Who’s in the Room


Take a look at who will be in the room at the 20th Annual Images & Voices of Hope Summit. Check back often for more participants, speakers, and notable attendees.

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Eve Abrams

Eve is a radio producer, writer, audio documentarian, and educator whose work centers on amplifying the voices from her adopted hometown, New Orleans. She produces the audio project Unprisoned, which tells stories at the intersection of the criminal legal system and human lives. Eve’s radio stories air on a host of national programs such as Morning Edition, Reveal, and This American Life, and she edits the award-winning podcast, TriPod. Learn more about Eve here.


Laylah Amatullah Barrayn

Laylah is an award-winning documentary photographer and curator working in the medium for 20 years. She was recently named one of the 100 Heroines by the Royal Photographic Society of the United Kingdom. She is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, and has been also published by the BBC, The Washington Post, Le Point Afrique, OkayAfrica, Vogue, among other publications. She has exhibited at the Brighton Photo Biennial (UK), Galleria Biagiotti (Italy), Open Ateliers Zuidoost Gallery (Holland), Rencontres d'Arles (France) and The Museum of Contemporary Photography (USA) among other institutions.

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Jacqui Banaszynski:

Jacqui has worked in news and enterprise journalism for more than 40 years, teaching students and professionals around the world. She is a Knight Chair Professor Emerita at the Missouri School of Journalism and a faculty fellow at the Poynter Institute. While at the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, her series “AIDS in the Heartland” won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. Learn more about Jacqui here.

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Alicia Bell

Alicia Bell (pronouns: they/she) is a Black, Queer, Femme, who was born and raised in Charlotte .A large portion of Alicia’s work in our community is as the News Voices Organizing Manager at Free Press, where she works to build, strengthen, and transform the relationships between journalists and community members, so that together they can envision and enact a future of journalism that serves all people. Alicia holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in educational leadership, politics and advocacy from New York University.

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Kevin Becker, PsyD

Kevin Becker is a licensed clinical psychologist and senior partner with ORI Consulting, a global crisis consulting firm and has specialized in the areas of psychological trauma and crisis for nearly 30 years. Kevin has worked extensively with governments, organizations, and communities following major tragedies such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Sandy Hook/Newtown shootings, and the Boston Marathon bombings. He’s also produced an award-winning documentary entitled PTSD: Beyond Survival, authored globally-distributed manuals on caring for children and adults following disaster and tragedy. Learn more about Kevin here.

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Jess Clark

Jess is the staff education reporter for WWNO in New Orleans. She has five years of experience working as a journalist and radio reporter/producer, in addition to a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her work has aired on national shows, including NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Here & Now from WBUR. In her work as an education reporter, Jess has told many stories about the work students, parents and educators are doing to overcome systemic challenges and inequities. Learn more about Jess here.

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Lynda Cohen

Lynda is a longtime print journalist who worked at weekly and daily newspapers before starting her own website, BreakingAC.com. She specializes in breaking and hyperlocal news, with a focus on Atlantic City and its urban communities. And she is well-versed in covering crime and criminal courts. Learn more about Lynda.

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Resita Cox

Resita graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism with degrees in Broadcast Television and Political Science. She is a multi-disciplinary storyteller, having reported for TV news stations such as WTVD-TV in Raleigh, NC, WCTI-TV in New Bern, NC, and the syndicated morning show, Morning Dose. With a wide range of journalistic skills ranging from in-front to behind the camera, Resita utilized her know-how and passion for filmmaking to secure an internship with one of the leading social justice film companies in the Midwest, Kartemquin Films. Learn more about Resita here.


Nathaniel Davis

Nathaniel was born in Toronto, Canada, and started his training at the age of 17. He attended the New World School of the Arts College, graduating cum laude in 2015 with a BFA in dance. He has worked with the Peter London Global Dance Company in Miami, Florida and Artichoke Dance Company in Brooklyn, New York, as well as currently dances with Momix Inc. He has performed works choreographed by Robert Battle, Moses Pendleton, Daniel Ulbricht, George Balanchine, Jose Limon, Kyle Abraham, Bill T. Jones and Darshan Bueller. Nathaniel is currently a dancer with Momix Inc, as well as a personal trainer with Equinox in New York City.

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Julie Dermansky

Julie is a documentary photographer and multimedia journalist focused on society’s impact on the natural world and social injustice. She is based in the News Orleans area, putting her at ground zero to shoot the impacts of climate change and man’s role in creating it. Her photographs have been published by The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, The Weather Channel, NBC, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, Reveal and the Virginia Quarterly, among others, and she is a regular contributor to DeSmog, an environmental news source. Learn more about Julie here.

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Martha Irvine

Martha is a national writer and visual journalist for The Associated Press and is based in Chicago. As a member of the AP’s Global Enterprise Team, her stories — told in print, video and photos — often detail the lives of young adults and teens, as well as neighborhoods, with topics ranging from poverty, education and environmental issues to the ways tech impacts everyday lives. Learn more about Martha here.

