Letter from ALBA: Recovery and Inspiration

February 11, 2022

Dear Friends,

When Bryan Stevenson received the ALBA/Puffin Award in 2014, he spoke about the message he likes to deliver to white audiences: “I often say: ‘Many of you were raised in households where your parents and your teachers—the people you loved and trusted—taught you that you’re better than everybody else because you are white. Of course, that’s a lie. It was a terrible thing to do to you; and nobody helped you recover from that.’”

It’s this kind of recovery that this year’s ALBA/Puffin Award winner, Life Against Hate, puts front and center. The Chicago-based organization works one-on-one with individuals who wish to leave the toxic world of white supremacy—one of the cauldrons of hate and misinformation in this country that spawned the shocking assault on the Capitol building in January 2021. Join us on April 30 for the award ceremony during our online annual gala, which as always will feature a slate of inspiring speakers and musicians. More details to come soon on ALBA’s website.

Inspiration is also what we hope you’ll find in this issue. Check out our stories about the exciting new digitized collections at NYU’s Tamiment Library, young living historians who’ve become fascinated with the Lincoln Brigade, Lincoln vet William Lindsay Gresham, whose novel has inspired Guillermo del Toro’s latest film, about Lincoln vet Stan Junas and his family, who very generously are sponsoring this issue, or about the granddaughter of the first Dutch volunteer in Spain and her search for her grandfather’s remains.

Although ALBA is a small organization, we are lucky to have a wonderfully dedicated staff, a devoted board—and, above all, you: the most supportive and generous of communities any nonprofit could wish for. We couldn’t do any of this work without you.


Sebastiaan Faber & Peter N. Carroll, editors

P.S. Your generous, tax-deductible donations will help support our ongoing educational work, including a five-week online course for public-school teachers this spring, and half a dozen general-audience workshops.