Spring 2018 Grove Fellowship Leaders

Daniel Garodnick

As a 12-year Member of the New York City Council Dan Garodnick was known as one of New York’s most independent voices and effective legislators. In November, the City Council unanimously passed his bill that will relieve more than 2,700 small businesses in Manhattan from paying the onerous commercial rent tax. He was also the lead negotiator in crafting a plan that will deliver nearly a billion dollars to improve subways and public spaces in Midtown over the next 20 years, through the East Midtown and Vanderbilt Corridor rezonings. Dan is a fierce tenant advocate and, in 2015, negotiated the largest affordable housing preservation deal in New York City’s history — 5,000 middle class housing units in Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village. A lawyer with a background in civil rights, he has represented same sex couples seeking marriage equality, low wage workers seeking a living wage, and businesses seeking fair funding for city schools as part of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. Dan lives with his wife Zoe, and two young sons, on the East Side of Manhattan.

Karen Hunter

Karen Hunter is an award-winning radio talk-show host and coauthor of New York Times bestsellers. She was the first African-American female news columnist at the New York Daily News and a member of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize — and Polk Award —winning teams. In June of 2015, Karen Hunter authored a petition calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from the statehouse of South Carolina in the wake of the massacre of nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Within three days, more than 500,000 people signed that petition. Within a week, Gov. Nikki Haley vowed to take down the flag. Within two weeks, the flag was removed.

In 2015, Karen was named one of the “Heavy Hundred” (The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts In America) by Talkers Magazine for her work on The Karen Hunter Show on SiriusXM’s channel 126 (3 pm-6 pm EST Monday-Friday).

Charles Kaiser

Charles Kaiser started writing for The New York Times when he was an undergraduate at Columbia College.

As a reporter he covered real estate, city politics, City Hall, the environment and State Supreme Court.

He then became press critic for Newsweek. After a brief stint writing about media and publishing for The Wall Street Journal, he wrote 1968 In America: Music, Politics, Chaos, Counterculture, and the Shaping of a Generation. The Gay Metropolis: the landmark history of gay life in America, followed in 1997.

His latest book, The Cost of Courage, about one French family in the Resistance in Paris during World War II, was published in 2015 and won the Grand Prize of the Paris Book Festival. A 30th anniversary edition of 1968 In America will be published by Grove in April, 2018.

Kaiser is a regular book reviewer for The Guardian (UK &US). His writing has also appeared in New York, The New York Observer, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and on The New York Review of Books website.

He is a founder and former president of the New York chapter of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. In 2015 he was inducted into the LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame. Last year he was named associate director of the LGBT Social Science and Public Policy Center at Hunter College. Charles was an inaugural Grove Leader during the Spring 2017 semester.

Dorchen Leidholdt

Dorchen A. Leidholdt has directed the Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services at Sanctuary for Families in New York City since 1994. The largest dedicated legal services program for survivors of domestic and related forms of gender violence in the country, the Center provides legal representation and advocates for policy and legislative changes that further survivors’ rights. Under Ms. Leidholdt’s leadership, the Center has grown from two to forty-five lawyers and strengthened its advocacy efforts on behalf of underserved populations, especially those in immigrant and LGBT communities. Through its Anti-Trafficking Initiative, the Center has led successful campaigns to create and strengthen New York State’s anti-trafficking laws and their implementation, has provided direct representation to more than a thousand survivors of sex and labor trafficking, and helped found the New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition, which Ms. Leidholdt co-chairs.

Ms. Leidholdt hold a Masters Degree from the University of Virginia and a law degree from New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden-Snow scholar.

Jessica Neuwirth

Jessica Neuwirth is an international women’s rights lawyer and activist. She is one of the founders and Honorary President of Equality Now, an international women’s rights organization established in 1992, and the founder and Director of Donor Direct Action which supports women’s rights organizations around the world. She is currently mobilizing a new Coalition for the ERA (the Equal Rights Amendment), in an effort to add sex equality into the United States Constitution and she is the author of Equal Means Equal: Why the Time for the ERA is Now.

Jessica holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in History from Yale University. She has worked for the human rights organization Amnesty International, for the Wall Street law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, and for the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, as well as the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. She served as a special consultant on sexual violence to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda for its landmark Akayesu and judgment and again worked for the Rwanda Tribunal on the Media judgment holding print and radio media accountable for their role in the Rwandan genocide.

Jessica was an inaugural Grove Leader during the Spring 2017 semester.