Guests

WATCH “If America Fails?” Season Premiere
“American Democracy Under Siege:
The Color of Autocracy”
with
Author Jared Yates Sexton
January 13, 2022
on the
TruthWorks Network YouTube Channel

If America Fails?” Livestreams
Thursdays, January 13 to April 7, 2022, 8 pm ET
on the
TruthWorks Network YouTube Channel

The Panel of Experts

Meet the TruthWorks Network #DemocracyDefenders who will join “If America Fails?:  The Coming Tyranny,” Thursdays, 8 pm ET, Jan. 13 to April 7, 2022.

Jump to Panelists & Events

See the Guide to Events

Dr. Djene R. Bajalan, Professor, Department of History, Missouri State University-Springfield

Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron, Associate Professor, Theatre and Film, Bowling Green State University

Dr. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Professor of Italian and History, New York University | Arts & Sciences

Atty. Ellen Hodgson Brown, Founder and Chairman, Public Banking Institute and Fellow at The Democracy Collaborative

Dr. David H. Ikard, Professor and Chair, African-American and Diaspora Studies, Vanderbilt University

Dr. James C. McIntosh, Retired Psychiatrist, Co-Chair and Co-Founder of Committee to End Media Offensive to African People (CEMOTAP), and Host, MIND FIELD

Atty. Matt Mitrovich, Producer and Host, The Alternate Historian YouTube Channel

Dr. Karen A. Ritzenhoff, Professor, Department of Communication, Central Connecticut State University

Mr. Frank Schaeffer, Artist, Filmmaker & Author, Fall in Love, Have Children, Stay Put, Save the Planet, Be Happy

Prof. Jared Yates Sexton, Associate Professor, Writing and Linguistics, Georgia Southern University-Statesboro

Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith, Founder and Executive Director, Crazy Faith Ministries

Atty. Nkechi Taifa, President and CEO, The Taifa Group, LLC and Senior Fellow for the Center of Justice at Columbia University

Guide to IAF Events

Join “If America Fails?:  The Coming Tyranny,” on the TruthWorks Network YouTube Channel, for all or some of these special livestream events with our invited Expert Guest Panelists, Thursdays, 8 pm ET, Jan. 13 to April 7, 2022, as we donate our time, energy, knowledge and ideas, to #DefendDemocracy.  TruthWorks Network salutes all of these panelists.

Thursday, October 14, 2021—SNEAK PEEK—Fascism

Dr. Karen A. Ritzenhoff, Professor, Department of Communication, Central Connecticut State University

Thursday, January 13, 2022—PREMIERE—Democracy/Autocracy

Dr. David H. Ikard, Professor and Chair, African-American and Diaspora Studies, Vanderbilt University

Prof. Jared Yates Sexton, Associate Professor, Writing and Linguistics, Georgia Southern University-Statesboro

Thursday, January 20, 2022—Cults, Cultures and Religions

Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron, Associate Professor, Theatre and Film, Bowling Green State University

Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith, Founder and Executive Director, Crazy Faith Ministries

Art by Katti Ritzenhoff @Ritzenhoffk

Thursday, January 27, 2022—Gender

Mr. Frank Schaeffer, Artist, Filmmaker & Author, Fall in Love, Have Children, Stay Put, Save the Planet, Be Happy

Thursday, February 3, 2022—Mental Health

Dr. James C. McIntosh, Retired Psychiatrist, Co-Chair and Co-Founder of Committee to End Media Offensive to African People (CEMOTAP), and Host, MIND FIELD

Thursday, February 10, 2022—Race & Ethnicity

Dr. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Professor of Italian and History, New York University | Arts & Sciences

Dr. Karen A. Ritzenhoff, Professor, Department of Communication, Central Connecticut State University

Art by David Ikard @blkeducator

Thursday, February 24, 2022—Sexuality

TBD

Thursday, March 3, 2022—White Supremacy / American Rage / Hate Groups

TBD

Thursday, March 10, 2022—Class

Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron, Associate Professor, Theatre and Film, Bowling Green State University

Art by Frank Schaeffer @Frank_Schaeffer

Thursday, March 24, 2022—War

Dr. Djene R. Bajalan, Professor, Department of History, Missouri State University-Springfield

Thursday, March 31, 2022—Oh Canada: Escape

Atty. Matt Mitrovich, Producer and Host, The Alternate Historian YouTube Channel

Thursday, April 7, 2022—GRAND FINALE—Strategies and Tactics to Fight Fascism

Atty. Ellen Hodgson Brown, Founder and Chairman, Public Banking Institute and Fellow at The Democracy Collaborative

Atty. Nkechi Taifa, President and CEO, The Taifa Group, LLC and Senior Fellow for the Center of Justice at Columbia University

Art by David Ikard @blkeducator

You are cordially invited to join in this very special journey of using a fictional tale to begin to make sense of the rapidly changing political landscape in the United States.

Where are we headed?

Is it too late to change course?

What survival skills are needed for this new world?

Distilling Lessons from The Handmaid’s Tale

If America Fails?” Livestreams
Thursdays, January 13 to April 7, 2022, 8 pm ET
on the
TruthWorks Network YouTube Channel

Distilling Lessons from The Handmaid’s Tale

Guests Experts include:

Thursday, October 14, 2021—SNEAK PEEK—Fascism

Dr. Karen A. Ritzenhoff, Professor, Department of Communication, Central Connecticut State University

Dr. Karen A. Ritzenhoff is a Professor in the Department of Communication at Central Connecticut State University, where she teaches courses in Women and Film, Visual Communication, History of Film, Television and documentary production, Converging Media, American Cinema, Horror Film and Post 9/11 literature and film.  At the University, Dr. Ritzenhoff is Co-Chair of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, Cinema Studies Program, the Honors Program and the SCMS Special Interest Group on “War and Media Studies.”

Dr. Ritzenhoff has co-edited many books.  Most saliently, she co-edited The Handmaid’s Tale: Teaching Dystopia, Feminism, and Resistance Across Disciplines and Borders (with Janis L. Goldie), (2019) which features 23 chapters that discuss Margaret Atwood’s dystopian fiction and its TV and Film adaptations to model strategies and social issues of concern; includes contributions by 16 academics affiliated with CCSU; and won the 2019 Margaret Atwood Society Award for Best Anthology.  Her books include:

  1. Sex and Sexuality in a Feminist World (with Katherine Hermes), (2009).
  2. Screen Nightmares. Video, Fernsehen und Gewalt im [TV and violence in] Film (2009).
  3. Leiden, Trauma, Folter: Bildkulturen des Irakkriegs (Suffering, trauma, torture: image cultures of the Iraq war), (with Angela Krewani), (2011).
  4. Screening the Dark Side of Love: From Euro-Horror to American Cinema (with Karen Randell), (2012).
  5. Border Visions: Diaspora and Identity in Film (with Jakub Kazecki and Cynthia Miller), (2013).
  6. Heroism and Gender in War Films (with Jakub Kazecki), (2014).
  7. Selling Sex on Screen: From Weimar Cinema to Zombie Porn (with Catriona McAvoy), (2015).
  8. The Apocalypse in Film: Dystopias, Disasters, and Other Visions about the End of the World (with Angela Krewani), (2015).
  9. Humor, Entertainment, and Popular Culture During World War I (with Clémentine Tholas), (2015).
  10. The Handmaid’s Tale: Teaching Dystopia, Feminism, and Resistance Across Disciplines and Borders (with Janis L. Goldie), (2019) which features 23 chapters that discuss Margaret Atwood’s dystopian fiction and its TV and Film adaptations to model strategies and social issues of concern; and includes contributions by 16 academics affiliated with CCSU.  Winner of the 2019 Margaret Atwood Society Award for Best Anthology.
  11. New Perspectives on the War Film, (with Clémentine Tholas and Janis L. Goldie), (2019) which addresses the perspectives of marginalized groups who have been written out of the script of mainstream war history.
  12. Mediated Terrorism in the 21st Century (2021).
  13. Afrofuturism in Black Panther:  Gender, Identity, and the Re-Making of Blackness, (with Renée T. White), (2021).

