Cliff Durand

Cliff DuRand is now 71 years old. I was born and raised in the Third World country of North Dakota, USA. For 40 years I taught social philosophy at Morgan State University in Baltimore. I now live in the central highlands of Mexico in San Miguel de Allende. Here I am a Research Associate in the Center for Global Justice which I co-founded in 2004. I was radicalized by the civil rights movement in the early 1960s. I was a founder of the SDS chapter at The Johns Hopkins University in the spring prior to Port Huron (I went on to write my Ph.D. dissertation on Participatory Democracy.). At the historically Black Morgan State University I was faculty advisor to the student activist group and general trouble-maker on the faculty. In the 1970s I was active in the US-China Peoples’ Friendship Association and traveled to the Peoples Republic of China on 4 occasions. This led to my becoming the China correspondent for the Guardian newspaper (US) until its collapse in the early 1990s. In 1982 I was one of 6 US philosophers who participated in the first conference in Cuba since the Revolution between US and Cuban philosophers. Since 1990 I have organized and led an annual academic trip to Cuba for the Conference of US and Cuban Philosophers and Social Scientists at the University of Havana . In 1982 I was a co-founder of the Radical Philosophy Association and served as Secretary-Treasurer for 13 years. In that year I also organized a group of radicals in Baltimore to buy a vacant public library building and convert it to a Progressive Action Center, a home for the Left for 22 years. The building has now been sold and the proceeds used to give grants to progressive activities in Baltimore. In 2004 I moved to Mexico where we established the Center for Global Justice, a research and learning center in the Global South. I see the Reimagining Society Project as a valuable collaboration to develop and project a realistic vision of how and where we (the Left, the US, the Third World) can go using the opportunities now opened by the economic crisis of neoliberal global capitalism. The perspective I will bring to the discussion is that of Participatory Democracy.

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