PEOPLE ON THE PROJECT

Chicago Veterans for Peace Volunteers

Mac MacDevitt is an associate member of Chicago Veterans for Peace and Committee Chair of the My Lai Memorial Project. He is an artist, storyteller and educator who came of age and was forever changed during the Vietnam War. He was radicalized by witnessing the wounded fellow protesters, beaten by US Marshals as night fell after the March on the Pentagon in 1967. In 1981 Mac did a social work internship at the VA Hospital in White River Junction, Vermont in the psych department where he experienced vets dealing with ghosts from Vietnam and earlier wars. He is retired from a checkered career as a teacher, facilitator, community activist and public health professional.

 

Geraldine Gorman, PhD, RN, is a Clinical Associate Professor at the College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago where she teaches the Public Health Nursing course as well as courses on ethics and cultural awareness. She has authored essays and editorials on the role of public health nurses in times of war and was a co-author of an article examining the role of public health in primary prevention of war. Her chapter on pacifism and conscientious objection is included in the forthcoming book, Preventing War and Promoting Peace: A Guidebook for Health Professionals. For 8 years she served as the Chicago Coordinator for Emergency, an international NGO providing humanitarian aid to civilian victims of war; in 2013 she traveled to Afghanistan to work in Emergency’s hospital in Kabul. Local collaborative efforts include work with Voices for Creative Nonviolence, the American Friends Service Committee and Veterans for Peace.  Over the past decade she has organized three War and Peace Forums at UIC’s College of Nursing, focusing on the high cost of war abroad and within our own communities. She has explored the therapeutic use of arts for veterans, working with VetArt and as PI for Veterans for Creative Strength, a multidisciplinary workshop for student veterans at UIC. Influential in her activities, scholarship and ethics are her roles as mother of three, hospice practitioner and Benedictine oblate.

Adam Dowd is a member of Chicago Veterans for Peace and a veteran of the Army who is currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He studied studio arts as an undergraduate at Iowa State University. Adam is an active member of the Chicago social justice community.

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TEAM

Maggie O’Keefe is the founder of MTM Inc., a boutique digital marketing agency in Chicago, Illinois.  Maggie’s creative and artistic talents drove her to go into business for herself pursuing music and acting.  Maggie graduated from Columbia College with a B.A. in Theatre and studied at The Second City Conservatory.  You can listen to her music at menacerno.com.

Therese Quinn is an Associate Professor of Art History and Director of the Museum and Exhibition Studies Program (MUSE) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Drawing on her work as an exhibit researcher, developer, and evaluator for the Field Museum of Natural History, the Chicago Children’s Museum, Museums in the Parks, and others, she teaches courses exploring the histories and pedagogical practices of museums and exhibitions and writes about the arts and cultural institutions as sites for democratic engagement and justice work.

As MUSE Director she leads a program that is interested in “how museums and exhibits invite and exclude, delight and frustrate, reinforce and transform, and wonders how to reimagine museums, where they fail, and what framing ideas should guide us as we remake them.”

Her most recent books are Teaching Toward Democracy: Educators as Agents of Change (2016, Taylor & Francis), Art and Social Justice Education: Culture as Commons (2012, Routledge), and Sexualities in Education: A Reader (2012, Peter Lang).

Asherah Cinnamon is an artist whose work uses Jewish rituals and imagery to form the basis for contemporary art, bringing attention to traditional ethical concepts and practices, while building community through public involvement. Both her parents were survivors of the Nazi Holocaust.

Asherah’s interest in ending war has been long-standing. She was a protester against the American War in Vietnam, while respecting the veterans who served. In 2008 and 2012 she organized collaborative public art performances of “JUMP:War.” Her most recent project will bring together later this year in Vietnam several Vietnamese artists as well as US and other artists whose lives have been impacted by war through military service or family history. The diverse group will address Memory and Forgiveness in the context of creating collaborative art.

Other projects: in 2007 “Teshuvah: turn and mend” taught hundreds of people about the annual Jewish tradition of mending personal relationships, and gave them an opportunity to mark such a commitment in their own lives. Chosen by the Oregon Jewish Museum for its 2014 International Sukkah PDX Exhibition, her installation was selected to become the site of a public dialogue on what Jews and Muslims have in common. She was the 1992 recipient of the New England United Methodist Award for Social Justice Actions and the 2008 recipient of the Beijing Olympic Landscape Sculpture Five Rings Award.

Daniel Shea is a Viet Nam veteran and a member of Vietnam Full Disclosure. He serves on the National Veterans for Peace Board of Directors and on the Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign core committee. He is an active member of Portland Oregon Veterans for Peace (VFP) Chapter 72.

Dan joined the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO) Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba to End the US Embargo in 1994. In 2006 he was invited to the World Social Forum in Venezuela representing the Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (PCASC) and VFP Chapter 72 an effort to connect the dots of the US occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq and our meddling in the affairs of Latin America. While there he worked with others to paint a mural. That same year Dan was a VFP delegate to the March 2006 Veterans Agent Orange Conference in Hanoi, Viet Nam. Dan currently hosts the monthly TV program Veterans for Peace Forum.

Mike Hastie   |   I was raised in the military, as my father was a career Army officer. Like most military families we were very patriotic and loyal to this country.

As an Army Medic I arrived in my unit in the Central Highlands of Vietnam in September 1970. I was attached to a reconnaissance support base that was responsible for the operations of three other fire bases.  Most of the problems we were having was the realization that the war in Vietnam was utterly wrong, and all we wanted to do was go home. Deceit was the unit patch I should have been wearing on my uniform.

As the years went by I realized “I” was the enemy in Vietnam. I had the profound realization that lying is the most powerful weapon in war. I had been duped and betrayed in Vietnam, and eventually I went through the emotional dismantling of my core belief system.  My journey since coming back from Vietnam has been one of bearing witness to the lies of the Vietnam War, and trying to get people to understand that the United States Government is a Global Empire, and will do anything to maintain that world status.  I have spent many years talking in high school and college classes trying to make young people aware that they are nothing more than cannon fodder for American corporations who make a killing off of war profiteering.