Diana Dunn

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Diana Dunn

Diana Dunn is "core trainer and organizer" at the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB).

Diana Dunn was married to the late Jim Dunn.

Antioch College Reunion, Juneteenth, and Award Presentation

A brief tribute of Jim Dunn posted at an Antioch College reunion page mentions Diana Dunn:[1]

Jim Dunn was THE sociology professor to have at Antioch. He was also very active in the Civil Rights Movement, mobilizing support for elected officials in Mississippi, and taking his Racism and Discrimination class to NC to protest the killing of factory workers by the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party. His work to undo structural racism continues to this day through his wife, Diana.

People's Institute for Survival and Beyond

From the "Our History" Section of the the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB) website:[2]

While the movement began hundreds of years ago, with the first organized resistance, we’ll start the story of our roots with the meeting of our co-founders. (This history was adapted from an earlier version developed by Diana Dunn and Ronald Chisom.)


Jim Dunn and HUMAN had been building in Ohio an organization that went beyond local issues but one that tied its work in Yellow Springs to the freedom movement in South Africa, to police brutality cases in Springfield, Ohio, to anti-ROTC organizing efforts on high school campuses in Cincinnati. Diana Robinson (later Dunn) will co-found HUMAN. Bill Chappelle will be there along with many others. Jim will meet Rev. Daniel Buford and Michael Washington as they organize YAM: Youth Against Militarism, working with youth to oppose the militarization of Cincinnati’s high school campuses. And one branch of what will become The People’s Institute begins to lay down its roots.


In l980, the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond was founded:
At a meeting at the Rev Dr. C.T. Vivian’s home in Atlanta, GA, called by Anne Braden and Southern Organizing Committee (SOC), that Jim Dunn, Ron Chisom, Diana Dunn and others will meet to officially create The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond. At this meeting an organization for training and equipping effective community organizers who work with humanistic and anti-racist principles for social change is chartered.
The People’s Institute will train community organizers from an anti-racist approach not from an issues or campaign-type approach. It will build on lessons learned from other organizing models, particularly those led and inspired by Saul Alinsky, but The People’s Institute will state without apology that racism is the key barrier to social equity in the United States and must be the foundational understanding of those who would want to make effective social change.
The People’s Institute will say that key to understanding organizing from an anti-racist perspective will be an understanding of not only racism per se, but history as a tool for change and culture as the lifeblood of community. Networking and accountability to community that is value-based and action-oriented will keep us focused and moving towards our vision. These principles continue to guide The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond.
The original team that by l983 included Jim Dunn, Ron Chisom, Barbara Major, Dan Buford, Diana Dunn, Michael Washington, and David Billings, Core Trainers then included Maria Reinat-Pumarejo (Institute for Latino Empowerment, Puerto, Rico); Kimberley Richards (Southwest Gardens Community Development Center in Farrell, PA); John Morrin (Grand Portage Reservation and Tribal Council, Minnesota);and Monica Walker (St. Paul’s Community Baptist Church, Brooklyn, New York).
Since l980, the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond has trained over 2 MILLION people through its 2 1/2 day workshop all over the United States and in other parts of the world.


For many years after Jim Dunn’s passing, Ron Chisom served as the Executive Director, working closely with Diana Dunn and others to grow PISAB into a national organizing collective. With Ron guiding the vision after the death of Jim Dunn, The People’s Institute grew tremendously. Crisscrossing the country, sometimes weeks at a time, Ron built a network of relationships that has fueled organizing efforts around the United States. The leadership of Ron Chisom, emerging from the neighborhoods of New Orleans, modeled the principle that change comes from oppressed peoples organized with a sense of their own power — not through service-delivery systems or program-based initiatives that treat communities from a deficit-model rather than as the primary agents of social change.