Works in progress include TerrorScapes which engages with the representation of terrorism in film and television.

Dr. Ritzenhoff earned a B.A. at the University of Tübingen, Germany; and a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.  She was also a visiting student in the Department of Radio/TV/Film at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

In her personal life she has discovered a passion for painting in oil, acrylics and water color and recently completed her first show. 

You may see Dr. Ritzenhoff’s CV at CCSU, follow @Ritzenhoffk, see her many publications online, or visit her online gallery – Zenfolio.  — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

If America Fails?” Livestreams
Thursdays, January 13 to April 7, 2022, 8 pm ET
on the
TruthWorks Network YouTube Channel

Thursday, January 13, 2022—PREMIERE—Democracy/Autocracy

Dr. David H. Ikard, Professor and Chair, African-American and Diaspora Studies, Vanderbilt University

Dr. David H. Ikard is Professor and Chair of African-American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.  His research and teaching interests include African American Literature, black feminist criticism, hip hop culture, black masculinity and whiteness studies. 

Dr. Ikard published four books between 2007 and 2017, including:

  1. Breaking The Silence: Toward a Black Male Feminist Criticism (2007), demonstrating the possibility and value of a viable black male feminist perspective;
  2. Nation of Cowards: Black Activism in Barack Obama’s Post-Racial America (2012) with Martell Teasley and winner of the Best Scholarly Book Award by DISA in 2013, urging a posture of passionate and organized pressure for Black Americans to strike during the Obama Administration; and suggesting “neither Obama nor any political figure is likely to be in the forefront of addressing issues of racial inequality and injustice;”
  3. Blinded by the Whites: Why Race Still Matters in 21st-Century America (2013), which explodes the myths of a “post-racial” nation and colorblind politics; and argues for an intersectional approach to challenging oppression; and
  4. Lovable Racists, Magical Negroes, and White Messiahs (2017), which considers literature and popular media to dismantle popular white supremacist tropes.

Dr. Ikard’s essays have appeared in African American Review, MELUS, Palimpsest, African and Black Diaspora Journal, The Journal of Black Studies, and Obsidian III.

Dr. Ikard’s educational background includes a B.A., North Carolina State University (1994); an M.A., North Carolina State University (1997); and a Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison (2002).

Another side of Dr. David Ikard is a passion for creating Black art.  “I didn’t know exactly what I was going to create just that I HAD to create,” he said.  Inspired largely by the motherland – Africa – and using acrylics, oils, wood, cloth, and archival paper for mixed media, Ikard focuses on creating images that have “something to do with black folks, social justice, self-determination, nature, and the rawness of our collective humanity.”

On Twitter, Dr. Ikard @blkeducator describes himself as a “Father, painter, writer, activist and first-rate troublemaker.”  You may find Dr. Ikard’s CV at the Vanderbilt University website and see his artwork at the Ikard Gallery.

— If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

Prof. Jared Yates Sexton, Associate Professor, Writing and Linguistics, Georgia Southern University-Statesboro

Professor Jared Yates Sexton uses his M.F.A. (Southern Illinois University, 2008) to teach creative writing at Georgia Southern University-Statesboro.  In his professorial role, he focuses on Fiction, Creative Writing, Narrative, Realism, Surrealism, Minimalism, Maximalism, Working Class Literature, Changing Masculine Roles, Screenwriting, Popular Culture, and Publishing.  He has even taught courses on The Handmaid’s Tale.

As a writer, Sexton has published seven books, from fiction to non-fiction and is currently working on a new book.  They are:

  1. An End To All Things (2012)
  2. The Hook and The Haymaker (2015)
  3. Bring Me the Head of Yorkie Goodman (by Rowdy Yates), (2015)
  4. I Am The Oil Of The Engine Of The World (2016)
  5. The People Are Going To Rise Like The Waters Upon Your Shore: A Story of American Rage (2017)
  6. The Man They Wanted Me to Be:  Toxic Masculinity and a Crisis of Our Making (2020)
  7. American Rule:  How A Nation Conquered the World But Failed Its People (2020)

The People Are Going To Rise Like The Waters Upon Your Shore: A Story of American Rage “is a firsthand account of the events that shaped the 2016 Presidential Election and the cultural forces that powered Donald Trump past Hillary Clinton and into the White House. Featuring in-the-field reports as well as deep analysis, Sexton’s book is not just the story of the most unexpected and divisive election in modern political history. It is a sobering chronicle of the sicknesses that plague our democracy―a divided nation drowning in racism, misogyny, violence, fake news, and deep-rooted political polarization as a result of our self-constructed, technologically-assisted echo chambers,” writes the publisher.

In The Man They Wanted Me to Be:  Toxic Masculinity and a Crisis of Our Making, “The author…turns his keen eye to our current crisis of masculinity using his upbringing in rural Indiana to examine the personal and societal dangers of the patriarchy. Based on his provocative and popular New York Times op-ed, The Man They Wanted Me to Be is both memoir and cultural analysis.  Jared Yates Sexton alternates between an examination of his working-class upbringing and historical, psychological, and sociological sources that examine the genesis of toxic masculinity and its consequences for society,” the publisher describes.

About his most recent book, American Rule:  How A Nation Conquered the World But Failed Its People, the publisher wrote:  “…From the very origins of this nation, Americans in power have abused and subjugated others; enabling that corruption are the many myths of American exceptionalism and steadfast values, which are fed to the public and repeated across generations. Working through each era of American growth and change, Sexton weaves together the origins and perpetuation of these narratives still in the public memory, and the acts we have chosen to forget.”

Outside the university, Sexton focuses on the state of American Democracy, sharing with readers and listeners alike, the fruits of his research and insights on the challenges we face as a nation, with dry humor and flare.  He co-hosts The Muckrake Political Podcast with Nick Hauselman, has a newsletter on Substack – Dispatches From A Collapsing State, and has gone undercover into the fascist world.  Sexton covered the 2016 U.S. presidential election, attending multiple rallies for both major candidates and writing regular articles for Atticus Review in his column, Atticus on the Trail.  He also covered the Charleston shooting and trail of church burnings in the South.  In the summer of 2016, some of his live tweets of behavior he observed at a Trump rally in South Carolina, went viral and garnered him national attention and frequent death threats.  He later wrote about the experience and became a regular contributor to The New Republic and The New York Times.  His political writing has also appeared in Politico, on Salon.com and in many other outlets.

