To become a member of the Board, an individual must be voted in by a majority of the current members of the Board. An individual can nominate themselves for membership on the Board, or could be nominated by another member, whether on the Board or not. Our current By-Laws allow 30 members of the Board.
Monthly regular meetings of the Board of Directors are open to any member of Brooklyn For Peace who wishes to attend. The opinions and input of all members are important and welcome; however, only Board members can vote. Annual meeting for election of Board members and officers is in June, but vacancies on the Board can be filled at any time. Term of service for both officers and Board members is one year. There is no limit on the number of terms which may be served. Date and time of regular meetings are posted on the web-site, with RSVP by e-mail or telephone requested if you would like attend.
Board of Directors
Charlotte Phillips M.D.
I am the Co-Founder and currently serve as the Chairperson of Brooklyn For Peace.
I am a general primary care pediatrician, and retired from clinical practice in March, 2012, after practicing for 20 years in the New York City public hospital system, where I provided continuity of care to a diverse community of patients from the African- American, Haitian, Jamaican, Latin American, West African, Middle Eastern and South Asian communities, all of which are represented in Brooklyn. I was also on the faculty of SUNY-Downstate.
I co-founded Brooklyn Parents for Peace in 1984 as a network of parents all of whom had children in the same day care center in Brooklyn. I have been involved in various ways for the past 29 years, and continue to be committed to the growth and development of Brooklyn For Peace as a non-sectarisn, non partisan, locally-based, multi-issue organization. As a pediatrician, I see war and violence as critical public health issues; as a parent and grandparent, I see the well-being and (even the existence) of future generations at stake.
Bruce Altschuler is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at SUNY Oswego who retired in 2013 and moved to Brooklyn. His main teaching fields were the US presidency, elections, mass media, and popular culture and politics.
He is the author or co-author of seven books, most recently Seeing Through the Screen: Interpreting American Political Film (Lexington Books, 2017) and the winner of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. His commentary for public radio won awards from the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association and Syracuse Press Club. Since his retirement, he has become active in Brooklyn For Peace and continued his involvement in United University Professions, the largest higher education union in the United States.
Carolyn Rusti Eisenberg is a co-founder and now Vice-chair of Brooklyn for Peace. Since 2004 she represented Brooklyn for Peace on the United for Peace and Justice Steering Committee and was a co-coordinator of its Congressional Work.
Rusti is a Professor of US Foreign Policy and History at Hofstra University. She is the author of a prize-winning book on the early Cold War and is presently completing a book for WW Norton Press on the Vietnam war and the “illusion of national security.” Most recently she has served as Consultant to the New York Historical Society for its exhibition on the Vietnam War.
Veronica Nunn is an international vocalist-songwriter, recording artist, podcaster and arranger most known as the featured vocalist with Michael Franks since 1993. In the late 1970s, she moved to New York to pursue a degree in Theology at Lehmans College in the Bronx. Singing in music clubs at night to support her college tuition, she met Big Nick Nicholas (an influential teacher of legendary tenor saxophonist John Coltrane) who became her musical and performance mentor.
She travels extensively around the world performing, and conducting her signature vocal workshop series. While abroad, her work with International Embassies and International schools has helped to build awareness of jazz and the importance of art and culture in society. “A world where peace is possible first begins with respect for all life and recognition of the unique diversities within all cultures.” Veronica has served on the board of Brooklyn For Peace since 2007.
Melissa Corbett, has worked with BFP since 2011. First as a full-time staff person and later its Program Director. As such she helped keep our peace organization functioning smoothly and performed every task conceivable—organizing Peace Fairs and our annual fundraisers (Pathmakers To Peace). She kept our membership database current (no easy task), kept the office stocked, ran off tens of thousands of flyers to be used in various street corner mobilizations and at street fairs, liaisoned with myriad other organizations, produced peace and justice buttons, chaired forums …. the list goes on and on! It’s sufficient to say that all of that and more could not have been done fully or successfully without Melissa’s hands on the levers of organization. As such, she helped keep our organization and movement alive and growing. We are excited to now have her join the Board of Directors.
