic organizations in Calcutta. He is the co-editor of World Social Forum: Challenging Empires (Viveka, New Delhi,) and is co-author of A Political Programme for the World Social Forum? (CACIM, New Delhi, CCS, Durban, South Africa, 2007); and “Some Hard Questions for the World Social Forum” (, 2006) His constructive and important views on “open space” moments in which horizontal rather than vertical interactions can occur along with all their limitations and possibilities is kindred in spirit to what in this magazine is called “transcommunality.”

Isabelle Sommiere is Director of the Centre de recherches politiques de la Sorbonne, and a Professor in Political Sciences at l’Université Paris-I-Pantheon-Sorbonne. She is the author of numerous works including La Violence politique et su deuil Post,-68 en France et en Italie [Political Violence and its Sorrow. Post 1968 in France and Italy] (Presses universitaires de Rennes, 1998); Les Mafias (Montchrstien, 1998) and Le Renouveau des Mouvements Contestaires a l’heure de la mondialisation [The Renewal of Movements of Contestation in an Age of Globalization] (Flammarion, 2003). This latter book provides an important analysis of various contemporary “associations of solidarity” that are local and global in scope as they affirm that “another world is possible.” Much of her current work examines “the galaxy of anti-globalization” organizations and movements from unions and the left to humanitarian and human rights groups and world social forum gatherings.

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