Speakers

Keynote Speaker: Amy Goodman, Host & Executive Producer of Democracy Now!

Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 1,000 public television and radio stations in North America. Time Magazine named Democracy Now! its “Pick of the Podcasts,” along with NBC’s Meet the Press.

Goodman is the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ for “developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.” She is also one of the the first recipients, along with Salon.com blogger Glenn Greenwald, of the Park Center for Independent Media’s Izzy Award, named for the great muckraking journalist I.F. Stone. The Independent of London called Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! “an inspiration”; PULSE named her one of the 20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009.

Goodman is the author of four New York Times bestsellers. Her latest book,Breaking the Sound Barrier, proves the power of independent journalism in the struggle for a better world. She co-authored the first three bestsellers with her brother, journalist David Goodman: Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times (2008), Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders, and the People Who Fight Back (2006) and The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them (2004). She writes a weekly column (also produced as an audio podcast) syndicated by King Features, for which she was recognized in 2007 with theJames Aronson Award for Social Justice Reporting.

Goodman has received the American Women in Radio and Television Gracie Award; the Paley Center for Media’s She’s Made It Award; and thePuffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship. Her reporting on East Timor and Nigeria has won numerous awards, including the George Polk AwardRobert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting, and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award. She has also received awards from the Associated Press, United Press International, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Project Censored. Goodman received the first ever Communication for Peace Award from the World Association for Christian Communication. She was also honored by the National Council of Teachers of English with the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language.

Oscar Chacon, Executive Director of the National Alliance of Latin American & Caribbean Communities (NALACC)

Oscar Chacon serves currently as Executive Director of the National Alliance of Latin American & Caribbean Communities (NALACC). Until December, 2006, Mr. Chacon served as director of Enlaces América, a project of the Chicago-based Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights. Mr. Chacón served for most of the 1990’s as executive director of Centro Presente, Inc, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mr. Chacón served for many years as president of the Salvadoran American National Network (SANN). Mr. Chacon is a frequent lecturer in national and international conferences, as well as a media spokesperson on Latino immigrant issues in the U.S.

Corey Saylor, Director of Government Affairs for the Council of American-Islamic Relations

Corey Saylor is legislative director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), with more than a decade of nonprofit political communications, legislative advocacy, and media relations experience. Saylor played a role in advocacy campaigns drawing concessions from corporate giants such as Burger King and Bell Helicopter-Boeing.

His media relations efforts have placed stories in most major national and international media, including London’s Financial Times and Al-Hayat. Additionally, news outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and NPR have sought Saylor’s opinions. The Philadelphia Inquirer named a Saylor-maintained blog focused on the 2005-2006 reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT ACT, a “Web Winner.” His criticism of bigoted remarks by Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) helped draw national media focus to the issue. Saylor has conducted dozens of leadership, advocacy and media training across the United States.

Brent Wilkes, National Executive Director of the League of United Latin American Citizens

Brent A. Wilkes is the National Executive Director for the League of United Latin American Citizens this country’s largest and oldest Hispanic organization. Wilkes manages the operations of the LULAC National organization with primary focus on national policy and legislative advocacy, membership development, program development, and resource development.

A graduate of Dartmouth College in 1988, Wilkes majored in Government and Philosophy and studied Spanish in Morelia, Mexico. He has worked in various capacities for LULAC since 1988 including Special Projects Coordinator, Resource Developer, and Director of Policy & Development. He went to work for the LULAC National Office in 1996 and assumed the newly created position of National Executive Director in April of 1997.

Frank Curiel, Vice President of the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance

Frank has been a labor and community organizer for 39 years. He is currently Organizing Coordinator for the Southeast covering 7 states for the Laborers’ International Union of North America.Frank was body guard and close friend of Cesar Chavez. He worked with United Farm Workers organizing boycott activity in San Diego, Los Angeles, Pacific Northwest, Florida, and served as Regional Manager for Canada.

He also worked as a Representative for the Hotel Employees Restaurant Employees International Union in California and in Ontario, Canada. Frank has organized farm workers, construction workers, poultry workers, mushroom workers, hotel, and restaurant workers, county and city workers, and has fought for immigrant rights in every campaign.

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