Brooklyn for Peace is grateful and delighted that Sam has taken on the Treasurer role of the organization.
Sam was born in a refugee camp in post-war Germany. Being a child of Holocaust survivors ingrained in him a deep commitment to striving for peace and social justice. He has been a long-time member of Brooklyn For Peace, joining when we went by the name of Brooklyn Parents for Peace. As a parent and research biologist he was impressed by the organization’s steadfast non-sectarian outlook, attention on concrete present day issues and well thought-out approaches to working for change.
As a long-time active member, he has worked on many campaigns from opposition to the war on Iraq to current work with our Peace and Economic Justice committee on the NYC Move the Money campaign directed at the NY City Council. This campaign focuses attention on a bloated Pentagon war budget that profoundly stifles funding for human needs and help for our struggling cities. As part of a team of BFPers that has set up our popular, educational and most engrossing Penny Poll, he values the important task of engaging our local communities here in Brooklyn. His ongoing commitment to taking part in tabling events, street-fairs and demonstrations has served to help educate our neighbors and build support for the important work that we do.
Milton Allimadi is publisher of Black Star News, a pan-African media outlet focusing on critical issues that impact the Global African Family—in Africa and in the African Diaspora.
He teaches African History in the Africana Studies Department at John Jay College of the City University of New York and Journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia. Allimadi is the author of “Manufacturing Hate: How Africa Was Demonized in Western Media” (Kendall Hunt, 2021). He also hosts the weekly “Black Star News Show” on WBAI 99.5 FM New York Radio which also streams on www.wbai.org He can be followed on @allimadi on Twitter or contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org
Ann Fawcett Ambia
Ann is a retired public interest attorney whose practice years included: representing city workers in tenant-side housing and administrative law cases including NYCHA, Section 8 and SSD; representing clients with HIV-AIDS in Permanency Planning and training practitioners in the field; and representing Salvadorans seeking political asylum whose Temporary Protected Status was expiring in 1995.
Prior to starting law school at 41 with twins entering third grade, Ann worked in non-profit public relations, and earlier was a union organizer. She has been an active community organizer since 1976 when she became a member of the Action Committee of the People’s Firehouse in Northside (Williamsburg) Brooklyn; and has been an activist in the intersection of peace, civil rights and social justice issues since college.
Currently Ann is a member of the Board of Brooklyn For Peace, an activist in Bay Ridge for Social Justice on refugee and immigration issues facing the community, and a member of Military Families Speak Out/ Veterans For Peace. She can often be found on the street during the day at various rallies and marches, and in the evenings when not at a meeting or caring for a grandchild is most likely at a music event.
My name is Charlene Barker; I was born and raised in Westchester County. I lived in CT for several years before moving to NYC in March 1983. Many said I would not last six months, and yet here I am 30 years later quite the content survivor. I love NYC, especially Brooklyn, with all its unique and fascinating qualities. Some of my interests, other than peace/political activism, are photography, travel, cooking, museums, crocheting, music, needlepoint, movies, theater, art, old cemeteries and tag sales. I have been involved with activism since February 2003 and also very proud to be part of Brooklyn for Peace.
Thomas Cox is an artist and designer active in grassroots, community empowerment organizations. Born in California, a resident of New York for 28 years, he has found great value in the honest and deep exploration of the diverse views of others made possible through dialogue. Tom has been involved with BFP for decades and is an active member of the Israel Palestine Committee.
My first significant involvement in peace and justice activity was when I attended college in Baltimore, MD and discovered that the theaters were segregated. I became involved with SNCC and since that time, have continued as a lifelong activist for peace and justice.
