frank 2022 Speaker Biographies

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Adrián Escárate

Adrián Escárate

Adrián Escárate is the deputy chief of staff at Define American. He has been an immigrant rights advocate for over a decade, initially getting involved in the undocumented youth movement push for the federal DREAM Act in 2010. As a DACA recipient and storyteller, he has vast experience sharing his story at the local and national level with the media (television, newspapers, podcasts) in support of immigrant rights and immigration reform. Adrián holds an M.A. in Communications specializing in Electronic Media and B.A. in Communications Arts from St. Thomas University. He is also a certified professional tennis coach with more than a decade of experience coaching high performance junior and college tennis players. 

Álvaro Laiz

Álvaro Laiz

Álvaro Laiz is a multidisciplinary artist working with photography, text, video, and sound. His research-based work deals with narratives where traditional culture, nature, and technology converge. Álvaro’s work has been recognized and funded by a number of institutions including National Geographic, Sony World Photography Awards, World Press Photo, and Magnum Foundation.

Angela Bradbery

Angela Bradbery

Angela Bradbery is the Frank Karel Endowed Chair in Public Interest Communications at the University of Florida.

Bradbery came to UF from years at Public Citizen, one of the most effective public interest organizations in the country. She joined the organization in 1999 and was Director of Communications 2006-2020. Her responsibilities included developing and implementing communication strategies at the national, state and local levels and leading communication planning and implementation for coalitions of allied public interest organizations.

In 2003, Bradbery co-founded Smokefree DC, a nonprofit, all-volunteer membership organization that achieved the passage of landmark smoke-free workplace legislation in Washington, D.C., in 2006. As part of that effort, Bradbery mobilized grassroots activists, did educational and media outreach and lobbied elected officials.

Prior to joining Public Citizen, she was a reporter with The Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach, Florida, the South Florida Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale and the Chicago Tribune. She covered a wide variety of issues, with a focus on local, regional and state government. In 1997, she moved to Washington, D.C., to work for Thompson Publishing Group.

Aya Waller-Bey

Aya Waller-Bey

Scholarship, service, leadership, and storytelling embody Aya M. Waller-Bey’s commitments to reducing racial inequity in the academy. She is a proud first-generation college student hailing from Detroit, Michigan. Aya M. Waller-Bey is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Michigan, where she also received her M.A. in sociology. Her research examines how Black undergraduate students confront, negotiate, and make meaning of expectations to narrate trauma in college personal statements. Her work contributes to and expands upon scholarship about performing diversity and the commodification of racialized trauma by postsecondary institutions and considers the ways institutions of higher education entice minoritized groups to place their trauma on display for access and rewards. Aya is a 2020 Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship awardee and, in 2021, received the National Center for Institutional Diversity Anti-Racism Summer Research Grant for her dissertation project. She has presented her research at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the Aspen Center for Physics Virtual Winter Conference, symposiums at the University of Michigan, and an op-ed in Forbes.

Aya has shared her insights on postsecondary access, diversity, and inclusion in op-eds in the Hechinger Report, Huffington Post U.K.,University World News, as a panelist at SXSW Education in Austin, Texas, the 2016 White House Summit for Advancing Postsecondary Diversity and Inclusion, and the University of Cambridge’s Mind Over Chatter Podcast to celebrate the Gates Cambridge 20th Anniversary. Her leadership and research have also been highlighted in a PBS Newshour special and the Cambridge Alumni Magazine, the Washington Post, and the University World News.

Aya received her B.A. in Sociology from Georgetown University. After graduation, Aya remained at Georgetown, working as an Admissions Officer and the Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment. In 2015, she was awarded the Gates Cambridge Scholarship to the University of Cambridge in England—a scholarship awarded to only 40 people in the U.S. each year—and completed her Master of Philosophy in Education. 

Chandra Harris-McCray

Chandra Harris-McCray

Education, storytelling and her commitment to equity, inclusion and justice are the superpowers by which Chandra Harris-McCray, Ph.D. transforms the world. A creative warrior and award-winning journalist, researcher, consultant and strategic marketing and communications evangelist, she aligns missions to movements. 

Serving as the vice chancellor for strategic marketing and communications at the University of Illinois Chicago and as a senior consultant with The Inclusion Firm, Chandra’s deeply integrated and collaborative work centers voice and strategy to curate multidimensional blueprints that inform, inspire, empower and engage audiences, partnerships and systems. 

