2013 Conference Speakers
Representative John Lewis
Representative John Lewis is eager to reach a new generation of Americans with the story of his legendary role as one of the "Big Six" leaders in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement who, despite more than 40 arrests, physical attacks and serious injuries, remains a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence. He believes that the nonfiction graphic book format of his autobiographical three-volume project March will effectively engage readers with the story of the Movement and help document the extreme violence faced by him and other Civil Rights activists.
Representative Lewis, first elected from Georgia's 5th Congressional District in 1986, has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building what he calls "The Beloved Community" in America. Rep. Nancy Pelosi has called Rep. Lewis "the conscience of the U.S. Congress." Roll Call magazine has said, "John Lewis . . .is a genuine American hero and moral leader who commands widespread respect in the chamber."
Taylor BranchTaylor Branch is the bestselling author of Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63; Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65; At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-1968; and The Clinton Tapes. In his new book, The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement. Mr. Branch identifies eighteen essential moments from the Civil Rights Movement, and providing selections from his trilogy, places each moment in historical context with a newly written introduction. He has won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He lives in Baltimore.
Mr. Branch's appearance is generously sponsored by Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Oliver StoneOliver Stone is the Oscar®-winning director and writer of more than 20 films, including Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Natural Born Killers, JFK, Wall Street, and Salvador. He has directed four documentaries, the latest the new 10-episode Showtime series, The Untold History of the United States. He also co-wrote the companion book with history professor Peter Kuznick. Prior to his film career, Mr. Stone worked as a schoolteacher in Vietnam, among other jobs. He served in the U.S. Army Infantry in Vietnam in 1967-68, and was wounded twice and decorated with the Bronze Star for Valor.
Peter KuznickPeter Kuznick is a professor of history and director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University. He is currently serving his third term as distinguished lecturer with the Organization of American Historians. Dr. Kunick has written extensively about science and politics, nuclear history, and Cold War culture. He co-wrote the new 10-episode Showtime series, The Untold History of the United States and the companion book with Oliver Stone.
Joy HakimJoy Hakim is an acclaimed American author of narrative historical nonfiction, known best for her ten-volume series, A History of US and its companion history Freedom: A History of US. Originally from Rutland, Vermont, Ms. Hakim earned a Bachelor’s degree in Government at Smith College and a Master’s degree and honorary Doctorate from Goucher College. Throughout her career as a writer and teacher of elementary school, middle school, high school, and community college students, she has remained devoted to creating “textbooks that can be held to the same high standards as the best fiction and nonfiction” in efforts to further 21st-century skills through literacy and critical thinking.
Ms.Hakim's appearance in generously sponsored by Social Studies School Service.
Mary Beth TinkerMary Beth Tinker was a plaintiff in the landmark students' rights case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District, involving free speech. When Mary Beth, her brother John, and their friend Chris Eckhardt wore black armbands to school to signify their support for ending the Vietnam War, they were suspended from their public school in Des Moines, Iowa. They sued the school district, and their case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which held in 1969 that students (and teachers) have First Amendment rights in school that cannot be censored. Ms. Tinker, a pediatric nurse, will speak with NCSS participants as part of the Tinker Tour, stopping at schools throughout the country to bring the Constitution to life.
Harold HolzerHarold Holzer, one of the country’s leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War has authored, co-authored, and edited 43 books, including his latest, Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America, the official companion book for young readers to the Steven Spielberg film "Lincoln." He acted as a Content Consultant to the film. He now serves as chairman of The Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, successor organization to the U. S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (ALBC), to which he was appointed by President Clinton in 2000, and co-chaired from 2001-2010. President Bush, in turn, awarded Holzer the National Humanities Medal in 2008. Among his many books are Emancipating Lincoln: The Emancipation Proclamation in Text, Context, and Memory, and Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech that Made Abraham Lincoln President, and three books written especially for young readers: Father Abraham: Lincoln and His Sons, The President Is Shot!, and Abraham Lincoln, The Writer.www.haroldholzer.com
Mr. Holzer's appearance is generously sponsored by HarperCollins Publishers.
Kenneth C. DavisKenneth C. Davis is the author of Don’t Know Much About History, which spent 35 consecutive weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, and gave rise to the Don’t Know Much About series, which has a combined in-print total of some 4.7-million copies. In 2011, Don’t Know Much About History: Anniversary Edition was released, a newly revised, updated and expanded edition of the book that started the series. Mr. Davis aims to become a subject expert in all of the areas he writes about – the Bible, Mythology, the Universe, the Civil War, for example. His latest book is Don’t Know Much About the American Presidents.
Mr. Davis's appearance is generously sponsored by HarperCollins Publishers.
Lara SetrakianLara Setrakian is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of News Deeply. She has spent more than five years as a foreign correspondent, covering the Middle East for television, radio, and digital platforms, reporting for ABC News, Bloomberg Television, the International Herald Tribune, the Business Insider, and Monocle Magazine. She has since focused on the fusion of news and technology; the launch of her first platform, Syria Deeply, launched in December 2012. Ms. Setrakian was widely acclaimed for her groundbreaking use of social media in reporting on Iran’s 2009 election protests and the Arab Awakening of 2011. She was the only network reporter traveling with the US Navy’s counter-piracy task force when it caught its first band of suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden.
Fritz FischerFritz Fischer is Professor of History and Director of History Education at the University of Northern Colorado, where he teaches courses in American History and directs the teacher preparation program for secondary school history teachers. He wrote Making Them Like Us: Peace Corps Volunteers in the 1960s in 1998 and has published more than a dozen articles and book chapters on history education and history education policy. A national leader in the field of history education for the past decade, he has served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Council for History Education since 2009 and serves on the Board of Advisors of Mt. Vernon and numerous other national boards for history and history education. He is currently finishing his new book, The Memory Hole: The US History Curriculum Under Siege.
Richard BeemanRichard R. Beeman is the John Welsh Centennial Professor of History. at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a historian of the American Revolutionary Era, and has written seven books and several dozen articles on aspects of America's political and constitutional history in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. His recent book, Plain Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution, was the winner of the George Washington Book Prize and the Literary Award of the Philadelphia Athenaeum. His newest book is The Penguin Guide to the United States He is hard at work on a "prequel" to his book on the Constitutional Convention: Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor: Americans Choose Independence, which will focus on the drama playing out within the Continental Congress between September 1774 and July 4, 1776.
Dr. Beeman's appearance is generously sponsored by Penguin Group (USA).