We were honored to host two distinguished keynote speakers on the first and second nights of the conference: Ruth Rosen, emerita professor from the University of California, author of the definitive book, The World Split Open: How the Modern Women’s Movement Changed America (2006), and an activist veteran of the student protest that rocked Berkeley in the Sixties; and Tom Hayden, early SDS member and principal drafter of The Port Huron Statement, a paramount leader of the movement against the Vietnam War, former California state senator and long-time proponent of radical politics in the U.S. for decades since the 1960s.
Other SDS leaders featured as part of “A New Insurgency” included Al Haber, Richard Flacks, Mickey Flacks, Sharon Jeffrey Lehrer, Bob Ross, Casey Hayden, Kim Moody, Todd Gitlin, Maria Varela, Leni Wildflower, Barbara Haber, Dorothy Burlage, and Paul Buhle. Representatives of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Republic of New Afrika—Martha Prescod Norman Noonan and Gloria House—spoke.
Distinguished scholars joining the conference included Aldon Morris, Ramón Gutiérrez, Alice Echols, Robin Blackburn, Michael Vester, Marilyn Young, Nikhil Pal Singh, Casey N. Blake, Barbara Ransby, Mari Jo Buhle, and Kevin Mumford. Renowned novelist and poet Marge Piercy appeared, as did Paul Chaat Smith, Associate Curator of the National Museum of the American Indian. Other noted scholars spoke on the history of radical pacifism, American religion and protest, avant-garde arts of the 1960s, African Americans and the Cuban revolution, U.S. radicals of the 1950s in solidarity with Puerto Rican independence fighters, student protest in South America, the stresses of race, gender, and sexuality within New Left movements, and more.