Staff & Board

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Staff & Board

18 September 2009

Devin Burghart is vice president of IREHR and coordinates the Seattle office. He has researched, written, and organized on virtually all facets of contemporary white nationalism since 1992, and is internationally recognized for this effort. Devin began as a research analyst with the Coalition for Human Dignity in Seattle, and was co-author of Guns & Gavels: Common Law Courts, Militias & White Supremacy in 1996. In Chicago, he worked as the director of the Building Democracy Initiative, where he reported on white power music and on the new nativism, including a groundbreaking background report of the Federation for Immigration Reform in 2001. He developed new organizing approaches to counter bigotry, including the Turn It Down Campaign to stop the spread of white power music, and the Campaign for a United America to challenge the new nativism. Devin is frequently quoted as an expert by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Enquirer, Arizona Republic, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Nation, and Rolling Stone. He has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, the CBS News and National Public Radio, and other broadcast media outlets.

Gina Chiala is a consumer protection attorney in the Kansas City area. She earned a law degree from the University of Missouri Kansas City, where she graduated cum laude, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from San Francisco State University. Gina has devoted the last fifteen years to anti-racist organizing efforts. While attending UMKC School of Law, Gina formed and coordinated a broad coalition of student groups and attorneys dedicated to increasing the admission of students of color. The organization, “the Coalition for Equal Access to Education,” collected hundreds of student signatures, conducted numerous on-campus events, garnered press attention, and developed support in the community – ultimately resulting in the hiring of two professors of color and a renewed effort by the law school to address the under-representation of students of color. Gina also spent four years as the fulltime National Coordinator for the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (LPDC), where she played a key role in renewing an intensive campaign for executive clemency from President Bill Clinton and resulted in a significant groundswell of support for Peltier’s freedom.

Christa Davis is the newest intern in the IREHR Student Leadership Training Program at our Seattle office. Christa is currently a junior at the University of Washington. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, a student of the UW Honors College, and a political science major.She was the WashPIRG coordinator for the Hunger and Homelessness Campaign for the 2009-2010 school year at the university.

Leah Henry-Tanner is a member of the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho and Program Coordinator of Seattle Children’s Bedtime Basics for Babies crib distribution program and research study. She’s also the Co-Coordinator of the Native American Women’s Dialogue on Infant Mortality collective and Portland Area (Idaho, Oregon, & Washington) Coordinator of the Healthy Native Babies Project, a national effort to reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in Indian Country. Leah is a long time activist on the issues of tribal sovereignty; treaty, civil, and human rights; maternal and child health issues in Indian Country; reproductive justice; and organizing opposition to white supremacists. She is the co-author of Living Like Neighbors: Supporting the Treaty Rights and Sovereignty of Indigenous Nations and Soundings II – An Assessment of the Progressive Movement in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, & Wyoming and she’s also published articles in activist publications. She also serves on the board of Western States Center. Leah says her most rewarding and challenging work is being a feminist mother to five very bright and active boys ranging in age between 6 years and 20 years of age.

Daniel Levitas is a writer, researcher and expert on anti-Semitism and the activities of white supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations. Dan is the author of The Terrorist Next Door. The Militia Movement and the Radical Right (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, November 2002). A contributing author to Anti-Semitism in America Today (Birch Lane Press, 1995), he also is a contributing writer to Grolier's Multimedia Encyclopedia on the history of American anti-Semitism, hate crimes and the U.S. militia movement. He has written for the Nation, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Roll Call, and other publications. Since 1986, Dan has testified as an expert witness in courts in ten states and Canada on matters related to racism and anti-Semitism. His work has been cited in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Chicago Tribune, and he has appeared on news programs broadcast by CNN, ABC, CBS and National Public Radio, among numerous other media outlets. Dan has conducted training sessions for academics, community organizers and law enforcement officers. A licensed member of the Georgia Bar, Dan practices workers' compensation and Social Security Disability law in the metro Atlanta area.

Linda Cook  holds a masters degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A native North Carolinian, Linda was community educator with North Carolinians Against Racist and Religious Violence (NCARRV), a statewide organization that monitored white supremacist organizations, provided victims' assistance, and developed and implemented the youth conference "Breaking the Cycle of Bigotry." NCARRV produced newsletters and annual reports highlighting white supremacist activities, police brutality, and other forms of oppression. Linda has also served in various capacities with political campaigns, including as campaign manager for a successful city councilor, GOTV for statewide campaigns, and overall campaign strategy. Linda resides in Northern Virginia.

Leonard Zeskind is president of IREHR. For almost three decades, he has been a leading authority on white nationalist political and social movements. He is the author of Blood and Politics: The History of White Nationalism from the Margins to the Mainstream, published by Farrar Straus & Giroux in May 2009. He has written for The American Prospect, Rolling Stone, The Nation, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation named him a Fellow in 1998 (one of its so-called “Genius Grants”). The Petra Foundation gave him a fellowship in 1992. He has testified before a Parliamentary Subcommittee in the United Kingdom, and given public lectures at universities in London and Berlin. Prior to 1982, he was a community activist and worked in industry for thirteen years: on an automobile assembly line, installing refrigerator motors in vending machines, and as a welder and first class fitter in steel fabrication plants. He is a lifetime member of the NAACP, and has served on the board of directors of the Petra Foundation and the Kansas City Jewish Community Relations Bureau. More.

Last modified on Saturday, 14 June 2014 13:51
Devin Burghart

is vice president of IREHR. He coordinates our Seattle office, directs our research efforts, and manages our online communications. He has researched, written, and organized on virtually all facets of contemporary white nationalism since 1992, and is internationally recognized for this effort. Devin is frequently quoted as an expert by print, broadcast, and online media outlets. In 2007, he was awarded a Petra Foundation fellowship. more...

Follow him on twitter: @dburghart

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