About Our Board of Directors
Susan Kent Cakars (Emeritus) joined the Muste Institute Board in 1986. She is a retired writer and editor of children's books and language arts textbooks, and was formerly a WIN Magazine editor and a War Resisters League executive committee member.
James A. Cole is a longtime educator who is currently an assistant principal and founding staff member at a middle school in New York City. His background includes working as an environmental educator, science teacher, and dean of students in a variety of educational settings. He joined the A.J. Muste Institute Board in 2003.
Johanna Fernandez teaches 20th Century U.S. history, the history of social movements, the political economy of American cities, and African-American history at Baruch College. Founder of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, she is working on a book about the Young Lords.
Carol Kalafatic has worked with indigenous peoples and small farmers since 1991, as a policy advocate on the environment, sustainability and food sovereignty. She is a consultant to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and is a member of the Committee on World Food Security's High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition. She was founding Coordinator of the International Indian Treaty Council's Right to Food Program, and served for several years as Associate Director of Cornell University's American Indian Program. Her research focuses on food sovereignty, bio-cultural diversity, climate change, and dynamic heritage systems. Carol joined the Board in 2000.
David McReynolds (Emeritus) is a pacifist and socialist who helped found the Muste Institute. He was a staff member at the War Resisters League for nearly four decades and served as Chair of War Resisters International from 1986 to 1988. He is the author of A Philosophy of Nonviolence, one of the Muste Institute's Essay Series pamphlets; a 1970 book, We Have Been Invaded by the 21st Century (out of print); and many articles. David was the Socialist Party USA candidate for President in 1980 and 2000. He also served for many years on the board of Cooper Square Mutual Housing Authority. Along with the late Barbara Deming, he was the subject of a dual 2011 biography by Martin Duberman, A Saving Remnant.
Matt Meyer is a New York City-based educator, author and former public draft registration resister who works as a high school history teacher, teacher-trainer and curriculum specialist. He is a founder of the local anti-imperialist collective Resistance in Brooklyn, focusing on issues of Puerto Rican solidarity, political imprisonment and the prison industrial complex. Matt serves as Africa Support Network Coordinator for War Resisters International, and as a UN representative for the International Peace Research Association. Matt joined the Muste board in September 2013.
Peter Muste has been a theatre professional and arts educator for many years, and is a partner in the New York Education Network for Teachers and Artists (ENTA), which develops education-through-the-arts programs. He was a founding director of Chicago's Public Access Theatre, which brought socially relevant dramatic works to parks and other public spaces. A longtime supporter of the Muste Institute, Peter joined the Board in 2004 and served as Chair from 2006 until 2012. He has been directly involved in the Institute’s efforts to address militarism in the United States. A.J. Muste was Peter's grandfather; Peter's father was A.J.'s son John Muste, who passed away in 2002.
Jill Sternberg works internationally as a consultant in diversity, gender, conflict transformation and nonviolence training, specializing in training for nonviolent action in situations of war or protracted violence. She has been designing and facilitating workshops and trainings worldwide since 1992. Jill has served on the Board since 2004, and previously from 1997 to 2001; she has been on the Advisory Committee of the International Nonviolence Training Fund since 1997. She currently works in Dili, Timor-Leste (East Timor) with local organizations on program development and activist impacts.
Nina Streich, Treasurer, has been an activist for over 30 years in disarmament, social justice and environmental movements on a local and national level, and has served on the Board since 2003. She is currently executive director of the Orlando, Florida-based Global Peace Film Festival, which she started in 2003. Nina also volunteers as a public relations expert and fundraiser for activist events. She specializes in film and video work, and has also served on the board of Manhattan Neighborhood Network.
Robert T. Taylor, Secretary, is the executive director of East Harlem's Youth Action Programs and Homes/YouthBuild, which partners with out-of-school youth to help them complete their education, learn a trade, and engage in community leadership through service and activism. Robert joined the Board in 1997, bringing to it a background in youth, community development, higher education and local New York City government.
Martha Thomases, Chair, is a writer and public relations professional who came to the Muste Institute Board in 2000 after many years as a member and supporter of the Institute and the War Resisters League. She joined the anti-war movement while still in college and worked on the staff of WIN Magazine in the 1970s.
Diane Tosh, Vice Chair, is a Brooklyn Based family development consultant. A lifelong social-justice activist, she has worked with War Resisters League, The Community Food Resource Center, Madre, and many other local and national organizations. She previously served on the Muste Institute board from 2002 to 2004. Her community work focuses on food insecurity, as well as fighting racist practices and gender bias in schools and youth programs.