Chandra has often been the first in her family and field to achieve academic and professional feats, including being selected as one of 26 women across the country for the inaugural Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy (WOC) Radiant Leadership Institute and a doctoral fellow of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. A member of Chief, the only private national membership network for the most powerful women in leadership, Chandra believes in lifting those ahead, behind and alongside her.

Chara Bohan

Chara Haeussler Bohan, Ph.D.

Chara Haeussler Bohan specializes in educational history with a focus on gender and race, curriculum and instruction, and social studies education.  She has diverse teaching experiences in urban high needs schools as well as elite private secondary schools.

She has approximately 100 publications, which include book chapters and research articles in leading journals such as Action in Teacher Education, Curriculum and Teaching Dialogue, Educational Foundations, Journal of Excellence in College Teaching, Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, Journal of Social Studies Research, Social Education, Social Studies and the Young Learner, Social Studies Research and Practice, Theory and Research in Social Education, and Vitae Scholasticae.

Her recent research focuses on how the lost cause mythology was perpetuated in “Mint Julep” history textbooks and Confederate statues. She is co-author, with historian H. Robert Baker and Black history educator, LaGarrett King of the forthcoming book, Teaching Enslavement in American History: Lesson Plans and Primary Sources (Peter Lang, 2022). She has examined issues of gender in social studies research and the curriculum history of Atlanta Public Schools during the desegregation era. Her chapter on gender and feminist scholarship is part of the Wiley Handbook of Social Studies Research. She authored Go to the Sources: Lucy Maynard Salmon and the Teaching of History (Peter Lang, 2004), and co-edited several books, including Histories of Social Studies and Race (Palgrave, 2012). She is the recipient of two Teaching American History Grants and three grants sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Institute for Teachers, “Courting Liberty: Slavery and Equality Under the Constitution, 1770-1870.”  The most recent two-week NEH institute for teachers will be held summer 2022; information can be accessed at http://sites.gsu.edu/nehcourtingliberty/

Dr. Bohan served as president of the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum in 2014-2015. She is also the current editor of Curriculum and Teaching Dialogue.

Christian Donaldson

Christian Donaldson

Karel Fellow

Christian Donaldson (She/Her/Hers) is a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, majoring in Anthropology and minoring in Mathematics. In pursuing these seemingly disparate fields of study, Christian seeks to marry people’s stories with empirical data to humanize data and strengthen the perceived credibility of people’s lived experiences. 

Christian knows firsthand what it means to defy all odds. Growing up under tough circumstances, she endured many years of abuse. Academics were her saving grace. When Christian went back to school after several years out of school, she had her eyes set on an Engineering degree. But her innate desire to “change the oppressive institutions and attitudes that perpetuate inequity in America” motivated her to switch majors. In between school and work, Christian volunteers at Room Inn, a program that provides emergency shelter for women experiencing homelessness. 

As a 2021 Frank Karel Fellow, she interned at the National League of Cities, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to being a resource and advocate for the nation’s cities and their leaders.

Daren Ginete

Daren R. Ginete

Daren R. Ginete is a trained microbiologist with background in infectious diseases, educational content development, and science advising.

Over the years, Daren performed fundamental science research on mechanisms that drive infectious diseases, including how natural toxin reservoirs impact animal biodiversity and evolution.  Before that, he worked in healthcare where he learned how human interactions and cultural attitudes influence prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.

Daren also created diverse educational programs for science communication.  For example, he evaluated written materials for scientific content, including a set of stories that highlighted the impact of basic science in the COVID-19 pandemic response (covid19prequels.com/).  He also produced video tutorials on bioinformatic tools that have generated high viewership and positive responses among researchers and educators.

Recently, as the Infectious Disease Fellow at the Science Philanthropy Alliance, Daren worked on advising projects to increase philanthropic support for basic science research.  He also currently serves as the Alliance lead on a shared interest group addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion within science philanthropy.

Daren is excited to be the 2021-2023 Civic Science Fellow at the Alliance. Daren received his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. in biology from the University of San Diego.

Emily Kubin

Emily Kubin

Prize Finalist

Emily Kubin is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Koblenz-Landau in Germany and a research affiliate of the Center for the Science of Moral Understanding at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the United States. Her research focuses on ways to bridge political divides and the role of media in exacerbating (and reducing) political polarization

Farrah Nazir

Farrah Nazir

Farrah (she/her) is the Insights and Learning Lead for the Culture, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (CEDI) team at the Wellcome Trust, overseeing data insights, evidence, and impact, CEDI thought leadership and horizon scanning for best practice and learning to inform our work.

