Call To Action

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Alexander Cockburn (October 14, 2005 and October 19, 2006) is one of the most prominent and controversial radical journalists in the United States. Cockburn first appeared in Aberdeen to packed houses in the fall of 2005 at Grays Harbor College and the Polish Club. The journalist is co-editor with Jeffrey St. Clair of the twice-monthly newsletter CounterPunch, which has worldwide readership in the millions. His bi-weekly column “Beat-the-Devil” appears in The Nation, a magazine with a liberal point of view, founded in the 19th Century. His syndicated newspaper column has appeared regularly in papers in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Detroit. His columns and articles prompted the late Congressman Henry Gonzalez of Texas to call Cockburn “one of the most perceptive and one of the most brilliant minds we have in America.”

Stephanie Coontz (May 5, 2006) is a Professor who teaches history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. She is the Director of Research and Public Education for the Council on Contemporary Families and a nationally known expert on marriage and family. She has appeared numerous times on national television, written for magazines and national newspapers and is a sought after speaker. She is the author most recently of the best-seller Marriage, A History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage (Viking Press, 2005) which the Washington Post selected as one of the best books of 2005. The Post cites Coontz’s book as one which "neatly, entertainingly and convincingly deconstructs a number of our most cherished and least examined beliefs about the bonds that tie men and women together, for better and for worse."

Dennis John Kucinich (March 30, 2007) is an American politician of the Democratic party. He served as the 53rd mayor of Cleveland, Ohio from 1978 to 1979 and today serves as a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives for the 10th District of Ohio. He also sought the Democratic Party's nomination in the 2004 presidential election. Though he won no primaries, he continued campaigning for months with the goal of influencing the Democratic Party to shift its platform in the progressive direction, especially on the issue of withdrawing from Iraq. On July 23, 2004, Kucinich ended his campaign and endorsed Democratic Senator John Kerry for President. Dennis returned to the Presidential trail in 2008 and presented a consistent liberal voice and was the only Democratic candidate in the race to vote against the invasion of Iraq. Kucinich, who used to co-chair the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is a self-described "Wellstone Democrat." He has been praised as "a genuine progressive" by Ralph Nader. Dennis and his wife Elizabeth spoke at the Bishop Center to a very eager crowd.

Angela Davis (April 18, 2007) Angela Davis is known internationally for her ongoing work to combat all forms of oppression in the U.S. and abroad. Over the years she has been active as a student, teacher, writer, scholar, and activist/organizer. She is a living witness to the historical struggles of the contemporary era! Ms. Davis is the founder of Critical Resistance, a national, member-based grassroots organization working to abolish the prison-industrial complex. Angela spoke at the Bishop Center and also at the Stafford Creek Prison.

Clifford Mass (May 4, 2007) a well-respected atmospheric scientist is also one of Washington State's most memorable weather guru's. Mass is has been tirelessly working to bring a Doppler Radar system to the Washington Coast. Pointing out that there is a "weather hole" along the coast he has been working with our Congressional Delegation to help find scare dollars to bring this critical predictive tool to the State. It appears that after 10 years of constant struggle and pressure, Dr. Mass was successful in securing money in NOAA's budget to allow the Doppler to be built within the next 2 years. This will have profound benefits for not only coastal inhabitants and businesses, but it will provide timely warnings for farmers, fishers, truckers and people throughout the state. Professor Mass has a weather blog at and can be heard on KUOW 94.9FM. We hope to have him give coastal weather information on KGHI FM once the station is up and running. See

Mike Farrell (October 19, 2007) is probably best known for his role as Captain B.J. Hunnicutt on the popular television series M*A*S*H. Farrell has been be an activist even before he became well-known. He has worked with Human Rights Watch, was on the Board of Advisors of the original Cult Awareness Network and has been president of the over 10,000 member Death Penalty Focus organization for more than ten years. He spoke of his transformation from actor to world renowned and respected social activist.

Father Roy Bourgeois (April 11, 2008) was an American priest in the Maryknoll order of the Roman Catholic Church and founder of the human rights group School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch) at the time of his presentation for the Grays Harbor Institute. Father Bourgeois was excommunicated in August of 2008 for his participation in the ordination ceremony of Janice Sevre-Duszynska, a member of Womanpriests, at a Unitarian Universalist church in Lexington, Kentucky. Fr. Bourgeois spoke of his background years spent in Bolivia and Latin America. Fr. Bourgeois became an outspoken crities of US foreign policy in Latin America after four American nuns were raped and killed by a death squad from the Salvadoran National Guard. This lead to his founding of SOA Watch which he serves today. His organization seeks to close the School of the Americas,renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINEC) through nonviolent protest. WHINSEC is responsible for the training of many of the death squads that lead to the death of innocent people and the American nuns. In 2010, Fr. Bourgeois was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Booth Gardner (October 17, 2008) was the 19th Governor of the State of Washington from 1985 - 1993 and an heir to the Weyerhaeuser fortune. After his retirement, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. Although he was not a candidate for the benefits of the Initiative he helped to pass, he became a champion of Washington's Death With Dignity Act. Governor Gardner was known for his strong educational stance and he has been a supporter of eliminating the WASL test as a requirement to graduate from high school.

Rick Shenkman (May 1, 2009) is the editor and founder of George Mason University's (GMU) History News Network, a website that features articles by historians on current events. Shenkman is an associate professor of history at GMU and is a New York Times best-selling author of six history books. He is an investigative report and the former managing editor of KIRO-TV. He spoke about American myths, presidential politics and the American voter.

Dr. Orrin Pilkey (October 23, 2009) is Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences and Founder and Director Emeritus of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines within the Nocholas School of the Environment at Duke University. Pilkey is a renowned expert on coastal geology and morphology. He is a prolific writer, authoring over 250 technical publications and books. He is a vocal critic of the Army Corps of Engineers and a proponent of stepping back from the dynamic zone. He spoke of The Future of Washington Beaches, highlighting the rising sea and effects of global climate change.

Melissa Harris-Perry (June 24, 2011) is professor of political science at Tulane University, where she is founding director of the project on gender, race, and politics in the South. She previously served on the faculty of the University of Chicago and Princeton University. She is author of the award winning book Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought and the upcoming book Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America. She is a columnist for The Nation magazine. Harris-Perry is a contributor to MSNBC, appearing as a bi-weekly guest on the Thomas Roberts Show and a frequent guest on the Rachel Maddow Show and The Last Word. She is a regular commentator for many print and radio sources in the U.S. and abroad. She lives with her family in New Orleans.