Who We Are
Glenn Ruga, SDN Founder, is a graphic designer, social documentarian, and a life-long human rights activist. In March 2010, he was appointed the Executive Director of the Photographic Resource Center in Boston.
Ruga has created traveling and online documentary exhibits on the struggle for a multicultural future in Bosnia, the war and aftermath in Kosovo, and on an immigrant community in Holyoke, Mass. In February 2010, SDN under the direction of Ruga, mounted its first live exhibition at powerHouse Arena in New York on the global recession. The photographers were winners of an SDN call for entries. The second SDN live exhibition "Ten Years after 9/11" was shown at powerHouse Arena in September 2011.
From 1984 to 2010, he was the owner and creative director of Visual Communications, a graphic design firm located in Lowell, Mass. His clients included Physicians for Human Rights, the International and US Campaigns to Ban Landmines, the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, the Civil Rights Program at Harvard Law School, the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, and other non-profit, educational, and human rights organizations. His design work includes websites for many of the above organizations. To find out more about his graphic design firm, see: www.vizcom.com
From 1993 through 2009, Ruga was the founder and president of the Center for Balkan Development, a non-profit organization established to help stop the genocide in Bosnia and create a just and sustainable future in the former Yugoslavia. To find out more about CBD, see www.balkandevelopment.org
Glenn has a B.A. in Social Theory from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and a MFA in Graphic and Advertising Design from Syracuse University. He also has a certificate in Interactive Communications from Massachusetts College of Art.
For links to online documentary exhibits created by Ruga, see: www.balkandevelopment.org/zones and www.balkandevelopment.org/kosovo
Barbara Ayotte, Concord, MA
Barbara is a communications and media strategist, writer, editor, web developer and lifelong human rights activist. She is currently the Director of Strategic Communications for Management Sciences for Health, an international non-profit development organization working on global health issues in over 30 countries. She was Director of Communications for Physicians for Human Rights for 17 years and served as Communications Coordinator for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, a co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. She is SDN's Communications Director.
Paul Cummings, Westford, MA
Paul Cummings is a software engineer with more than 30 years experience in the private sector developing cutting-edge applications. He brings to SDN a wealth of knowledge in the field of web and software development. Currently he is Vice President of Engineering at FirstBest Systems Inc., a software and services company providing advanced Underwriting Management Systems™ (UMS) to commercial insurance carriers. Prior to FirstBest, Paul was Vice President of Software Development for the S1 Corporation, where he worked on the world's first Internet bank.
Lori Grinker, New York, NY
Lori Grinker began her photographic career in 1981 while a student at Parsons School of Design when Inside Sports published her photo-essay about a young boxer as its cover story. During that time she met another young boxer, 13 year-old Mike Tyson, who she documented for the following decade. Since then, in addition to her reportage of events such as the destruction of the World Trade Center, she has delved into several long-term projects, and published two books: The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (Jewish Publication Society, 1989, 6 editions), and Afterwar: Veterans from a World in Conflict (de.MO, 2004).
Published in major magazines, her work has earned international recognition, garnering a World Press Photo Foundation Prize, an Open Society Institute Distribution grant, a W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund fellowship, the Ernst Hass Grant, The Santa Fe Center for Photography Project Grant, and a Hasselblad Foundation Grant, among others. Her photographs have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions around the world and are in many private and museum collections including: The International Center of Photography (ICP), The Jewish Museum in New York City, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Between editorial assignments, commercial jobs (represented by MEO Represents), and personal projects, Grinker lectures, teaches workshops, and is on the faculty of the ICP in New York City. She is represented by the Nailya Alexander Gallery in New York and has been a member of Contact Press Images since 1988.
Steve Horn, Lopez Island, WA
Steve Horn became a professional photographer in the mid-1980’s, specializing in documentary work, including many years as visual arts photographer of Bumbershoot, the Seattle International Festival of the Arts. His black and white photography has been displayed in exhibits in the U.S. and Japan, and is in the collections of Amherst College, Yale University, the Seattle Arts Commission, and the Regional Museum of Travnik, Bosnia.
In 2003, he retraced his 1970 route through Bosnia, revisiting towns and locating people from thirty years earlier. Photographs and essays from these trips evolved into a book, Pictures Without Borders: Bosnia Revisited (Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2005). Amnesty International Magazine recognized the work as “an indispensable chronicle…that should encourage people to respond when great injustice is being done.” Emory University developed a photography exhibition of the project that has traveled to Amherst College, The Bosnian Embassy in Washington, DC, and the Dayton International Peace Museum in Ohio.
Horn recently received a grant from CEC ArtsLink, based in New York City, to partner with the Travnik (Bosnia) Regional Museum in creating a traveling exhibition of the Pictures Without Borders project for several Bosnian cities.
Ed Kashi , Monclair, NJ
Ed Kashi is a photojournalist, filmmaker and educator dedicated to documenting the social and political issues that define our times.