As an expert in public engagement, with a Degree in Psychology and a Masters in Evolutionary Anthropology, Farrah’s experience spans almost 15 years in designing, delivering, and funding initiatives that connect the public to science and society. She has managed and co-designed several funding schemes for Public Engagement at Wellcome, programmed the annual British Science Festival and before that, worked as a Science Explainer at the International Centre for Life.

Farrah advocates for collectives, networks, and communities of practice – she has co-designed and formalised several networks including the UK Science Festival Network, Wellcome’s Race Equity Staff network and Wellcome’s employee forum, the Wellcome Exchange. Most recently, Farrah initiated and co-founded New Fables Collective

Farrah’s joy, values, and beliefs in bringing people together originated from her experience helping on her mother’s market stall,Spice Corner, where she engaged with customers visiting from across the Yorkshire and beyond to buy precious spices, fresh fruit and veg from around the world. 

Hub Brown

Hub Brown

Hubert “Hub” Brown joined the University of Florida as dean of the College of Journalism and Communications on June 25, 2021. Brown came to UF from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where he served as Associate Dean for Research, Creativity, International Initiatives and Diversity, and an associate professor of broadcast and digital journalism. As Associate Dean, Brown managed the Newhouse School’s incentives to facilitate research and creative activity, aided department chairs, the School’s Diversity Committee, and individual faculty members in promoting diversity in curriculum, faculty hiring and student recruitment, and promoted international engagement among faculty and students, including student/faculty exchange, memoranda of understanding and promotion of the Newhouse School abroad.

Brown had been a member of the Newhouse School faculty since 1996. He has taught broadcast reporting, newscast production and performance, mass media ethics, and media and diversity.

He has been active nationally in issues of journalism and mass communications education. He is a member of the Hearst Journalism Awards Steering Committee and has served as head of the Electronic News Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. He’s also a former member of the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and has taken part in accreditation site visits at AEJMC programs all over the country. Brown is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the Broadcast Education Association.

Brown has more than 15 years experience in reporting, producing and anchoring, for commercial local news and in public television. His experience ranges from political and state government reporting to producing public affairs documentaries.

Jessica Clark

Jessica Clark

Jessica Clark is founder and director of Dot Connector Studio (dotconnectorstudio.com) – a media strategy and forecasting firm based in Philadelphia. She currently directs the Guild of Future Architect’s New/s initiative, and is a futurist in residence at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She and her team work with makers, funders and academics to research and develop new forms of social impact media and art. Current and recent clients include the National Endowment of the Arts, Democracy Fund, the Ford Foundation, and others. Clark was the founding editor of Immese.news, co-produced with MIT’s Open Documentary Lab, and now serves as its publisher. She is the co-author of the Making a New Reality Toolkit ( August 2020) and Beyond the Echo Chamber: Reshaping Politic Through Networked Progressive Media (The New Press, 2009). Currently a research affiliate at MIT’s Open Doc Lab, and previously a fellow at USC Annenberg’s Norman Lear Center and the New America Foundation, Clark has been making and analyzing new forms of inclusive media for nearly three decades.

Jill Fish

Jill Fish

Prize Finalist

Jill Fish is from the Tuscarora Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy of Western New York. She earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota in 2020. Jill uses innovative story-based strategies, traditional medicines, and cultural modalities of healing to empower Native American and Indigenous peoples in her research and clinical practice. Her TEDxTalk, Honoring Indigenous Cultures and Histories, has been viewed over 30,000 times.

Julia Minson

Julia Minson

Julia Minson is an Associate Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of government. She is a decision scientist with research interests in conflict, negotiations and judgment and decision making. Her primary line of research addresses the “psychology of disagreement” – How do people engage with opinions, judgments and decisions that are different from their own?

She explores this theme in the context of group decision making to uncover the psychological biases that prevent managers, consumers, and policy-makers from maximizing the benefits of collaboration. She also studies the conditions that make people willing to listen and be receptive to views and opinions they strongly oppose on political and social topics.

Much of Julia’s research is conducted in collaboration with the graduate and post-doctoral members of MC² – the Minson Conflict and Collaboration Lab.

At the Kennedy School Julia is affiliated with the Taubman Center for State and Local Government and the Center for Public Leadership. Julia teaches courses on negotiations and decision-making as part of the Management, Leadership and Decision Science area, as well as through HKS Executive Education.

