Birnbaum became interested in peace work after
reading books by Nonviolent Communication
pioneer Marshall Rosenberg and Buddhist nun
Pema Chodron. Andy's first formal training
in active nonviolence was in 2009, when he
attended a Creating a Culture of Peace course
taught by Janet Chisholm, and co-sponsored
by the Los Angeles chapter of Veterans for
Peace. Andy has since "audited"
Prof. Michael Nagler's Introduction to Nonviolence
course (at UC-Berkeley) by viewing each of
the classes online. He currently attends monthly
trainings conducted by civil rights leader
Rev. James Lawson.
2008, Andy married Ron, his partner of 13
years. They coordinate a human rights speakers
bureau dedicated to increasing tolerance and
understanding for the lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender (lgbt) community. Andy also
serves as a public speaker on lgbt issues
and has significant experience speaking to
high school and college students. He also
trains other prospective speakers.
previously worked as an attorney, representing
labor unions and low income workers. He and
Ron now manage film and television writers
and develop socially relevant entertainment
projects. Andy's opinion pieces have been
published at Truthout.org, Commondreams.org,
and on his shared blog - shenluk.blogspot.com.