This born-and-bred Hoosier, Jared Yates Sexton, aka Rowdy Yates, has published over sixty stories and articles in publications such as The Southern Humanities Review, PANK, Hobart, and elsewhere. His work has been nominated for a handful of Pushcart’s and The Million Writer’s Award, was judged a finalist for the New American Fiction Prize by Lee K. Abbott and has been featured in Best of the Net and Wigleaf’s Top 50 Fictions. In his spare time he serves as Editor-in-Chief of the literary magazine BULL, writes screenplays and covers politics.

Learn more about Jared Yates Sexton at his website, follow him @jysexton on Twitter, or fall in love with The Muckrake Political Podcast.  — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

If America Fails?” Livestreams
Thursdays, January 13 to April 7, 2022, 8 pm ET
on the
TruthWorks Network YouTube Channel

Thursday, January 20, 2022—Cults, Cultures and Religions

Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron, Associate Professor, Theatre and Film, Bowling Green State University

Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron is an Associate Professor in Theatre and Film at Bowling Green State University, where she researches and teaches; authors scholarly books and articles on subjects related to the discipline; and provides keynote speeches and other presentations at conferences both domestically and internationally.  Her research and teaching interests include American Independent Cinema; Screenwriting; Taste Formation; Censorship; Food Studies; Women’s Cinema; and Actor Training, Stardom, and Screen Performance, among other subjects. She has taught courses on intersections between the film-media industry, national security, and cultural moments such as the Cold War and the Vietnam era.  Some other courses Dr. Baron teaches are American Independent Cinema; Hollywood, Censorship, and American Culture; and Performance and Theatre in the Americas.

Most recently, she published Acting Indie: Industry, Aesthetics, and Performance (with Yannis Tzioumakis), (2020), which illustrates the many ways that actors contribute to American independent cinema and analyzes industrial developments; Modern Acting: The Lost Chapter of American Film and Theatre (2016), which, in part, highlights women’s key contributions to American film and theatre; and Denzel Washington (2015) where Baron traces the star’s persona and impact on mainstream society.

Dr. Baron works with both graduate and undergraduate students and is active in enriching student life in roles such as faculty advisor for Tuesdays at the Gish, a fall and spring film series featuring cult and independent films and programming that supports Black History Month and Women’s History Month. She is also the founding editor of The Projector, a peer reviewed journal on film, media, and culture; the editor of the Palgrave Studies in Screen Industries and Performance series; on the editorial board of the Journal of Film and Video; and co-chair of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Caucus on Class.  She has also participated in events such as the Rethinking Realist Acting Conference in New York, and the Acting in Film Conference in Potsdam.

Dr. Baron has written, co-authored or co-edited six books since 2004, as follows:

  1. Acting Indie: Industry, Aesthetics, and Performance (with Yannis Tzioumakis), (2020)
  2. Modern Acting: The Lost Chapter of American Film and Theatre by Cynthia Baron (2016)
  3. Denzel Washington by Cynthia Baron (2015)
  4. Appetites and Anxieties: Food, Film, and the Politics of Representation by Cynthia Baron, Diane Carson, and Mark Bernard (2014)
  5. Reframing Screen Performance by Cynthia Baron and Sharon Marie Carnicke (2008)
  6. More Than a Method:  Trends and Traditions in Contemporary Film Performance Edited by Cynthia Baron, Diane Carson, and Frank P. Tomasulo (2004)

Current book projects include:  Recasting (White) Genres: Race, Ethnicity, and Performance in Contemporary Film and Television; Intersecting Aesthetics: Literary Adaptations and Cinematic Representations of Blackness, with co-editor Charlene Regester; and Imprisonment: Representation in Global Film and Media, with co-editor Karen Ritzenhoff.

Additionally, Dr. Baron contributes widely and frequently to scholarly journals and contributes her analyses to other volumes.  This includes journals such as L’Atalante: Revista de Estudios CinematograficosRevue CinémasThe Cine-FilesTheatre Annual, Cineaste, Journal of Film and Video, The Velvet Light Trap, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Film and Philosophy, Popular Culture Review, Food Culture and Society, Food and Foodways, Spectator, and Women’s Studies Quarterly.  She has chapters in volumes such as: Indie Reframed: Women and Contemporary American Independent Cinema (2016), American Film History: Selected Readings (2015), and Acting: Behind the Silver Screen (2015), among other books.

Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron holds a Ph.D. in Film, Literature, and Culture from the University of Southern California – School of Cinema-Television; an M.A. in Film from San Francisco State University; and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Baron is the recipient of many awards and recognitions of her work.  For example, she has been interviewed by the BBC and her work on acting, stardom, post-modernism, food in film, James Bond, and post-colonialism has been cited in more than 135 scholarly books or articles.

You may find Dr. Baron’s CV at Bowling Green State University.  — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith, Founder and Executive Director, Crazy Faith Ministries

People of “crazy faith” have changed the world, and Susan K. Williams Smith challenges us all to follow their lead.

Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith is an ordained minister, pastor, musician, writer, activist and mother of two, living in Columbus, OH, where she now serves as Founder and Executive Director of Crazy Faith Ministries.  This is a non-traditional church with faith ministries providing outreach and services for homeless people; services for children of incarcerated parents; and voter education and registration, among other things.  Burned out by traditional ministry, Williams Smith believes “…church is not a place where you go, it is something you do. I decided this ministry would be about us doing things for other people, with no building, no trustees, no deacons, no formal worship at all — just us…It’s a way of making a sermon not just words, but action. It makes my soul sing.”  Pastor Williams Smith also leads Freedom Choir that sings songs of freedom at marches and events offering messages of social justice through music.  She previously served for 22 years as pastor of Advent United Church of Christ, also in Columbus, and maintains an interest in the relationship between politics, religion, and race. 

A prolific writer and author of several books, Williams Smith began her career as a newspaper reporter in Baltimore.  She has published six books, including:

  1. Carla and Annie (African American Images), (1989), a children’s book;
  2. Forgive Who? The Struggle to Obey God’s Awful Command (Pub: United Church Press), (1999);
  3. Crazy Faith:  Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives, (2009);
  4. Book of Jeremiah: The Life and Ministry of Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., (2014);
  5. Rest for the Justice-Seeking Soul, (2019); and
  6. With Liberty & Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America, (2020), awarded an Independent Press Award in the cultural and social issues category.

With Liberty and Justice for Some is a brilliantly written, well-researched, must-read book for such times as these. Turning a historical, theological, and exegetical lens on three texts: the Bible, the Constitution, and the text that is American racism, Susan K. Williams Smith invites the light of truth to shine on our [Sitz im Leben / context] in order to heal the soul of our nation, illuminating a just path to create an antiracist heaven on earth…For preachers, for professors and students, for people in the pews—you’ll soon have a dog-eared copy to which you will return again and again.”  —Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis, PhD, Senior Minister, Middle Collegiate Church, New York; Author, The Power of Stories: A Guide for Leading Multi-Racial and Multi-Cultural Congregations

Williams Smith is the authorized biographer of Rev. C.T. Vivian, and is working on a book about this civil rights organizer who worked with Dr. Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights Movement and was much responsible for the movement in Selma to secure voting rights for African Americans; has written for the Washington Post and Huffington Post, and maintains a blog, Candid Observations.