Julia is the organizer of the Leadership Influence and Decision Making speaker series, sponsored by the Center for Public Leadership and the Management Leadership and Decision Sciences Area. 

Prior to coming to the Kennedy School, Julia served as a Lecturer at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where she taught Negotiations at both the MBA and the undergraduate levels. She received her PhD in Social Psychology from Stanford University and her BA in Psychology from Harvard University.

Jylana Sheats

Jylana L. Sheats

Jylana L. Sheats, Ph.D., MPH, is an applied behavior scientist who joined the Aspen Institute in 2021 as a Civic Science Fellow within the Science & Society Program. She has leveraged her education, training, and experience to lead, shape, and innovate across public, private and non-profit sectors. As a result, Jylana has successfully designed and balanced a career in both industry and academia—enabling her to address the complex interplay between individual, interpersonal, community, and societal factors that impact behaviors and health outcomes. A collaborative scientist, Jylana consults with companies and organizations across the U.S. to identify problems and engage with communities to create culturally-informed solutions.  A dedicated educator and mentor, Jylana has been teaching at the university-level for 15 years, with current faculty appointments at University of California-Berkeley (UCB) School of Public Health and Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Within the academy, she is a UCB Anti-racism Faculty Scholar and on the University of San Francisco’s Anti-racism Taskforce. These activities, coupled with her STEAM and social justice efforts at Aspen, complement her goals to eliminate health disparities and improve population health and wellbeing; diversity the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) workforce; and ensure that diverse voices and perspectives are both heard and valued.

Jylana’s  long-standing commitment to excellence and addressing the needs of diverse communities has been recognized by academic and industry standards. In addition to being published in journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association and Preventive Medicine, Jylana is a 2016 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Building Innovative Research Careers in Women’s Health awardee and 2017 NIH Obesity and Health Disparities PRIDE (Programs to Increase Diversity among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research) scholar. She also received several leadership awards from Johnson & Johnson while on their Behavior Science and Advanced Analytics team. Vested in service, Jylana holds volunteer leadership positions with nonprofits such as The Links, Incorporated, where she oversees and manages a 35+ city initiative to build the capacity of lay individuals to reduce chronic kidney disease in Black communities; and is a past executive board member of the Junior League of Greater Princeton and Girls, Inc. of Monroe County.

A graduate of Spelman College (B.A., Psychology),  Jylana received a Master of Public Health degree from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and a Ph.D. in health behavior and public affairs from Indiana University – Bloomington School of Public Health.  She received post-doctoral training from Stanford School of Medicine (Behavioral Medicine) with a focus on designing digital health behavior change interventions for those of underrepresented identities.

Kamal Sinclair

Kamal Sinclair

Kamal Sinclair, is making the world more beautiful as the Executive Director of the Guild of Future Architects and artist at Sinclair Futures. She served as an External Advisor to the MacArthur Foundation’s Journalism & Media Program, Onassis Foundation and New Museum’s NEW INC. ONX Studio, Civic Signals, For Freedoms, a member of Sharon Chang’s Family Office (Dream Office of Imaginary Friends) and as an advisory board member of MIT’s Center for Advanced Virtuality, Starfish Incubator, and Eyebeam

Previously, was the Director of Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Labs Program for seven years, which supports artists working at the convergence of film, art, media and technology. During that period, she consulted for the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms program on a research project aimed at furthering equality in emerging media, which resulted in “Making a New Reality.” 

Sinclair got her start in emerging media as an artist and producer on Question Bridge: Black Males. At Question Bridge, where she and her collaborators launched a project with an interactive website and curriculum; published a book; exhibited in over sixty museums/festivals. 

Kurt Gray

Kurt Gray

Prize Finalist

Kurt Gray is an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he directs the Deepest Beliefs Lab and the Center for the Science of Moral Understanding. He studies morality, politics, religion, perceptions of AI, and how best to bridge divides.

Lisa Fazio

Lisa Fazio, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Vanderbilt University. Lisa won the 2017 frank Prize for Research in Public Interest Communications for her paper Knowledge Does Not Protect Against Illusory Truth. Fazio and her colleagues found that repetition plays a critical role in remembering false information. Just hearing incorrect information more than once is likely to be remembered as true. Lisa’s research focuses on how people learn true and false information from the world around them and how to correct errors in people’s knowledge. Her research informs basic theories about learning and memory, while also having clear applications for practitioners, such as journalists and teachers. Her research area is in cognition and cognitive neuroscience as well as developmental science. She’s written on how to recognize misleading COVID-19 information on social media as well as how to avoid knowledge neglect and spreading misinformation.