I graduated from Columbia University where, as a student, I protested against the University’s investment activities. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Shortly after graduation, I moved to Park Slope where I began working with a social service agency in South Brooklyn. I became a division director and in that capacity developed and supervised programs for adolescents at various Brooklyn high schools focusing on dropout prevention and college preparation. I also oversaw the Safe Homes Project which started as a neighborhood-based response to domestic violence. In the early days of gentrification in Park Slope, there were violent efforts, including arson, to force families out of their homes. In response, I launched a neighborhood housing clinic which helped tenants organize to protect their rights.
After participating in two delegations to Israel and Palestine with Eyewitness Palestine, I undertook work to support justice for Palestinians. This, more recently, led me to join the Brooklyn For Peace Israel-Palestine Committee. I am truly honored to serve as a Board member and assist BFP in fulfilling its mission.
Dr. Nurhussein is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine and, until his retirement, served as Chief of Geriatric Medicine at the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center. Under his leadership the geriatric fellowship program secured a full 5-year accreditation in 2009. Dr. Nurhussein was born in Adwa and grew up in Gondar, Ethiopia where he received his primary school education. On orders of Emperor Haile Selassie, he was recruited to the then newly-established military academy soon after completing high school in Addis Ababa. Upon graduation he was one of six Army officers sent by the Emperor to Yugoslavia to study medicine thus becoming among the first Ethiopian military doctors. He came to the US in 1972 to pursue further training in internal medicine and pulmonary medicine. The 1974 revolution, which abolished the millennia-old monarchy, was soon hijacked by the military, which established a repressive regime eliminating all opposition. Dr. Nurhussein’s brother was among the thousands of young Ethiopians killed by the regime.
Seeking political asylum in the US, Dr. Nurhussein started a long career as an attending physician at Kings County Hospital Center, affiliated with SUNY Downstate College of Medicine where he held a faculty appointment. He has been a mentor and role model to generations of medical students and residents. His long service at both public institutions has earned him numerous awards. Dr Nurhussein has been listed in the Castle-Connolly Best Doctors in Geriatric Medicine in New York in 2009 and 2010. He is an active member of various civic, professional and humanitarian organizations, among which are: Member of a Task Force of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) for the Total Elimination of Landmines; National Chairman of United African Congress, a Pan African organization that represents the interest of continental Africans in the United States and plays an advocacy role on matters germane to Africa; Chairman of the Ethiopian Renaissance Council of the tristate area of NY, NJ and Connecticut March 2013-March 2015; Chairman of a broad coalition of African Diaspora organizations against Ebola, led by the United African Congress which was responsible for holding the first Ebola forum at the UN to raise awareness of the devastation the pandemic was causing in the West African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and underscore the need for global response on a massive scale; Co-Chairman of a Diaspora Coalition led by The United African Congress organizing the concert on Ebola held on March 2/2015; Chair, Adwa Hospital Task Force.
Mohammed A Nurhussein, MD is a Board Member of Ethio-American Doctors Group, Inc. and Member of the Executive Board of Brooklyn for Peace.
My involvement with the peace movement started in 1961, coinciding with the move to New York from the midwest. My husband was the Coordinator of the Greenwich Village
Peace Center for a year and I was immersed in that group’s thinking and have been involved in one way or another ever since. For obvious reasons, the demonstration that I particularly remember was in April 1965 in DC, because I was VERY pregnant at the time.
My “career” has been bookkeeping related, and as well as doing that for a living I have contributed that skill to the Neighborhood Nursery School, the Brooklyn Heights Youth Center, the Nevins Day Care Center, and Concerned Friends of WBAI. I started volunteering and was elected Treasurer for Brooklyn (Parents) For Peace very soon after
retiring from employment, in 2004.
Marian Ronan is a scholar of religion. She served as associate professor of theology and religion at the American Baptist Seminary of the West, a majority African American theological school in Berkeley, CA from 1999 to 2008, and as Research Professor of Catholic Studies at New York Theological Seminary, another majority Black theological school, from 2009 to 2023. Her current research focuses on the relationship between religion and ethics, particularly environmental racism and nuclear war. She and her husband, Keith Russell, live in the Ditmas Park section of Brooklyn.