With a Doctorate in Ministry, Williams Smith maintains leadership roles in many national and community organizations and religious networks.  Some recent projects include work with SpiritHouse Project, under the direction of Ruby Sales, studying the incidence of extrajudicial murders involving black people and law enforcement agencies since 2007; serving as the Gordon G. Cosby Seasoned Voices Fellow; serving as national scribe for the African American Ministers’ Leadership Council (AAMLC); and she serves on People For the American Way Foundation’s African American Ministers In Action.

As a former member of the Board of Trustees and communications consultant of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc., she participated in and was head commissioner of hearings conducted to study the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on urban populations.  Dr. Williams Smith also served as one of the tri-chairs for the Ohio Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

Born in Akron, Ohio, raised in Detroit and educated in California, Williams Smith felt there was something more she was meant to do beyond reporting the news.  She is a graduate of Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA, Yale Divinity School, where she earned her M.Div., and United Theological Seminary, where she earned the D.Min., studying under the late Rev. Dr. Samuel DeWitt Proctor and Rev. Dr. Charles Booth.

Faith is “vision fueled by action,” Smith declares.

“Susan has what I would call a prophetic voice,” said the Rev. Kimberly Wisecup, Senior Pastor of Columbus’s Summit United Methodist Church. “It is the beautiful combination of a voice that can challenge us to grow and make us think while it encourages us and comforts us at the same time. Not many people can do that.”

Learn more about Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith by visiting the non-traditional church she manages, Crazy Faith Ministries, following her blog, Candid Observations, or following @cassady2euca on Twitter.  Biographical data for this panelist is found at the Black Theology Project, Howard University’s Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel and a well-written article by Kimberly Winston at Yale Divinity School, among other sites.    — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

If America Fails?” Livestreams
Thursdays, January 13 to April 7, 2022, 8 pm ET
on the
TruthWorks Network YouTube Channel

Thursday, January 27, 2022—Gender

Mr. Frank Schaeffer, Artist, Filmmaker & Author, Fall in Love, Have Children, Stay Put, Save the Planet, Be Happy

Frank Schaeffer is an acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen fiction and nonfiction books.  Most recently, he published Fall in Love, Have Children, Stay Put, Save the Planet, Be Happy (2021), which offers a passionate political, social, and lifestyle ‘blueprint’ for living happier lives and creating a better future, making changes millions of us know are needed to rebalance our work lives by rediscovering the priority of relationships, connections, community, and love.

Frank Schaeffer is also a self-taught documentary and feature film movie director, and an artist with a loyal following of international collectors who own many of his paintings.  His 2016 documentary, Let Me Be Frank, is the story of Frank’s journey out of religious certainty and, in the face of the historic rise of political and Christian conservatism, the discovery of surprising instances of tenderness, hope and grace along the way.  The son of influential Evangelicals Francis and Edith Schaeffer, architects of the religious right in the 1970s, Frank was expected to follow in his famous family’s footsteps.  Instead, he stepped away and has been seeking redemption for his role in helping to build this movement ever since.  His nonfiction book series, The God Trilogy, published between 2007 and 2011, are examples of how he has sought to reconcile a troubling past and crisis in faith.

Frank is a blogger on Huffington Post and Patheos, as well as at his own website – Frank Schaeffer Blog.  “He was one of the first Huff Post bloggers and has a significant online platform worldwide. His three semi-biographical novels about growing up in a fundamentalist mission: Portofino, Zermatt and Saving Grandma have a worldwide following and have been translated into nine languages. Pulitzer prize winner and novelist Jane Smiley writing in the Washington Post says this of Frank’s books Crazy For God and Sex, Mom and God: ‘Schaeffer’s memoirs have a way of winning a reader’s friendship…Schaeffer is a good memoirist, smart and often laugh-out-loud funny…Frank seems to have been born irreverent, but his memoirs have a serious purpose, and that is to expose the insanity and the corruption of what has become a powerful and frightening force in American politics…Frank has been straightforward and entertaining in his campaign to right the political wrongs he regrets committing in the 1970s and ’80s…As someone who has made redemption his work, he has, in fact, shown amazing grace.’”  — FrankSchaeffer.com

Schaeffer’s range of fiction and nonfiction books and film include:

Nonfiction

  1. Keeping Faith: A Father-Son Story About Love and the United States Marine Corps (2003)
  2. Voices from the Front: Letters Home from America’s Military Family (2004)
  3. Faith of Our Sons: A Father’s Wartime Diary (2004)
  4. AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America’s Upper Classes from Military Service — and How It Hurts Our Country (2006)
  5. Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God: How to give love, create beauty and find peace (2014)
  6. Letter to Lucy: A Manifesto of Creative Redemption—In the Age of Trump, Fascism and Lies (2018)
  7. Fall in Love, Have Children, Stay Put, Save the Planet, Be Happy (2021)

Nonfiction:  The God Trilogy

  1. Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back (2007)
  2. Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don’t Like Religion (2009)
  3. Sex, Mom, and God: How the Bible’s Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics–and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway (2011)

Fiction:  The Calvin Becker Trilogy

  1. Portofino: A Novel (1992)
  2. Saving Grandma: A Novel (1997)
  3. Zermatt: A Novel (2003)

Fiction

  1. Baby Jack: A Novel (2007)
  2. And God Said, Billy! – A Novel (2013)

Partial List of Films

  1. Let Me Be Frank (2016)

Art

  1. Frank Schaeffer | Fine Art

Frank is a survivor of both polio and an evangelical/fundamentalist childhood, who overcame severe dyslexia and was home-schooled.  This son of pioneers in the American evangelical movement, Frank Schaeffer was brought up in his parents L’Abri community, in Switzerland, and with his dad, was a key architect of the so-called Christian Right in the US, mobilizing millions of born-again Christians to support conservative causes and oppose liberal causes, such as abortion and homosexuality.  Since renouncing his part in the creation of the Religious Right, Schaeffer has converted to Orthodox Christianity.  — IMDb Mini Biography By: Dave Rattigan

 “Frank has been a frequent guest on the Rachel Maddow Show on NBC, has appeared on Oprah, been interviewed by Terri Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air and appeared on the Today Show, BBC News and many other media outlets. He is a much sought after speaker and has lectured at a wide range of venues from Harvard’s Kennedy School to the Hammer Museum/UCLA, Princeton University, Riverside Church Cathedral, DePaul University and the Kansas City Public Library.”  — FrankSchaeffer.com

Explore Frank’s books and blog at FrankSchaeffer.com; view his collection of fine art at his online gallery; see his filmography at IMDb; connect to the 2016 film, Let Me Be Frank and/or follow this prolific creator @Frank_Schaeffer.  — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

If America Fails?” Livestreams
Thursdays, January 13 to April 7, 2022, 8 pm ET
on the
TruthWorks Network YouTube Channel

Thursday, February 3, 2022—Mental Health

Dr. James C. McIntosh, Retired Psychiatrist, Co-Chair and Co-Founder of Committee to End Media Offensive to African People (CEMOTAP), and Host, MIND FIELD

Dr. James C. McIntosh, is a retired Psychiatrist who spent over 40 years practicing medicine in the five boroughs of New York City, a writer, community activist, educator, public speaker and talk radio host.

