Letter from ALBA: Spread the word
It was thrilling to receive such positive responses to our September issue, featuring Pablo Iglesias, the 36-year-old political scientist who may well be Spain’s next Prime Minister. (Even Pablo himself took to Twitter to say how honored he was to be on our cover.) Events in Spain continue to develop in an exciting direction; PODEMOS is now leading in the national polls.
You may have noticed that the magazine you are holding, like the September issue, features a color cover. Over the past year we have been working to improve The Volunteer’s visual identity to be as compelling as its content. This is part of our effort to reach out to younger generations of readers, activists, and ALBA supporters. The creativity and commitment with which the generations who have been hardest hit by the economic crisis—people who are now in their 20s and 30s—are taking to the streets, the media, and politics is a source of hope and inspiration. When they learn about the Lincoln Brigade they immediately get it. That’s really no surprise: today’s young activists are as internationalist as the volunteers were, whether their concern is climate change, economic inequality, or human rights.
You’ve heard our slogan: Know History to Change History .This month we are particularly proud to feature two exclusive excerpts from new books dealing with the connection between the Spanish Civil War and the fight against the Nazis. In the middle of this issue you will find eight pages from a wonderful new graphic novel about the Spaniards who fought fascism in World War II by the prize-winning artist Paco Roca, who worked on this project with ALBA board member Bob Coale. We are also honored to present you with a section of Paul Preston’s new biography of Santiago Carrillo, which will be published in the U.S. next month.
October and November were a whirlwind of ALBA activity. ALBA’s Human Rights Film Festival in New York attracted hundreds of visitors, many of whom were new to the organization. Our Bay Area reunion drew a higher turnout than previous years and the stack of Pete Seeger’s CD Songs of the Spanish Civil War, in a new release with liner notes by ALBA’s Peter Glazer, sold out in minutes. The day after the reunion, Marina spent a lovely and inspiring day with Lincoln veteran Del Berg in his California home. In late October, we had the opportunity to present our newly developed high school curriculum to the heads of Social Studies departments in the country’s eighth largest school district in Florida. In November we held no fewer than three teacher institutes in New Jersey, Illinois, and New York. Attendance broke last year’s record numbers.
That we can do so much is thanks to you. We don’t need to tell you how important your donations are to keep our small but ambitious organization afloat. And we also rely on you to spread the word about ALBA and the Lincoln Brigade, about our Human Rights Award winners and our high school curriculum. When you’ve read your issue of The Volunteer, pass it on to a young person. Forward our emails or share them on Facebook. If you know high school teachers, or have school-aged children, point them to our new teachers’ website. The Lincolns’ story is too important. We cannot allow it to be forgotten.