Education & Career
Levinson graduated from the University of Iowa and did her graduate work at Manchester University in England and Stanford University. She taught political science at City College, NYC and at other area universities. She was the New York Editor of Ramparts Magazine, co-host of Channel 13's "Free Time," and has written for various magazines.
GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee
Black Panther Defense Fund Appeal
On July 10, 1969, Levinson wrote a letter to the editors of The New York Review of Books, as follows:
- "To the Editors:
- Twenty-one members of the New York Black Panther Party have been indicted and charged with conspiracy to murder by blowing up a number of New York department stores, the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, New Haven Railroad tracks, and police precincts. Of these twenty-one, fourteen were arrested in New York (one of whom is out on $10,000 bail), two were already in custody in Newark on other charges, and five are not in custody. Ten of the thirteen who remain in jail are being held on $100,000 bail, two on $50,000 bail, and one on $25,000 bail, a total of $1,125,000. Thus far the lawyers have succeeded in preventing the judge from trying the case overnight but have not succeeded in reducing the amount of the excessive and probably unconstitutional bail. The defendants are held in five different New York jails and their lawyers have encountered extraordinary difficulties in seeing them so as to prepare their case. Funds are desperately needed now to obtain the release of at least some of the defendants so that the lawyers can properly defend them against the charge of conspiracy. Checks should be made out to: Black Panther Party Legal Defense Fund, and mailed to William M. Kunstler, 511 Fifth Avenue, New York City.
- Sandra Levinson, New York City"
Center for Cuban Studies
In 1972 Levinson founded the Center for Cuban Studies in New York. In September, 1999, she opened the Center's Cuban Art Space, where she serves as the director/curator. As at August 13, 2010, Levinson continued to work as the executive director for the center.
In March 1979, the New York radical magazine the Guardian issued an emergency appeal to funds in an effort to save the publication.
Over fifty supporters endorsed the appeal including Sandra Levinson
Supporting Castro's Regime and Cuba
- "The Minneapolis native has become one of the most well-known North Americans in Cuba. She’s on a first-name basis with the who’s who in Havana – including Castro, with whom she has dined on several occasions. Castro has even met her mother. Levinson also is one of the most disdained Americans among right-wing Cuban-Americans, who in many ways are responsible for her long career in Cuba."
Levinson has made the following statements, expressing her support for Castro's regime in Cuba:
- "She interviewed only supporters of the regime, such as Sandra Levinson of the Center for Cuban Studies, who groused that ‘there are a lot of young people who simply cannot appreciate... what the [Castro] revolution has given them.’"
- "‘Some people seem to think that if you’re a Communist you can’t be a good father,’ said Ms Levinson. ‘But I think children have a privileged life in Cuba – they’re allowed to be children. The strongest part of Cuban life is still the family, they are much closer to their parents than children in American society.'"
She has traveled to Cuba more than 300 times, often as consultant to major news organizations. She is there seven or eight times a year, often as leader of groups, especially those dealing with the arts or with the Center for Cuban Studies's humanitarian aid project.
Call on Congress to End Travel Restrictions to Cuba
On February 8, 2002, the Center for International Policy issued a press release entitled "On Eve of Senate Hearing 50 Prominent Groups and Individuals Call on Congress to End Travel Restrictions to Cuba". Wayne Smith and Anya Landau were listed as contact persons at the bottom of the release. Sandra Levinson was a signatory to the release.
The release read in part,
- "We the undersigned urge the United States Congress to enact legislation to remove all controls on travel to Cuba. Under our democratic system, Americans have a constitutional right to travel where they wish. Not only is it their right, but it is also an article of faith that their travel helps to carry abroad American values and spread the message of our democracy. In the case of Cuba, however, the U.S. Government puts all that aside and opts instead for the kind of travel controls usually imposed by authoritarian governments. These controls ignore international standards of freedom of movement (exactly what we accuse the Cuban government of doing). They violate Article 12 of the United Nation’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And even under U.S. law, the legal bases for the controls strain credulity."
Supported Mark Ritchie's 2006 Campaign
The Huffington Post
"Support Bill Ayers"
In October 2008, several thousand college professors, students and academic staff signed a statement Support Bill Ayers in solidarity with former Weather Underground Organization terrorist Bill Ayers.
In the run up to the U.S. presidential elections, Ayers had come under considerable media scrutiny, sparked by his relationship to presidential candidate Barack Obama.
- We write to support our colleague Professor William Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who is currently under determined and sustained political attack...
- We, the undersigned, stand on the side of education as an enterprise devoted to human inquiry, enlightenment, and liberation. We oppose the demonization of Professor William Ayers.
Committee to Celebrate the Life of Luis Miranda Rivas
In 2009 Sandra Levinson was a member of the Committee to Celebrate the Life of Luis Miranda Rivas.
Pastors for Peace
Democratic Lawyers Council
On April 12, 2010, Anne Hess and Craig Kaplan hosted an event entitled "An Evening for Election Integrity! - With Mark Ritchie, Minnesota's Secretary of State" at 214 East 18th St., New York City. Members of the host committee were: Al Appleton, Caron Atlas, Allison Barlow, Marjorie Fine, Frances Fox Piven, Anne Hess and Craig Kaplan, Allen Hunter and Linda Gordon, Riva Krut and Harris Gleckman, Ruth Katz, Sandra Levinson, Jaykumar Menon, Leah Margulies, Marion Nestle, Anita Nager, Miles Rapoport, Donna Schaper and Warren Goldstein, and Deborah Stern. The event was a fundraiser for Ritchie's upcoming 2010 re-election campaign as Minnesota's Secretary of State.
- Ramparts Magazine, Vol. 8, No. 3, September 1969
- The Huffington Post: Sandra Levinson - Contributor Profile (accessed on Nov. 15, 2010)
- Undated, GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee letterhead circa 1969
- The New York Review of Books website: Black Panther Defense Fund (accessed on Nov. 15, 2010)
- Travel Weekly website: Conference Speaker Roster (accessed on Nov. 15, 2010)
- Center for Cuban Studies: Events, Aug. 13, 2010 (accessed on Nov. 15, 2010)
- Guardian March 2 1979
- Star Tribune, July 15, 1996
- Boston Globe, April 10, 2000
- The Scotsman, June 29, 2000
- Foros website: "On Eve of Senate Hearing 50 Prominent Groups and Individuals Call on Congress to End Travel Restrictions to Cuba", May 25, 2002 (accessed on Nov. 17, 2010)
- Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board website: Contributions to a Specific Candidate or to Candidates that Meet a Criteria (searched database on Nov. 11, 2010)
- Liberal Education website: Bill Ayers supporters
- http://www.cultstgo.cult.cu/last.htm Noticias Culturales de Santiago de Cuba website
- NYDLC website: The Official Newsletter of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council. Vol 6, Iss 11 March 15, 2010 (accessed on Nov. 18, 2010)