Dr. McIntosh was the founder and owner of The Interns and Residents Licensing Review School which operated successfully between 1987 and 1991; the Past Executive Director and Medical Director of Upper Manhattan Health Center; a former Medical Director at Services for the Under Served and Fortune Society; and a past two term president of The Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR), the nation’s largest union of salaried physicians.

Dr. McIntosh has founded several organizations and his community affiliations are many.  Currently, he is the Co-Chair and Co-Founder of the Committee to End Media Offensive to African People (CEMOTAP).

He is a co-founder of United African Movement and was the first chairman of the U.A.M. Health Committee; and the founder and first moderator of their famed Speaker Series at the Slave Theater.  Further still, McIntosh is the past Chairman of the Board for the Education of People of African Ancestry (BEPAA), at the John Henrik Clarke House; and served as Co-chair of the Queens Million Man March Coordinating Committee for the first Million Man March.

His commitment to community is as strong as his devotion to medicine, which he exudes in his various leadership roles.  For decades James C. McIntosh, M.D. has tended to the mental health and educational needs of the Black community – filling in gaps of the public school system, and helping to heal the psychological damage inflicted on people of African descent in America.  Through two organizations – CEMOTAP and BEPAA –  based respectively in Jamaica, Queens and Harlem, he brings together some of the most educated and community-conscious nationally recognized leaders in the Black community from every discipline and profession, to offer pro bono forums, panels, conferences and other events of relevance to the emotional, psychological, physical, spiritual, intellectual and educational needs of the community.  A recent “Mini Conference on Dr. Amos Wilson,” for example, shows the kind of human resources CEMOTAP and BEPAA bring together.  Featured speakers and distinguished thought leaders included:

  • Prof. Henry (Hank) Williams, who teaches in the African and African American Studies and English Departments at Lehman College of the City University of New York;
  • Dr. Tyrene Wright, a scholar, human rights activist, publisher, local TV/radio producer and author of Booker T. Washington and Africa: The Making of a Pan Africanist;
  • Dr. Oya Adowa Ma’at, a professor at Morgan State University School of Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, where she teaches the four core classes and is a committee member and instructor for FACS (Females Are Cyber Stars) Summer Camp, created to increase female interest and participation in STEM; and
  • Dr. Leonard Jeffries, a political scientist, historian, educator, and Pan-Africanist, founding director and former President, Vice-President of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAC) and former president of the African Heritage Association (AHSA).

These two activist organizations led by Dr. McIntosh – CEMOTAP and BEPAA – also advocate on behalf of community interests, among other things.  Events sponsored by CEMOTAP and BEPAA, (founded by Dr. Adelaide L. Sanford, Vice Chancellor Emerita of the New York State Board of Regents), are strongly grounded in Black history and culture.

Accordingly, Dr. McIntosh has received numerous awards from community and civic organizations.  These include the UNIA-ACL, the Bed Stuy School of Martial Arts, the NAACP, the Coop City African American Association, the Science Skills Center, Mosque Number 7 of the Nation of Islam, Women in Support of The Million Man March, The Christian Times Newspaper, The Coalition to Elect a Black Mayor, CEMOTAP, and 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care.  He is also the winner of The Malcolm X award from the New York Chapter of NAKO (National Association of Kawaida Organizations), and was chosen as Health Activist of the Year by the Family and Friends of Dr. Mutulu Shakur.

As an author, public speaker, and producer, Dr. McIntosh gives generously of his creative talents.  For example, this busy retiree is currently host and producer of MIND FIELD, a weekly program airing Wednesdays at 2:30 pm on WBAI 99.5 FM, where he shares the mic with Richardeanea Theodore, RN.  Together they focus on mental health issues and interview distinguished educators and presenters on critical issues impacting the community.  For example, they have featured “Dr. Joy DeGruy, the renowned researcher-author and ‘ambassador for healing;’ Dr. Adelaide Sanford, the national advocate for African-centered education for students of African descent; Dr. Anthony Browder, the Cultural Memory Specialist devoted to the re-discovery and application of ancient African history, culture and wisdom; [and] Dr. Gerald Deas…the physician, poet, activist who has devoted his life to the health empowerment of families and youth,” according to Our Time Press.  Most recently, the legendary NYC Psychiatrist/Psychoanalyst, Dr. Henry Lloyd McCurtis, who focuses his practice on substance abuse issues, was featured on MIND FIELD in a discussion on schizophrenia.  Dr. McIntosh is the former co-host of the Cable TV series The CEMOTAP Drum, and the co- host and co-producer of a radio program of the same name on WWRL.

As a writer, Dr. McIntosh says that his work is strongly influenced by the renowned and esteemed ancestor, Professor John Henrik Clarke.  He is the author of several books, including:  The Unauthorized Psychoanalysis of Donald Trump (2017) and The Unauthorized Psychoanalysis of Rudolph Giuliani (2007), where James C. McIntosh, M.D. takes an insightful and irreverent view of these two public figures; That Which Cannot Be Destroyed, State Rape, Prosecutorial Misconduct, and The Artist Formerly Known as Imhotep.

He currently writes for the Black Star Newspaper and CEMOTAP Drum; is a frequent contributor to the Amsterdam News; and, is a former columnist for the Daily Challenge Newspaper, New York City’s only Black Daily Newspaper.

Dr. McIntosh has made many appearances on TV and Radio including Gil Noble’s Like it Is program and Imhotep Gary Byrd’s Global Black Experience.

The extensive community work of James C. McIntosh, M.D. undoubtedly draws on the undergraduate degree in Black and Puerto Rican Studies he earned at Hunter College, a part of The City University of New York (CUNY) system.  After graduation from Brooklyn Technical High School, he completed his degree in medicine at the New Jersey Medical School of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), part of the Rutgers University system.  Additionally, he completed three years of internship and residency in the Columbia University Psychiatry Program at Harlem Hospital; and a joint year of Fellowship and Residency in Public and Community Psychiatry at Montefiore Hospital of Einstein Medical School of Yeshiva University.

James McIntosh is a proud husband, father and grandfather, and past winner of Father of The Year Award from a coalition of organizations including The Southern Queens Park Association and The Queens Million Man March Coordinating Committee.

Follow @DrJamesCMcInto1 on Twitter, find Dr. James C. McIntosh on Facebook or find more about his extensive community service work at the Facebook pages for CEMOTAP and BEPAA.  — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

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Thursday, February 10, 2022—Race & Ethnicity

Dr. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Professor of Italian and History, New York University | Arts & Sciences

 “Any society can be susceptible to strongman figures if it’s the right time,” says Ruth Ben-Ghiat.

Dr. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Professor of Italian and History at New York University, is a historian, educator, commentator and cultural critic “on fascism, authoritarian leaders, and propaganda — and the threats these present to democracies. As author or editor of [seven] books, with over 100 op-eds and essays in CNN, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post, she brings historical perspective to her analyses of current events. Her insight into the authoritarian playbook has made her an expert source for television, radio, podcasts, and online events around the globe,” according to her website.  Dr. Ben-Ghiat is also a historical consultant for film and television productions.

“Ruth Ben-Ghiat…specializes in male menace. What interests her is the manufactured drama of world-historical strongmen—their mannerisms, speech patterns, stagecraft, and mythomania,” wrote Jon Blitzer of The New Yorker.

The recipient of Guggenheim, Fulbright, and other fellowships, she’s an expert on fascism, authoritarianism, war, propaganda, and Donald Trump, writing frequently for the media on those topics, and provides podcast and on-camera political commentary in these areas. 

