Perspectives on Anarchist Theory

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Vol. 5 - No. 1
Spring, 2001

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IAS Update
by Rebecca DeWitt

Sometimes it seems that the most difficult thing we do is schedule our IAS board meetings and this year's winter storms delayed our meeting until the beginning of February. However, our board meetings are always exhilarating, exhausting, and inspiring. This past meeting was no exception and, among other things, we were pleased with the success of the past year, we enthusiastically elected two new board members and went through such an exceptional round of grants that it was painful to send out some of the rejection letters.

We were sad to see Maura Dillon leave the board yet happy that she is pursuing satisfying projects in her hometown of Durham, NC. As with most of the board members, Maura has been with the IAS almost since the beginning and her thoughtfulness will be missed.

Let me introduce our new board members: Ashanti Alston and Brooke Lehman. Ashanti is an active anarchist in New York City. He is a former Black Panther member and was a political prisoner for 14 years. For some time now, Ashanti has been formulating anarchism in terms of the African American community. Ashanti does a lot of outreach to younger activists and brings to the IAS considerable experience with persons of color radical writers and activists. Brooke is very active with the Direct Action Network (DAN) and was a founding member of the Continental DAN and NYC DAN. She currently works with the NYC DAN as the spokesperson, organizing monthly forums and activities, and facilitating the revolutionary education of the anti-globalization movement. Brooke is also studying for her MA at the Institute for Social Ecology.

Our grants, so far this year, are some of the best we've supported. In particular, we were very pleased to be able to support two women. Despite the anarchist ideals of equality, the gender bias is still alive and well in radical politics and it has been difficult to attract women applicants. This is something the IAS has worked hard on, as individual board members, and through our printed materials. In that respect, this round of grants is very satisfying indeed. Another great aspect of this round of grants is the contemporary nature of the projects combined with historical critique, as seen in Andrés Peréz and Felipe del Solar's piece, "Chile: Anarchist practices under Pinochet" and Will Firth's translation of contemporary as well as historical Russian pieces.

For quite some time now, we have been working on a new brochure that we hope embodies not only the anarchist philosophy of the IAS but also our accomplishments and growth over the past five years. In particular, you will see a new section on grant priorities, the things that we consider when making grant award decisions. These grant priorities and the rewrite in general is a product of many, many discussions and meetings. We welcome any comments anybody has on the new brochure as well as anything that we do.

IAS connections in the international community continue to grow with translations of newsletter pieces. Chuck's interview with Janet Biehl has just been translated into Turkish and my interview with Todd May has just been translated into Spanish.

This year marks the five-year point for the IAS! A fundraising campaign during an "anniversary year" is especially inspiring to us because we can reflect on the past with satisfaction as well as hope for the future when we ask you to make a donation. Many of our donors have been with us from the beginning, five years ago. I can't say enough about how much we appreciate their support. Even better, we have so much to show for it! And, we have, yet again, a fabulous selection of books for you to choose from. John Petrovato continues his generous donation of quality titles and this year, we have 38 new books.

I hope you enjoy the latest issue of Perspectives and thank you everyone for your support of the IAS.

Perspectives on Anarchist Theory - Vol. 5, No. 1 - Spring 2001