Liz McKenna

Liz McKenna

Prize Finalist

Liz McKenna is a postdoctoral scholar at the SNF Agora Institute and P3 Lab at Johns Hopkins University and received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. She uses multiple methods (ethnographic, interview, geospatial, and social network analysis) to study organizations, power, and political change in the United States and Brazil. She is the co-author of Groundbreakers: How Obama’s 2.2. Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America (Oxford University Press) and Prisms of the People: Power and Organizing in 21st Century America (University of Chicago Press). Prior to her research career, she worked as a political and community organizer in Ohio and Rio de Janeiro.

Liz Theoharris

Liz Theoharis

The Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis is Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival with the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. She is the Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary. She is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and teaches at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

Rev. Dr. Theoharis is the editor of We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People’s Campaign (Broadleaf Press, October 12, 2021). She is the author of Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor (Eerdmans, 2017) and co-author of Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing (Beacon, 2018). She has been published in The New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, The Guardian, The Nation, The Hill, Boston Review, CNN, Religion News Service, Sojourners, Religion Dispatches, the Grio, La Jornada, Salon, Slate, and elsewhere.

In 2021, she received the Hunger Leadership Award from the Congressional Hunger Center, along with the Rev. Dr. William Barber II. In 2020 she was named one of 15 Faith Leaders to Watch by the Center for American Progress. In 2019, she was a Selma “Bridge” Award recipient and named one of 11 Women Shaping the Church by Sojourners. In 2018, she gave the “Building a Moral Movement” TEDtalk at TEDWomen, was named one of the Politico 50 “thinkers, doers and visionaries whose ideas are driving politics”, and was also named a Women of Faith Award recipient by the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Rev. Dr. Theoharis received her BA in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania; her M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in 2004 where she was the first William Sloane Coffin Scholar; and her PhD from Union in New Testament and Christian Origins.

Lizz Winstead

LIZZ WINSTEAD

Host

Co-creator and former head writer of The Daily Show, and co-founder of Air America Radio, comedian Lizz Winstead helped change the very landscape of how people get their news.

Winstead is not only a writer and creator, she was also a correspondent on The Daily Show and co-hosted Unfiltered, Air America Radio’s mid-morning show, with Chuck D and Rachel Maddow.

Known as one of the top political satirists in America, Winstead is recognized by all the major media outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, O Magazine, and as Entertainment Weekly’s 100 Most Creative People. Winstead’s first book, Lizz Free Or Die: Essays, released in 2012, garnered incredible reviews.  Ms. Magazine says, “Lizz Winstead is a sharp-witted truth-teller, and Lizz Free or Die will inspire anyone who has ever talked back to the television or wished they could come up with satire as insightful as The Daily Show.

Lizz continues to do stand-up, yet spends most of her time helming Abortion Access Front, an inclusive NYC- based reproductive rights organization she founded in 2015. AAF uses humor and outrage to expose anti-choice hypocrisy and mobilizes people to take action in all 50 states.

Creating Abortion Access Front was the natural next iteration of her Daily Show sensibilities and she and the organization are taking it one step further by producing and co-hosting Feminist Buzzkills Live! FBK Live! brings all of her passions together- Slaying bad guys with humor, making people smarter, and talking with folks the world needs to know.

Michelle Oyakawa

Michelle Oyakawa

Prize Finalist

Michelle Oyakawa is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Muskingum University in New Concord, OH. Her work focuses on leaders and organizations that are trying to effect social change for racial and economic justice. She is coauthor of Prisms of the People: Power and Organizing in Twenty First Century America with Hahrie Han and Liz McKenna and Smart Suits, Tattered Boots: Black Ministers Mobilizing the Black Church in the Twenty First Century with Korie Edwards.

Mkawasi Mcharo Hall

Mkawasi Mcharo Hall

Mkawasi is a performing artist and a language Instructor at Howard University. She is also a creative and analytical writer whose works explore the character of humanity and its interaction with power in personal spaces and on the global stage. Her most defining platform is as a playwright, and Mkawasi has written, directed and produced over a dozen stage plays. 

Her work has received critical acclaim especially in Kenya where she was born and raised. She directed her first works at the University of Nairobi and the Kenya National Theatre and went on to direct in Ethiopia, New York, Washington DC and Baltimore. She is also a freelance writer with published articles on global African politics. 

