Confirmed Speakers: Vijay Prashad • Peter Mertens • Claudia de la Cruz • Irvin Jim

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We are proud to announce speakers for our International Dilemmas of Humanity Conference, taking place from October 14 to 18, 2023, in Johannesburg, South Africa. We will broadcast the main panels and you can follow all the activities online via International Peoples’ Assembly (IPA) channels on social media. Sign up for updates!

Vijay Prashad  - Tricontinental Institute for Social Research (India)

Vijay Prashad

Vijay Prashad is an Indian Historian, Journalist and the Executive Director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, the Chief Correspondent for Globetrotter, and the Chief Editor of LeftWord Books (New Delhi). He is an outspoken critic of American hegemony and imperialism. He was the George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and a Professor of International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, United States, from 1996 to 2017.

He is the author of forty books, including Washington Bullets, Red Star Over the Third World, The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World, The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South, and The Withdrawal: Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and the Fragility of U.S. Power (2022), written with Noam Chomsky.

Peter Mertens - Workers Party of Belgium - PTB-PVDA (Belgium)

Peter Mertens

Peter Mertens is the General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Belgium (PTB-PVDA). He is a sociologist by training, worked in the port of Ghent after his studies and writes best-selling books such as "How dare they?" and "Graailand." He has been the architect of party renewal since 2008. He also led the Workers' Party of Belgium from 2008 to 2021. He has served as a member of the Chamber of Representatives since 2019, and as a municipal councilor in Antwerp since 2013.

In 1987, when he was 18 years old, he founded the Studenten tegen Racisme (Students against Racism, SteR) with fellow UFSIA student Marc Spruyt. Four years later, when he was studying sociology at Ghent University, he led a student protest movement against the Gulf War. At this time he joined the youth organization of the PVDA, the Marxistisch-Leninistische Beweging (Marxist–Leninist Movement).

Claudia de la Cruz - Party for Socialism and Liberation - PSL (United States)

Claudia de la Cruz

Claudia de la Cruz is a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), United States. She was born in the South Bronx to immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic.  She is a popular educator, community organizer, and theologian. For over 20 years, she has been committed to movement building, and has actively participated in collective grassroots spaces, particularly in the communities of Washington Heights and The South Bronx.

Claudia is committed to contribute her experiences and skills in the creation of cultural-educational space with organizers, educators and cultural workers/artists to continue producing, promoting and uplifting the cultural traditions that nourish and strengthen our communities in our struggles towards social justice.

Irvin Jim - National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa - NUMSA (South Africa)

Irvin Jim

Irvin Jim is the General Secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), having been re-elected to serve the militant metalworkers three times. NUMSA is the biggest trade union in South Africa and the largest Industrial Trade Union in Africa.

In his early life, he became a university student, active in the anti-apartheid movement, but had to leave education to earn money in a tyre factory in Port Elizabeth, where he joined NUMSA. Following the fall of the apartheid regime in 1994,  Irvin became the regional chairperson for NUMSA’s Eastern Cape region. He later served as the Regional Secretary. He was at that time the youngest member of the NUMSA Central Committee and remained in the regional leadership until his election to his position as General Secretary.