Biography: Matt Meyer, a native New York City-based educator, activist, and author, is the War Resisters International Africa Support Network Coordinator, and a United Nations/ECOSOC representative of the International Peace Research Association. The founding chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Association and former Chair of the Consortium on Peace Research, Education and Development (COPRED), Meyer has long worked to bring together academics and activists for lasting social change. A former public draft registration resister and chair of the War Resisters League, he continues to serve as co-convener of the War Resisters International Africa Working Group. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in commenting on Meyer’s first book (co-authored with Pan-African pacifist Bill Sutherland), wrote that “Sutherland and Meyer have looked beyond the short-term strategies and tactics which too often divide progressive people . . . They have begun to develop a language which looks at the roots of our humanness.”
Meyer’s work in K-12 public education and teacher training included ten years of service as Multicultural Coordinator for the NYC Board of Education’s Alternative High Schools & Programs, as well as a stint as Chapter Leader of a local section of the United Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. He helped found and direct a mini-school in collaboration with St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital’s Child and Family Institute (CFI), and led a psycho-educational CFI research delegation on re-integration and treatment of child soldiers in West and Central Africa and related work in “inner-city” USA; he also helped in the early development of the Harvey Milk High School, the first US “safe space” school for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. Twice-decorated as “teacher of the year” by two Community School District Superintendents, Meyer’s continuous efforts as a high school-based historian have spanned over twenty-seven years.
Meyer’s writings appear in numerous journals, magazines, and on-line news sites, including as a frequent contributor to Waging Nonviolence, and to the blog site New Clear Vision (for which he is a contributing editorial advisory committee member). His most recent of six books is We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st Century America (PM, 2012), which Dr. Maya Angelou noted was “so needed” for its “investigation of the moral issues of our time.” He is a regular contributor to WIN Magazine and to the peer-reviewed professional journal Peace and Change (for which he serves as an Editorial Board member); his work can also be found in the Indypendent, Fellowship magazine, Truth-out.org, ZNet (zcommunications.org) and Counterpunch.org. He is a founder of the local anti-imperialist collective Resistance in Brooklyn, working on issues of Puerto Rican solidarity, political imprisonment and the prison industrial complex; this work is spotlighted and detailed in the recent book Accountability and White Anti-Racist Organizing. Argentine Nobel Peace laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel has commented that “Meyer is a coalition-builder,” one who “provides tools for today’s activists” in his writings and his work.