Leonard Zeskind

Leonard Zeskind

Leonard Zeskind is the president of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights.  The author of Blood and Politics: The History of White Nationalism from the Margins to the Mainstream (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2009). The book received an Honorable Mention from the Society of Midland Authors in May 2010 in the "Adult Non-Fiction" category.  Mr. Zeskind writes a regular column for Searchlight magazine, published in London, and has written articles and op-eds for the American Prospect, Rolling Stone, The Nation, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation named him a Fellow in 1998 (one of its so-called "Genius Grants"). His awards include: the NAACP Legacy Award from the Olathe, Kansas branch in 2007; and the Owen Bieber Civil Rights Award from the United Automobile Workers Union Civil Rights Department in 1993.  The Petra Foundation made him a Fellow in 1992.  And he has received a number of other awards, including most recently, the NAACP Kansas City, Missouri Branch Lucile H. Bluford Special Achievement Award, for his contribution to the community and the struggle for dignity and humanity for all persons. He has testified before a Parliamentary Subcommittee in the United Kingdom, given public lectures at universities in London and Berlin, and worked for more than three decades to curb the influence of racism, anti-Semitism and white supremacist groups in the United States.  He is a lifetime member of the NAACP, and has served on the board of directors of the Petra Foundation and the Kansas City Jewish Community Relations Bureau. Prior to 1982, Zeskind worked in heavy industry as a first class structural steel fitter, on automobile assembly lines, as a welder, and other jobs. Last updated July 2017

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