Dr. Ben-Ghiat is also affiliated with several editorial or advisory boards, including the Journal of Modern Italian Studies; Journal of Romance Studies; European History Quarterly, gender/sexuality/Italy; and she is a member of the American Association of Italian Studies, American Historical Association, Modern Language Association, and Society for Italian Historical Studies.

“Ours is the age of the strongman, of heads of state who damage or destroy democracy use masculinity as a tool of political legitimacy, and promise law and order rule – and then legitimize lawless behavior by financial, sexual, and other predators. Covering a century of tyranny, this book examines how authoritarians use propaganda, virility, corruption, and violence to stay in power, and how they can be opposed,” wrote Ruth Ben-Ghiat in her most recent book.

Books published by this author include:

  1. Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present (2020)
  2. Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema (2015)
  3. Italian Mobilities (edited with Stephanie Malia Hom), (2015)
  4. Gli imperi: dall’antichità all’età contemporanea (Empires: from antiquity to the contemporary age), (2009)
  5. Italian Colonialism (edited with Mia Fuller), (2002)
  6. Fascist Modernities: Italy, 1922-1945 (2001)
  7. La cultura fascista (Fascist culture), (2000)

Dr. Ben-Ghiat also contributes her writing to many scholarly journals and maintains a blog on Substack – Lucid – where she writes and chats about current threats to democracy in America and abroad, and interviews other prominent voices in this arena. 

As a speaker, Ruth Ben-Ghiat is compelling and lively on topics of vital interest today. This public intellectual shares insights on authoritarian styles of leadership, fascism and its memory, and propaganda, and have made her a go-to source for journalists around the world and a frequent guest on television, radio, and podcasts.  She speaks frequently on topics such as:

  • Shock Events and Coup Attempts: Threats to American Democracy
  • “How Strongmen Think – and How to Oppose Them”
  • “Resistance: Lessons from History”
  • Strongmen from Mussolini to the Present
  • How To Resist A Strongman: Lessons from a Century of Authoritarian Rule
  • Propaganda: How it Works, and How to Oppose It
  • Threats to Democracy in America Today
  • Strongmen and Their Exits: Legacies of Authoritarian Rule

Born in the United States to an Israel-born Sephardi father and a Scottish mother, Ben-Ghiat grew up in Pacific Palisades, California, is a big fan of electronic music and a yoga practitioner who earned a B.A. at the University of California at Los Angeles in History, and a Ph.D. in Comparative History at Brandeis.

Enjoy the fruits of this great intellect at RuthBenGhiat.com, see her full CV at NYU, explore her newsletter and video blog at Lucid, and/or follow Dr. Ruth Ben-Ghiat on Twitter @ruthbenghiat.  — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

Dr. Karen A. Ritzenhoff, Professor, Department of Communication, Central Connecticut State University [See Bio Above, 10/14/21].

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Thursday, February 24, 2022—Sexuality

TBD

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Thursday, March 3, 2022—White Supremacy / American Rage / Hate Groups

TBD

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Thursday, March 10, 2022—Class

Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron, Associate Professor, Theatre and Film, Bowling Green State University [See Bio Above, 1/20/22].

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Thursday, March 24, 2022—War

Dr. Djene R. Bajalan, Professor, Department of History, Missouri State University-Springfield

Historian of the Middle East, researcher, and author, Dr. Djene Rhys Bajalan is a Professor in the Department of History at Missouri State University-Springfield, where he specializes in the rise of nationalism and the evolution of the Kurdish question.  Dr. Bajalan has taught both Middle Eastern and World history in a variety of different institutions, including the University of Oxford, Istanbul Bilgi University, and the American University of Iraq – Sulaimani. 

Dr. Bajalan specializes in issues related to nationalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and, in particular, its role in the breakup of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I. His research has focused primarily on the region’s Kurdish community and, more specifically, the development of Kurdish political activism within the Ottoman Empire in the years leading up to the outbreak of World War I in 1914.

Dr. Bajalan is the co-editor of Studies in Kurdish History:  Empire, Ethnicity and Identity, with Sara Zandi Karimi (Routledge, 2015), and author of Jön Kürtler: Birinci Dünya Savasi’ndan Önce Kürt Hareketi 1898-1914 [The Young Kurds: The Kurdish Movement Before the First World War] (Avesta, 2010).

He also contributes to scholarly journals, including these articles:

  • “On the frontiers of empire: Culture and power in early modern ‘Iranian’ Kurdistan,” Kurdish Studies, Vol. 5, No. 1, (2017): 1-10.
  • “Princes, Pashas and Patriots: The Kurdish Intelligentsia, the Ottoman Empire and the National Question,” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 43, No. 2, (2016): 140-157.
  • “Between Conformism and Separatism: A Kurdish Students’ Association in Istanbul 1912 to 1914,” Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 49, No. 5 (2013): 805-823.

With extensive research experience in both the British and Ottoman archives, Dr. Bajalan serves on the editorial board of the journal Kurdish Studies; and publications featuring his commentary on present-day Middle Eastern affairs include Turkeyscope, Jacobin, OpenDemocracy and Jadaliyya.

Dr. Bajalan completed his BA in History and Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, holds an MSc in Nationalism and Ethnicity from the London School of Economics, an MA in History from Istanbul Bilgi University, and a DPhil in Oriental Studies from the University of Oxford. 

Djene Bajalan kicks it with the crew at the THIS IS REVOLUTION podcast, in his off time, as part of the Foreign Affairs panel, including Pascal Robert, Jason Myles, “Dr.Kuba,” and many other public intellectuals who generously share their knowledge and insights.  He is a gamer who combines the war strategy game “Hearts of Iron IV,” with talk on nationalism, makes other media appearances and contributes his work to popular periodicals.   

Follow Dr. Bajalan @djenebajalan and/or see his CV at Missouri State.  — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

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Thursday, March 31, 2022—Oh Canada: Escape

Atty. Matt Mitrovich, Producer and Host, The Alternate Historian YouTube Channel

Matt Mitrovich is host of The Alternate Historian, a popular YouTube Channel, a vlogger, blogger, author and literary judge.  Most importantly, he says, he’s “an alternate historian.”  His creative side takes flight in an alternate realm where Mitrovich produces videos on his favorite genres — science fiction, fantasy and history books — writes book reviews, interviews literary figures, produces his own short stories and other works of fiction, and judges the work of other authors in formal competitions through the Sidewise Awards for Alternate History.  He is also the author behind the Alternate History Guide on the Historical Novel Society website.  Matt Mitrovich is a long-time fan of alternate history, a genre of speculative fiction where historical events are resolved differently than in real life, and discusses and promotes it wherever he goes.

When not writing, in another universe, Attorney Matthew Mitrovich works as a Conflicts Attorney at the international firm of McDermott Will & Emery, providing conflict of interest insight and guidance involving new matters and new hires.   Matthew Mitrovich earned a JD at The John Marshall Law School, University of Illinois-Chicago, and a BS from Bradley University.  We suspect his insight on alternate history was gained elsewhere in the multiverse.

What If. . .?