Michelle F. Smith
Michelle F. Smith is a current resident of Bedford-Stuyvesant and a business professional with a passion for event management, communication, and entrepreneurship. Currently serving as the Event Manager for the NY & NJ Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc., Michelle plays a pivotal role in orchestrating impactful events and fostering meaningful connections within the community.
In addition to her corporate role, Michelle is the proud Small Business Owner and CEO/President of Beyond Events Management, LLC, showcasing her entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to creating memorable experiences. With a strong educational foundation in Event Management from New York University (NYU),
She has an impressive track record that includes previous roles such as Virtual Event Manager at Brooklyn For Peace and Director of Event Management at the National Urban League. These experiences have not only enriched her expertise but have also allowed her to contribute positively to various organizations and causes.
Hailing from Freeport, New York, Michelle brings a blend of local insight and global perspective to her work. Her commitment to the world of events and communications, coupled with a strong educational foundation and diverse professional experience, make Michelle a respected and influential figure in the industry.
A freedom singer/artist from the South Bronx by way of Staten Island, spiritchild uses the arts to cultivate a cultural revolution throughout the world, from the United States to Europe, from Africa to South East Asia. This artist’s eclectic and experimental fusion of true school Hip Hop, Funk, Electronica and Jazz continues to break the boundaries of the music scene. As spiritchild channels the frequencies of J Dilla having tea with Sun Ra, painting the silhouettes of Nina Simone remixing El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz also known as Malcolm X, no one shares the time and the space without being moved in body, mind, heart and soul. spiritchild integrates revolution and Hip Hop music throughout all his endeavors, as a musician, DJ/ soul selector, producer, writer, author, facilitator and mentor for youth, cofounder along with Fred Ho of a new black arts movement, organizer and founder of the International Movement In Motion Artist & Activist Collective, Vice President of the Universal Zulu Nation’s Brooklyn Territory (UZN Chapter 9 -Noble 9 Zuluz) and co-founder and co-leader of the maroon party for liberation and the maroon liberation school.
Currently spiritchild is working with Urban Art Beat and the maroon party for liberation on Rikers Island providing ‘critical revolutionary hip hop pedagogy’ with young mxn and womxn from the ages of 16-21 since Black August 2017. spirit is also providing professional revolutionary developments on ‘critical revolutionary hip hop pedagogy’ and writing a book on the praxis. spirit has just released new albums ‘timetales’ with German Producer creativemaze, self produced album March of the Matriarch (Earth’s Day) and producing for various artist in the works of their EP and Album projects including European artist and pedagogue purplereaad ’80’s baby’. spirit has just released his new album ‘maroon militant matriarch (mxn’s mirror)’ a tribute for Black August 2021. spirit has been working with Musicambia and Carnegie Hall as well as providing similar workshops with the adult male population at Sing Sing adding to master classes on the art of emceeing, production, songwriting and artist development.
Visit his website to find out more about his art and activism work. https://xspiritmental.com/home
Executive Director & Board Member
Michaela has been organizing for peace and progressive US foreign policies since 2014, beginning as a student organizer with University at Albany Peace Action. She worked for several years with the Syracuse Peace Council, focusing particularly on advocacy campaigns for justice in Palestine and nuclear disarmament. She has additionally been involved in efforts to cut US military spending and to promote diplomatic US policies toward Yemen, Iran, and Afghanistan. As Brooklyn For Peace’s new Executive Director, she looks forward to further developing the organization’s strategy, growing our numbers of active members, and working with fellow community organizations in Brooklyn in order to strengthen our local peace and justice movements.
Leah Gunn Barrett
Rowena Blackman-Stroud (in memoriam)
J. Tara Currie
Carol Husten (in memoriam)
Major Owens, (Ret.) Congressmember (in memoriam)