Who We Are

Convening Council


Modibo M. Kadalie, Ph.D., is the Founding Convener of the Autonomous Research Institute for Direct Democracy and Social Ecology (ARIDDSE) and is a noted radical activist, political theorist, and social ecologist.  He is known as a long-time critic of the nation-state, political parties, and all forms of “representative democracy.” Dr. Kadalie advocates for the urgent re-writing of social history from a new perspective that reveals the naturally occurring self-organization of direct-democratic institutions by ordinary people in their revolutionary struggle against all forms of hierarchy and domination. In his research, Dr. Kadalie hopes to uncover particular historical instances of this primary recurring theme in human social struggle.  It is through this ever more complex ongoing social struggle that the continuous diversification and transformation of both society and the rest of nature takes place.

Dr. Kadalie has been active in radical politics for over 50 years, perhaps most notably within the League of Revolutionary Black Workers and the African Liberation Support Committee in the 1970s. He is the author of Internationalism, Pan-Africanism and the Struggle of Social Classes (One Quest Press, 2000) and contributed a new introduction to the new edition of Kimathi Mohammed’s Organization and Spontaneity, (On Our Own Authority!, 2013).

Kadalie holds an undergraduate degree from Morehouse College, and graduate research-based degrees from Howard University and Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). He was also a Fulbright Professor of Political Science at the University of Limpopo and the University of Venda in the Republic of South Africa. He is now retired from Fayetteville State and Savannah State Universities.  

_storage_Dr. Janis Coombs Reid is a retired educator with more than 30 years experience in higher education. A keen observer of the relationship between culture and social movements, Coombs Reid advocates the idea that literature and the arts are important vehicles, although often neglected, for understanding, promoting, and popularizing a new world vision based on direct democratic principles.

Among her current projects is the play under development, The Great American Delusion, a  contemporary drama exploring conflicting ideas among African American women about race, gender, class and ecology in the face of looming social and ecological crises.

She is a graduate of Spelman College and Atlanta University and holds a doctoral degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan.

jim-bacote2Jim Bacote was a Geechee civil rights activist and the co-founder (with Pat Bacote) of the Geechee Kunda, a living museum and cultural center in Riceboro, Georgia, dedicated to celebrating and teaching Geechee culture and history. Through their annual  “Gathering” and numerous other events, the Geechee Kunda has become a unique and invaluable community space for African descended people in the Americas. Jim passed away in May of 2018. May he rest in peace.

IMG_7476W. Jay White is a native of the Lowcountry of South Carolina and an ardent researcher and educator of the historic and living legacy of the Geechee/Gullah culture. He is intimately acquainted with the specific interaction of the history, geopolitics, and culture of the region, as part of the larger ecology of the evolving southeastern U.S. Over the last several years he has been involved in the resolution of several local legal issues in the Savannah, Georgia community. He has recently returned to the coastal region of South Carolina to continue his research and to teach Social Studies at the new and innovative Whale Branch Early College High School in Seabrook, S.C.

W. Jay White holds an undergraduate degree from Savannah State University, a teaching-based Masters Degree from Grand Canyon University and the Masters of Environmental Law and Policy as well as a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Vermont Law School.

20180815_140320Andrew J. Zonneveld is a historian, activist, musician, and managing editor of On Our Own Authority!, a radical publishing house based in Atlanta, Georgia. A former member of the AK Press collective, Andrew is now an early-childhood educator in addition to his ongoing writing and publishing work. Andrew is also a co-founder of the Atlanta Radical Book Fair, an annual gathering of radical left writers, publishers, and artists from across the southeastern United States.

Andrew is a frequent collaborator with Dr. Modibo Kadalie, having edited and written the introduction for Kadalie’s Pan-African Social Ecology and Intimate Direct Democracy. He is also the editor of two collected volumes of historical anarchist writing (To Remain Silent is Impossible: Emma Goldman & Alexander Berkman in Russia and The Commune: Paris, 1871) and has contributed articles to ROAR Magazine. He lives in Atlanta with his partner and daughter.

Visiting Researchers

20180815_163523Dr. Olga Cielemęcka holds a PhD in philosophy from Warsaw University in Poland. In her research she brings together contemporary philosophy, feminist and queer theory, and environmental humanities, in an effort to re-think the concepts of the subject, community, and collaboration in times of advanced capitalism and environmental change. She was a research assistant at Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies at University of Alberta in Canada, a visiting researcher at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON), Utrecht University and at Posthumanism Research Institute at Brock University, and a postdoctoral researcher within “The Seed Box: A Mistra-Formas Environmental Humanities Collaboratory,” a research project hosted at Linköping University in Sweden. In recent projects, she looks at political and cultural meanings of plants from a feminist perspective.


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