Matt Meyer is an internationally noted historian, educator, author and organizer, elected in 2018 as Secretary-General of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA, the world’s leading consortium of university-based professors, scholars, students, and community leaders). Meyer is the Senior Research Scholar of the University of Massachusetts/Amherst’s Resistance Studies Initiative, a position he has held since retiring from 30+ years as tenured educator and teacher-trainer for the New York City Department of Education.
He is also active with the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) and the War Resisters’ International (WRI), serving as Chair of IFOR’s Financial Advisory Committee, Co-chair of FOR-USA’s National Council, and Africa Support Network Coordinator for WRI. Meyer’s life-long pursuit of bridging gaps between academics and activists has included service as Chairman of the Consortium on Peace Research, Education, and Development (COPRED) and Founding Chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA), both main North American affiliates of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA). Before becoming IPRA’s Secretary-General, a post he proudly shares with Kenyan scholar Christine Atieno, Meyer served as an IPRA Executive Council member and as IPRA’s Main United Nations Representative.
Meyer was also National Chair of the US-based War Resisters League, making him second only to A.J. Muste— “dean of the US peace movement” —in serving as elected leader of both WRL and FOR-USA, the historic peace organizations spanning over one hundred years of consistent struggle. He also serves as a Board member of the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute. Meyer is author or editor of over a dozen books and one hundred chapters and articles, including the newly-released Connecting Contemporary African-Asian Peacemaking: From Satyagraha to Ujamma (2018), co-edited with India scholar Vidya Jain; and White Lives Matter Most and other “little” white lies (2018), with a Foreword by Sonia Sanchez.
He was senior editor of the two-volume series Seeds of New Hope: Pan African Peace Studies for the 21st Century (2008, 2010) and his first book, Guns and Gandhi in Africa (2000, co-authored with Pan-African pacifist Bill Sutherland), included a Foreword by South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu noting that Sutherland and Meyer “have looked beyond the short-term strategies and tactics which too often divide progressive peoples…
They have begun to develop a language which looks at the roots of our humanness.” Fellow Nobel Peace laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel of Argentina, in his Introduction to Meyer’s encyclopedic anthology Let Freedom Ring (2008) on contemporary movements to free political prisoners, noted that “Meyer is a coalition-builder,” one who “provides tools for today’s activists” in his writings and his work. Meyer has also co-edited and authored major works on contemporary movement-building, including Look for Me in the Whirlwind: From the Panther 21 to 21st Century Revolutions (2017), co-edited with dequi kioni-sadiki; and Oscar Lopez Rivera’s Between Torture and Resistance (2013), in partnership with Luis Nieves Falcon. Meyer is an Editorial Board member of the juried professional journal Peace and Change and the popular web-based news-site Waging Nonviolence.
He is part of the local anti-imperialist collective Resistance in Brooklyn and works closely with both Africa World/Red Sea Press and PM Press.