Mitrovich describes his YouTube Channel, The Alternate Historian, which has nearly 30,000 subscribers, as “a channel for everyone and anyone who likes to ask ‘what if?’” The channel has produced dozens of videos exploring this kind of question, drawing his inspiration from some of the great historical and literary works of our time, like The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.  One video related to that book, for example, is Gilead: Could This Happen Here?  Matt’s videos ask questions like these:

  • What if the Soviet Union Won the Cold War?
  • What if the State of Israel was Defeated in 1948?
  • What if Russia Won the Crimean War?
  • What if the Senate Restored the Roman Republic?
  • What if the Vikings Introduced Europe to the New World 500 Years Earlier?

Our imaginations are the only limitations!

Early in his career as a creator, Mitrovich contributed the short story “Road Trip,” about four friends who drive to a college party and take an unexpected detour into the future, to Forbidden Future: A Time Travel Anthology (Masquerade Publishing, 2013).  Other fiction by Matt Mitrovich can be found at Echelon Press, Jake’s Monthly, The Masquerade Crew and his own writing blog.  Mitrovich is the former founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a news and review blog for alternate, counterfactual and weird history; a former contributor to Amazing Stories and SFFWorld; and a former volunteer editor for Alt Hist magazine.

In yet another world, when not exploring alternate timelines, Matt Mitrovich enjoys life with his wife Alana in Illinois, and prepares for the inevitable zombie apocalypse or alternatively, the day when travel between parallel universes becomes a reality.

We found Matt Mitrovich creating away at The Alternate Historian, but, if you’re daring enough, you can also catch up with him on Facebook or Twitter @MattMitrovich or @alt_historian.  — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

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Thursday, April 7, 2022—GRAND FINALE—Strategies and Tactics to Fight Fascism

Atty. Ellen Hodgson Brown, Founder and Chairman, Public Banking Institute and Fellow at The Democracy Collaborative

Ellen Hodgson Brown wears many hats.  She is an author, attorney, leader, public speaker, radio host, blogger, activist, and an advocate for alternative medicine and financial reform, most prominently, public banking.  She is Founder and Chairman of the Public Banking Institute, a nonpartisan think tank devoted to the creation of publicly run banks, founded in 2011.  She is president of Third Millennium Press and author of 16 books, including, most recently, Banking on the People: Democratizing Money in the Digital Age (2019), The Public Bank Solution: From Austerity to Prosperity (with Hazel Henderson), (2013), and Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System and How We Can Break Free (2011).  She also publishes frequently in popular newspapers and periodicals; and has appeared on cable and network television, radio, and internet programs and podcasts.  Atty. Brown is also host of It´s Our Money with Ellen Brown (a radio program) and Fellow at The Democracy Collaborative.

Ellen ran for California State Treasurer in 2014 with the endorsement of the Green Party garnering a record number of votes for a Green Party candidate.

The author of sixteen books and over 200 articles, Ellen Brown developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles.  Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, Huffington Post, Common Dreams, Truthout, Asia Times, Global Research, OpEdNews, Alternet, Truthdig, Counterpunch and elsewhere.

A problem-solver, Ellen Brown has focused her writing since 2011 on issues related to public banking and democracy.  This work includes:

  • Banking on the People (2019) published by The Democracy Collaborative, which takes the reader step by step through the sausage factory of modern money creation, exploring improvements made possible by advances in digital technology, and proposes upgrades that could transform our outmoded 19th century system into one that is democratic, sustainable, and serves the needs of the 21st century.
  • In The Public Bank Solution (2013) Brown traces the evolution of two banking models that have competed historically, public and private; and explores contemporary public banking systems globally. She has presented these ideas at scores of conferences in the US and abroad, including in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Canada, Iceland, Ireland, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Croatia, Malaysia, Mexico and Venezuela.  When she published The Public Bank Solution, Brown revisited her arguments in Web of Debt, tracing the history of public banking, and discussing various options to implement it in the contemporary economy. 
  • In the best-selling Web of Debt (2011), Brown turned her legal skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and “the money trust,” showing how this private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves and how we the people can get it back.

Brown’s catalogue of books on alternative health remedies, where she began her career as an author in 1990, is extensive.  For example,

  • Forbidden Medicine (2008) builds on Brown’s interest in the developing world and its problems.  She lived abroad for eleven years in Kenya, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua, and returned to practicing law when she was asked to join the legal team of a popular Tijuana healer with an innovative cancer therapy, who was targeted by the chemotherapy industry in the 1990s. That experience led to her book Forbidden Medicine, which traces the suppression of natural health treatments to the same corrupting influences that have captured the money system.

Her published books include the following:

  1. Banking on the People: Democratizing Money in the Digital Age (2019)
  2. Debt Cobweb: The Scandalous Truth About The Monetary System And How We Can Break Free (with Andrés Celis Salazar), (Spanish Edition, 2015)
  3. The Public Bank Solution: From Austerity to Prosperity (with Hazel Henderson), (2013)
  4. Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System and How We Can Break Free (2011)
  5. Web of Debt: The Scandalous Truth About Our Monetary System and How We Can Free ourselves (Spanish Edition), (2011)
  6. Forbidden Medicine: Is Effective Non-toxic Cancer Treatment Being Suppressed? (2008)
  7. A Woman’s Complete Guide to Natural Health (with Lynne Paige Walker), (2003)
  8. Nature’s Pharmacy for Children: Drug Free Alternatives for More Than 160 Childhood Ailments (with Lynne Paige Walker and Lendon Smith M.D.), (2002)
  9. Healing Joint Pain Naturally: Safe and Effective Ways to Treat Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and Other Joint Diseases (2001)
  10. Secrets Of Natural Pharmacy (with Lynne Paige Walker), (Spanish and English Editions), (2001)
  11. The Key to Ultimate Health (Second Edition), (with Richard T. Hansen), (2000)
  12. The ALTERNATIVE PHARMACY (with Lynne P. Walker and Lynn Paige Walker), (1998)
  13. Menopause and Estrogen: Natural Alternatives to Hormone Replacement Therapy (with Lynn Walker), (1996)
  14. Breezing Through the Change: Managing Menopause Naturally (with Lynn Walker), (1994)
  15. Informed Consumer’s Pharmacy: The Essential Guide to Prescription and Over-The-Counter Drugs (with Lynne Paige Walker), (1991)
  16. With the Grain (1990)

See descriptions for all books by Ellen Brown on Amazon.

Brown was educated in California, earning a B.A. at University of California, Berkeley, and completing law school at the University of California, Los Angeles.  She was Book Review Editor of the UCLA Law Review and her article, “Restrictions on Alternative Medical Practitioners in California: A Legal and Economic Analysis,” published in 1977, was cited in the dissenting opinion in People v. Privitera, 23 Cal.3d 697 (Cal. 1979) by California Supreme Court Chief Justice Rose Bird, who called it “an excellent and exhaustive review of case and statutory law” on alternative medicine.  Brown went on to practice civil litigation in Los Angeles for ten years.

