Co-Director of the Strategy Center
a 48-year veteran in anti-war, labor, and environmental organizing (working extensively with Congress of Racial Equality, Students for a Democratic Society, and the United Auto Workers), graduate of Cornell University, author of seven books and two films on social movements and organizing theory, including Katrina’s Legacy: White Racism and Black Reconstruction in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and his most recent book, Playbook for Progressives:16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer. Eric was lead organizer of the 10 year campaign to Keep GM Van Nuys [auto plant] Open and woked on auto assembly lines for 8 years. In 2001 he was a delegate to the U.N. World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa where he participated in the protests against the U.S. government’s walk out. He returned to South Africa in 2002 as part of a Strategy Center delegation to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. He is co-host of Voices from the Frontlines radio show.
Read more about Eric Mann: Click Here
Recruited on the bus in 1998, Barbara has been a cornerstone of the organization since then. A resident of South LA and a transit-dependent bus rider for nearly four decades, Barbara has been elected by our members to the BRU’s leadership body, the Planning Committee, for twelve years running. She has acted as Co-Chair of the Planning Committee and of the Monthly Membership Meeting for ten years. During that time, she has served as spokesperson and representative of the BRU in the media, with public officials in LA and Washington, and in national and international social movement forums. Barbara also sits on the Steering Committee of the Community Rights Campaign and represents the CRC in its coalition work. She is the only recipient of the Strategy Center’s W.E.B. Dubois Fellowship (2009-2009). She can be reached at barbara (at) thestrategycenter.org
Channing L Martinez
Producer of Voices from the Frontlines
Channing Martinez is the Co-Director of the Labor/Community Strategy Center and co-chair of the Bus Riders Union with Barbara Lott-Holland. He is also the producer of Voices from the Frontlines, on KPFK/Pacifica Radio www.voicesfromthefrontlines.com. He is a graduate of Audubon Middle School, Crenshaw High School, and Otis College of Art and Design and the Strategy Center’s National Leadership School for Strategic Organizing where he is now a member of the faculty. He played and is playing a significant role representing the Strategy Center in the powerful coalition that has cut the Los Angeles School Police budget by 35 percent ($25 million) —so far as we move to full defunding. He is on the Steering Committee of LAUSD Black Student Achievement program. In 2019 he ran for the Los Angeles City Council in the 10th district as a first-time candidate, he received 5 percent of the total vote (2400 votes) and more than 10 percent of the Black vote. He can be reached at Channing (at) thestrategycenter.org
Director of Volunteer Programs
Akunna Uka is the Director of Volunteer Programs at the Labor Community Strategy Center. She was previously an administrator at New Roads schools and a Truman Scholar. Akunna works with Eric and Channing on the Black Student Achievement Program and the National Leadership School for Strategic Organizing. She is a current graduate student in the USC department of Education studying the impact of LAUSD policies on Black students.
She can be reached at akunna (at) thestrategycenter.org