Kashi’s images have been published and exhibited worldwide. His innovative approach to photography and filmmaking produced the Iraqi Kurdistan Flipbook. Using stills in a moving image format, this creative and thought-provoking form of visual storytelling has been shown in many film festivals and as part of a series of exhibitions on the Iraq War at The George Eastman House.
An eight-year personal project completed in 2003, Aging in America: The Years Ahead, created a traveling exhibition, an award-winning documentary film, a website and a book which was named one of the best photo books of 2003 by American Photo. Along with numerous awards, including honors from Pictures of the Year International, World Press Foundation, Communication Arts and American Photography, Kashi’s editorial assignments and personal projects have generated four books. In 2008, his latest books will be published, both by powerHouse Books; Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta and Three.
“Ed Kashi is intelligent, brave and compassionate. He always understands the nuances of his subjects. He fearlessly goes where few would venture. And he sympathetically captures the soul of each situation. Ed is one of the best of a new breed of photojournalistic artists.” David Griffin, Director of Photography, National Geographic
Susan Mazer, Reno, NV
Susan is a musician and the President of Healing HealthCare Systems, Inc., a company that creates healing sound and visual environments for healthcare environments.
Reza, Paris, France
Philanthropist, idealist, humanist, architect and extraordinary photographer, REZA, as he is widely known, lives to shoot another day. No stranger to conflict, Reza brings winning image after image of never-before scenes to audiences around the world for the last 30 years.
As a photojournalist for National Geographic since 1991, Reza has criss-crossed more than a hundred countries, photographing conflicts, revolutions and human catastrophes but also the beauty of the humanity. His eyewitness testimony has been distributed through the international media (National Geographic, Time Magazine, Stern, Newsweek, El Pais, Paris-Match, Géo…), but also in his books, exhibitions and documentaries made on him and his works.
As a humanist witness, from 1983 Reza initiated photographic-training programmes around the world from refugee camps in war-torn countries to European suburbs. In 2001 he found the Aina World, a new generation of NGO which is committed to children’s education and the training of women in communication and information.
After his Memories of Exile exhibition at the Carrousel du Louvre, he shared his humanitarian vision through various exhibitions such as Crossing Destinies, at Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, One World, One Tribe exhibition in Bahrain, Washington D.C and La Villette park in Paris. The exhibition War + Peace, presented at the Caen Memorial Museum was also another occasion of major retrospective of his work.
Author of twenty-five books, winner of the “World Press Photo award”, “Lucy Award” at Lincoln Center in New York and the “Infinity Award” by the ICP in New York, he was honoured with the “Medal of Chevalier of the National Order of Merit”, the “Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service to Journalism” and granted the title “Doctor Honoris Causa” by the American University of Paris. Member of the Advisory Board of the National Geographic All Roads Film Project, Fellow of National Geographic , Senior fellow of the Ashoka Foundation and member of the executive committee of the HSBC Bank’s Foundation, Reza bears witness to capturing the turmoil of the world: “The world is my field of vision. From war to peace, like the ineffable moments of poetry, my images are intended as a testimony of our humanity as we follow the roads down which the world leads us.”
John Sevigny, Mexico
John Sevigny was born in Miami in 1969 and lives in Mexico where he promotes local documentary projects, teaches photography, and volunteers at the human rights office of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saltillo, a small city five hours south of the Texas border. A former photographer for the Associated Press and EFE News, the official news agency of the Spanish government, Sevigny has exhibited his independent work in Minneapolis, Chicago, New York, Ft. Collins, Tallahassee, Baton Rouge, and San Francisco in the United States; in Monterrey, Saltillo and Zacatecas in Mexico; and in Lisbon, Portugal. He has been involved in a number of social movements including successful campaigns to increase pay for migrant farm workers in Florida and stop a proposal that would have outlawed street photography in New York City.
Steve Walker, New York
Steve Walker is a consultant and educator with a unique blend of experience and skills in education, non-profit management, political advocacy, and government service. As a consultant, Walker focuses on helping non-profits become more effective and efficient in achieving their goals and on helping school districts and educators better prepare their students for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century. A former US diplomat who resigned from the State Department in 1993 to protest Clinton Administration policies toward Bosnia, from 1993-8 Walker helped lead a successful campaign to raise awareness of the genocide in Bosnia and coordinate Congressional, grassroots, and other efforts to stop the genocide. He served as Director of the American Committee to Save Bosnia, the Action Council for Peace in the Balkans, and the Balkan Institute and, for over a decade, on the Board of Directors of the Center for Balkan Development. He also teaches history, economics, and foreign policy in New York. He has appeared on numerous national and international television and radio programs, including: Crossfire, Larry King Live, Nightline, The NewsHour, and CBS This Morning. He has published in numerous publications, including: The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe.
Frank Ward, Williamsburg, MA
Frank has been a photographer for more than 30 years traveling recently to Russia and has done extensive work in the Balkans and in immigrant communities in western Massachusetts.