Follow Atty. Ellen Hodgson Brown @ellenhbrown or check out some of these online locations:  Ellen Brown’s Website & Blog; Public Banking Institute; It´s Our Money with Ellen Brown (radio program) on PRN.FM; and/or The Democracy Collaborative.  — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

Atty. Nkechi Taifa, President and CEO, The Taifa Group, LLC and Senior Fellow for the Center of Justice at Columbia University

Atty. Nkechi Taifa, Atty. Nkechi Taifa, President and CEO, The Taifa Group, LLC and Senior Fellow for the Center of Justice at Columbia University

Nkechi Taifa, Esq. is a civil and human rights attorney; scholar-activist; educator; and author of the best-selling memoir, Black Power, Black Lawyer: My Audacious Quest for Justice.  Taifa is a visionary thought leader and nationally recognized expert and commentator on race and justice issues.  Currently, she serves as president of The Taifa Group, a social enterprise firm whose mission is to advance justice, and whose portfolio of client services includes coalition-building, convenings, government relations, meeting and retreat facilitation, strategic planning and trainings.  Taifa is also a Senior Fellow for the Center of Justice at Columbia University, which, among other things, works to end mass incarceration.  She was recently appointed to the board of the D.C. Corrections Information Council, which provides oversight of District residents imprisoned throughout the Federal Bureau of Prisons

Nkechi Taifa has extensive experience and achievements as a general criminal and civil law attorney in private practice and working for national legal and advocacy organizations such as Open Society Foundations, the award-winning Equal Justice Program at Howard University School of Law, the ACLU, Women’s Legal Defense Fund, and the National Prison Project.  She served as Advocacy Director for Criminal Justice at the Open Society Foundations and Open Society Policy Center for 16 years, focusing on federal sentencing reform, law enforcement accountability, prison reform, reentry, executive clemency, and racial justice.

As a community activist and advocate, Nkechi Taifa has seen notable success. For example:

  • As Convenor of the Justice Roundtable coalition, she successfully helped mobilize the passage of both the Second Chance Act reentry legislation (2008) and the Fair Sentencing Act crack disparity legislation (2010), which gained inclusion of strong sentencing provisions in the First Step Act (2018).
  • She helped fuel mobilization of the Obama Administration’s clemency initiative, which resulted in the early release from unjust imprisonment of over 1,700 people. 
  • As co-chair for the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) Steering Committee on D.C. Statehood (1993-95), her work resulted in a historic first vote in Congress; and her contributions to the Leadership Conference’s Task Force on Voting Rights (1991- 93), resulted in passage of the National Voter Registration Act (Motor Voter bill).
  • She helped to mobilize the successful campaign against implementation of the death penalty in the District of Columbia in the early 90’s.
  • She served as coordinator and trainer for the 1995 Million Man March Legal Observer Committee.
  • Taifa also served as a prosecutor delivering the Opening Statement for both the 2007 International Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the 1997 International Tribunal for Justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Currently Nkechi serves on the Legal Advisory Team of the Legacy of the GU272 Alliance (descendants of the 1838 Jesuit sale of 272 enslaved persons which ensured the survival of Georgetown University), working to preserve the memory, commemorate the lives, and restore the honor of these ancestors; and is an advisor to the Institute of the Black World 21st Century.

Other organizational affiliations and accomplishments of Attorney Taifa include serving as: 

  • Commissioner and Chair of the D.C. Commission on Human Rights;
  • Founding Member of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America; and
  • Inaugural Commissioner on the National African American Reparations Commission.  

Nkechi Taifa has testified before the United States Congress, the DC City Council, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the U.S Helsinki Commission, and the Maryland Legislature; been featured in major print and electronic media; and received numerous honors and awards for her work, including Essence Magazine’s WOKE 100 Black Women Advocating for Change.

A multi-talented individual, Nkechi Taifa received an Individual Artist Fellowship Award for Excellence in Literature from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and performed spoken word with the group “BlackNotes” as part of its debut CD project, leading her original creation, “While Malcolm Preached, Trane Played.”  Nkechi began her writing career by filling a gap in books with empowering messages for Black children.  Her publishing of children’s books includes:

  1. Three Tales of Wisdom (with Mary E Mudiku and Free BenJamin. Illustrators), (2021);
  2. The Adventures of Kojo and Ama (with Phyl Campbell, Editor and Afia Nson Bonsu, Illustrator), (2021);
  3. Shining Legacy (with Mary Mudiku and Free BenJamin, Illustrators), (2021); and
  4. Shining Legacy: A Treasury of ‘Storypoems’ and Tales for the Young, So Black Heroes Forever Will Be Sung (with Mary E. Greer, Illustrator), (1983).

Shining Legacy highlights twelve Black heroes and heroines through moving stories accentuated with rhyme; and The Adventures of Kojo and Ama contains seven wisdom-filled stories combining excitement, fun and suspense with lessons in pride and heritage.

Her non-fiction books include:

  1. Black Power, Black Lawyer: My Audacious Quest for Justice (2020) – her best-selling memoir; and
  2. Reparations Yes!: The Legal And Political Reasons Why New Afrikans, Black People In The United States, Should Be Paid Now For The Enslavement Of Our Ancestors And For War Against Us After Slavery: Articles (with Chokwe Lumumba and Imari Abubakari Obadele), (1989, 1993).

Taifa is also the author of scores of scholarly works, including law review articles, book chapters and white papers.  She was the Project Chair for the publication, Tulia: Tip of the Drug War Iceberg, and author of the chapter, “Social Policy Implications of Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System,” published in The Color of Social Policy. She also served as principal author of the Advancement Project’s report, “Re-Enfranchisement! A Guide for Individual Restoration of Voting Rights in States that Permanently Disenfranchise Former Felons” (2002); and was a contributing author to Black Reparations: American Slavery and its Vestiges and Decolonization U.S.A. 

Some of her white papers and issue briefs have broken new ground, such as:

  1. “Clemency: An Inside Story from a Progressive Advocate” (Federal Sentencing Reporter June 2017);
  2. “Racism in the Criminal Justice System: Institutionalized Genocide?” (American Constitution Society 2016);
  3. “A Bittersweet Moment in History: Passage of the Fair Sentencing Act (NACDL Champion Magazine 2010);
  4. “Roadblocked Reentry: the Prison After Imprisonment” (National Bar Association Magazine 2006); and
  5. “Reflections from the Frontlines: An Insider’s Perspective on the Crack Cocaine Controversy” (Federal Sentencing Reporter 1998).

A native Washingtonian, Nkechi Taifa, Esq. received her Juris Doctorate from George Washington University Law School and graduated magna cum laude from Howard University.  She is the proud mother of a daughter, Mariama Taifa-Seitu.

See NkechiTaifa.com for an all-around view of this dynamic leader; learn more about her organization development work at The Taifa Group, LLC; explore some of her community associations and issues she cares about, and read her blog at Justice Roundtable @justiceroundtab; check out her memoir at Black Power Black Lawyer; and/or keep up with Nkechi Taifa @Nkechi_Taifa.  — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

Pic:  04-07-22 HMT S1 Guest Divider 02 – CTID 010 – Taifa – 950×150 – Employers-Current

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If America Fails?” Livestreams
Thursdays, January 13 to April 7, 2022, 8 pm ET
on the
TruthWorks Network YouTube Channel

Distilling Lessons from The Handmaid’s Tale

Visit the IAF Blog for more…

To Breathe and Be Seen: On Writing & Art

@ASoulAFire @JaniceOCG @GlennonDoyle & friends discuss value of creating art – even more important in dystopian times. Watch Thursdays, 8 pm ET, 1/13 – 4/7/22, “If America Fails?: The Coming Tyranny” on TWN.

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