Over the years, Mkawasi has explored other modes of storytelling, including documentary-making. She started a production studio, Tictocmind, and debuted her first short documentary, Abundance of Being, exploring the singularity of a crowd and the voice of the individual in that crowd. Her storyteller’s mind is a thinker’s toolbox that has continued to provide clarity in the most complex engagements she has undertaken – from classroom teaching to organizational leadership; from local political campaign coordinator to College Instructor.

What turned out to be a fitting convergence of different fields of study has made Mkawasi a rare storyteller, giving her a quick grasp of the often discomforting personal story and its anchor on the global stage. Her scholarship includes Performing Arts, Diplomacy and International Terrorism, and African Studies. 

The individual caught in the theatre of war, the family venturing in to new lands and fighting for belonging, or a nation in the throes of a devastating pandemic are all lived experiences we grapple with every day. Individuals, organizations, governments and global institutions play a role on the various stages of these narratives. A scholar-storyteller comes in to map out the unfolding narrative structure and allows us to locate ourselves in it, perhaps providing an opportunity for us to re-direct plots of the human story in realtime.

Paul Redman

Paul Redman

Paul Redman is a multi-award winning documentary director, social impact strategic communicator who has travelled the world creating campaign videos, investigative exposes and participatory media for over 20 years. The founder and Executive Director at ‘If Not Us Then Who’, Paul has trained local activists across 3 continents and uses storytelling techniques to amplify and empower new leaders. His work has featured in a number of major news outlets including The Guardian, BBC, New York Times, Le Monde and El Pais. He was recently awarded the 2020 PONGO award from the Orangutan Republic Foundation for his work and the SIMA Vital Voices award for If Not Us Then Who in 2020.

Visit:http://ifnotusthenwho.me/

Qing Yu Chen

Qing Yu Chen

Karel Fellow

Qing Yu Chen (she/her/hers) is a current senior at Columbia University, studying Political Science and East Asian Studies, and Violin Performance through the Columbia-Juilliard Exchange. Dedicated to serving marginalized and underrepresented groups, she strives to educate and engage proactively with her community. A recipient of the 2021 Frank Karel Fellowship in Public Interest Communications, she had the opportunity to intern at the Human Rights Watch, a leading international nonprofit organization that conducts research and advocates for human rights. Following her professional ventures, Qing Yu assisted in evacuating Afghan refugees following the Taliban takeover as a congressional intern for the office of Congresswoman Grace Meng. She will be interning for the New York County District Attorney’s Office during her final semester of university.

Sarah Lowe

Sarah Lowe

Sarah E. Lowe (she/her) is the Director of Research + Impact at Define American and a Ph.D. candidate in Health Promotion and Policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Both a health equities communications researcher and practitioner, she has over twenty years of experience crafting cross-platform media campaigns for The Walt Disney Company, Nintendo, Cigna, PBS, and Discovery Channel. She has also been at the forefront of launching large-scale netroots movements in conjunction with arts-based nonprofits including American Promise, Question Bridge: Black Males, and Land of Opportunity. Sarah holds a bachelor’s in English from Wittenberg University, a master’s in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California, and is currently finishing her dissertation research, a mixed methods study called, “American Dreaming,” exploring resilience and post-traumatic growth in undocumented storytellers who use their personal narratives for immigration advocacy.

Valerie Goode

Valerie Goode

Valerie Goode is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the San Francisco Foundation, a community foundation rooted in social justice since 1948. Goode joined SFF in April 2020 to support the foundation’s mission of advancing racial equity and economic inclusion in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a tested communications professional with over 20 years of experience helping local and national organizations design and implement mission- driven communication strategies. Goode leads with joy and brings an energetic, fun personality to her work.

Goode is known for counseling leaders on utilizing the media and building strong local partnerships. She is on a lifelong anti-racist journey and brings her lived experiences and heart- forward approach to her leadership. She has been fortunate to work in many fields including journalism, public health, education, and now philanthropy. Each experience provided unique looks at the intersectionality of race, class, and gender within our society.

Prior to joining SFF, Goode was the Deputy Chief of Communications and Public Affairs for the Oakland Unified School District in Oakland, California. She also served as the first Director of Marketing for Broward County Public Schools in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the sixth-largest school district in the US. Before that, she dedicated herself to over a decade in health communications with the Gallup Organization and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Early in her career, she covered crime for local newspapers in Syracuse, New York.

Goode holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Public Relations from Northeastern University, in Boston, Massachusetts. In her spare time, she volunteers with youth and enjoys walking her dog while listening to her favorite podcasts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two daughters.

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