Nate Mullen is an artist and educator based in Detroit, working primarily as a facilitator and consultant for arts education and social justice nonprofits.His work as a facilitator focuses on creating relationship centered spaces that use curiosity as a starting place for inquiry. Best exemplified by People In Education’s Rida Institute, a year long training that supports educators to work towards more humane classrooms and lives. Since 2008, Nate has worked at a variety of arts education nonprofits across southeast Michigan. Currently he is the Interim Director of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership, advisor for Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute and the Special Advisor to People In Education, an arts and education project committed to humanizing schooling.
Sonya Childress is a cultural strategist and impact producer. Sonya currently serves as Senior Fellow with the Perspective Fund, where she will conduct field-building research, writing and initiatives through 2021. She offers project consultations, talks and workshops through her consulting arm, Pa’lante Strategies. Sonya previously served as the Director of Partnerships and Engagement for Firelight Media, where she led impact campaigns for veteran filmmaker Stanley Nelson’s films, including Freedom Summer and The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, and led a fellowship for impact producers of color. Sonya has worked for leading documentary organizations; Active Voice, California Newsreel, Kartemquin Films, ITVS and Working Films, and has advised countless filmmakers on their impact strategies; including Yance Ford (Strong Island), Peter Bratt (Dolores), Steve James (The Interrupters), Cristina Ibarra & Alex Rivera (The Infiltrators), and Byron Hurt (Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes). She is a board member at The Whitman Institute and Center for Cultural Power, a steering committee member of the Global Impact Producers Assembly, and was an inaugural Ford Foundation JustFilms/Rockwood Fellow. Her writing has been commissioned by the Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and has appeared in Documentary Magazine and SEEN journal. She is co-host of the podcast, A Liberated Lens, with Ligaiya Romero. She holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley where she studied under Loni Ding, B. Ruby Rich, June Jordan and Ling-Chi Wang. She lives in Southern California with her two children. www.sonyachildress.com
Set Hernandez Rongkilyo is an undocumented immigrant filmmaker and community organizer whose roots come from Bicol, Philippines. They are the fruit of their parents’ sacrifices, their siblings’ resilience, and their community’s nurturing. Set envisions a filmmaking landscape that centers equity and abundance, where all artists have the resources to thrive using the unique skill sets they embody. Set’s short films have been televised, featured, and awarded in film festivals across the U.S. As part of the inaugural cohort of the Disruptors Fellowship by Joey Solloway’s 5050by2020 and the Center for Cultural Power, Set is developing a half-hour, TV comedy pilot about the undocumented experience. Set also directed/produced the short documentary “COVER/AGE” (2019) about healthcare expansion for undocumented adults. They served as Impact Producer for projects such as “In Plain Sight” and the award-winning “Call Her Ganda” (Tribeca, 2018). Since 2010, Set has been organizing around migrant justice issues from education equity to deportation defense. Along with Rahi Hasan, they are the co-founder of the Undocumented Filmmakers Collective which advances equity for undocumented immigrants in the media industry.
Farrah is a Trinidadian scholar and cultural worker who follows throughlines in postcolonial and decolonial theory, critical geography studies, film, performance and cultural studies. She situates herself within a constellation of Caribbean theorists and cultural workers who have prompted us to unhinge modernity’s category of the “human” from the “white male ethnoclass” and locate ourselves within more expansive modes of being and relating to our environments in the longue durée of life on earth, outside of the nation state, militarism and empire. Currently, she is producing on a media ethnography focusing on the reemergence of Third Cinema exhibition and production spaces in North America, being highly attune to the role of radical artists, organizations and collectives whose liberation work unavoidably brush up against and strategically reject neoliberal impulses around representation, diversity and the industries which fuel them. She is also the creator of a performance intensive study space dedicated to the life and legacy of Trinidadian communist and Notting Hill Carnival founder Claudia Jones.
PG Watkins (they/them) is a Black, nonbinary organizer, facilitator, trainer and organizational strategist from Detroit. PG has supported and facilitated collaborative strategic planning processes, organizational retreats and strategy meetings for social justice non-profits and grassroots organizations locally and nationally. They also facilitate workshops around racial and gender diversity, equity and justice in the workplace for non-profits, educational institutions and media organizations. PG is a member of Blackout Collective’s Dark Matter Network, training in direct action and civil disobedience with groups around the country. They were a founding member of Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100)’s Detroit chapter and currently sit on the Council of the James & Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership. They graduated from the Master of Community Development program at the University of Detroit Mercy, with a concentration in Organizational Development and currently work as the Director & Co-Founder of Black Bottom Archives, a community-based archive of Black Detroit history.
Mother, therapist, activist, educator. Shesheena A. Bray is a Boston native who has taken up roots in Philadelphia. Shesheena came to Philadelphia to attend Temple University in 2003 and fell in love with the rich culture of the city. In service to her new home, Shesheena dedicated over a decade to deepening her understanding of her community’s needs as an educator and social justice advocate. In 2014, Shesheena realized her service to Black and Brown communities was best actualized through her passion, mental and emotional wellness. Honing her focus and training, Shesheena earned her M.S.Ed in mental health counseling from The University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education in 2016. In 2017, Shesheena launched Going Inward Wellness, LLC. Through Going Inward Wellness, LLC Shesheena sees individuals and couples for psychotherapy; hosts wellness workshops for global majority women; teaches mindfulness to youth and adults; and hosts a 10-day morning routine program, The Morning Routine Refresh. Notable assignments and partnerships include The People’s Emergency Center; the Life After Trauma Organization (LATO); the North Philadelphia Community Healing Project; Village of Arts and Humanity; GirlTrek; What is Mindfulness (WIM); the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; and ArtWell. You can join Shesheena in the community at her weekly virtual meditation space, The 720 Meditation.
Jean-Jacques Gabriel is a Haitian born artist and yoga teacher. He’s been practicing yoga since 2001, and teaching since 2006. He has taught in prisons, public schools, nonprofits, businesses, yoga studios, and large festivals. In addition to sharing self-care practices and co-leading a yoga teacher training in West Philly that both center black bodies, he co-designed a clothing line called the Embodied Collection with Philadelphia Printworks and continues to create portraits from his home studio.
Sheena Sood, PhD (she/her) is a Philly-based activist, educator, and healing justice visionary of South Asian descent. Sheena has studied yoga, Ayurvedic Kundalini Massage therapy, Reiki, and sound healing traditions at Kailash Tribal School of Yoga and Holistic Healing in Mcleodganj, India (YTT – 200hr, AYTTC – 500hr). Sheena teaches a gentle hatha practice infused with embodied liberatory philosophy. She is also launching Yoga Warrior Tales, an adventure-based online program for kids. She curates healing justice offerings through frameworks that recognize yoga’s oppressive layers and its liberatory potential. Rather than propagate narratives that glorify yoga’s ancient past, Sheena envisions a futuristic yoga that centers collective freedom and embodies political action. In her wildest dreams, she envisions a liberatory yoga that centers all of humanity, all living beings, and Mother Earth. Sheena is grateful to call Philly home and to be in relationship with the incredible organizers of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, The MOVE Organization, and grassroots collectives that work to abolish the carceral state and free all political prisoners.