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Richard jacobs, psy.d.

Richard has been practicing psychotherapy for over 40 years. From the beginning he had an interest in Asian religion and art. He conducted yoga classes on inpatient settings in the mid-1970s, and 8 years ago he trained in Neurofeedback to treat trauma survivors and help people who could not meditate learn to do so with brain training. Richard is well known in Boston for his tenure at the Trauma Center at JRI where he was a supervisor for 15 years.

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Tonika Johnson

Tonika is a visual artist/photographer from Chicago’s South Side Englewood neighborhood. She was featured in Chicago Magazine as a 2017 Chicagoan of the Year for her photography of Englewood’s everyday beauty, countering its pervasive media coverage of poverty and crime. Her current project, Folded Map, that visually investigates disparities among Chicago residents while bringing them together to have a conversation, was also exhibited at LUMA in 2018 from July-October. Learn more about Tonika here.

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Jiquanda Johnson

Jiquanda is the co-founder of Brown Impact Media Group, an independent publishing company focused on developing news outlets in underserved communities including in her hometown of Flint, Mich. where she serves as publisher and editor of FlintBeat.com, a news website focused solely on Flint. In 2017, she launched Flint Beat after the community said they wanted more from local media outlets. Learn more about Jiquanda here.

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Ally Karsyn

Ally is the founder of Beacon Story Lab, which creates more courageous, compassionate and connected communities through the healing art of storytelling. Drawing on her experience in newspapers, magazines and public radio, she’s helped more than 100 people write and share their personal narratives on stage. Karsyn was a 2017 ivoh fellow. She lives in Sioux City, Iowa.


Kathie Klarrich:

Kathie is Executive Director of Exchange for Change, which teaches writing in prisons and runs letter exchanges between incarcerated students and writers studying on the outside. She is the author of Madame Dread: A Tale of Love and a contributor to two anthologies: So Spoke the Earth and Women, Writing, and Prison. Learn more about Kathie here.

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Peter London

Originally from the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, Peter London is a distinguished professor at Miami-Dade College /New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida,  choreographing and mentoring some of the country’s leading dancers since 1987. He studied at The AILEY School with founding director Denise Jefferson, teaching and choreographing for the AILEY Summer Program since 1997. He has received numerous awards, including a 2012 ICABA award, 2013 Legacy Magazine award and a 2013 Southern District of the Links Civic Arts Award.

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Katie Orenstein

Katie, Founder and CEO of The OpEd Project, writes and speaks frequently about the intersection of media and mythology – that is, what we think is fact or fiction and how that shapes our ideas about politics, culture and history. She has contributed to the op-ed pages of the New York Times, Washington Post and Miami Herald. She has lectured at Stanford and appeared on ABC TV World News, Good Morning America, MSNBC, CNN and NPR. A graduate of Harvard (BA) and Columbia (MA) universities, she is the author of "Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale." Orenstein has worked around the world and particularly in Haiti, where she reported, consulted with the United Nations, and worked with a team of human rights lawyers to assist victims of military and paramilitary violence in seeking justice.


Terrence “TM” Pride

Terrence is a native north Florida and a graduate of Florida A&M University in Theatre Performance and Dance. He has choreographed over 50 pieces of work including musicals and dance recitals as well as direct and perform in plays such as Black Nativity, The Wiz, and Blues for an Alabama Sky. He has served as the director of the arts and as a Teaching artist through Georgia and Florida. Recently working in entertain for Holland America in Asia and Australia, TM Pride traveled the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico teaching a series of dance workshops last hosted in Lexington, KY at the South-Eastern Theatre Conference.


Eric Le Reste

Eric is a producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s“Second Regard”, a weekly television show, looking at the various values and cultures from around the world and in Canada. He started at CBC/Radio-Canada in 1984, has a radio journalist, before becoming a television journalist/producer and later on, executive producer for national current affairs programs and the main evening National News program.

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Marjory Raymer

Marjory is publisher and managing editor of Flintside, an online news magazine focusing on Flint people, news, and neighborhoods. Raymer first came to Flint in 2000, serving as the political reporter for The Flint Journal. At University of Michigan-Flint, she oversaw marketing, branding, and internal and external communications throughout the Flint Water Crisis. Here, she also realized that while the whole world seems to have heard about Flint, very few have actually ever heard about the community she knows and loves — which lead her to Flintside where she has served since its launch in March 2017. Learn more about Marjory here.



Samite is a world-renowned musician born and raised in Uganda. In 2002, he founded Musicians for World Harmony, an organization dedicated to enabling musicians throughout the world to share their music to promote peace, understanding, and harmony among people. In that capacity he travels to sing, play music, and exchange stories with victims of war, poverty, and HIV/AIDS. Today, Samite is touring Resilience, his one-man theater performance and his compelling show, The Story of Mutoto. Learn more about Samite here.


Pastor LaMonica Sherman

Pastor LaMonica Sherman is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. She’s worked in the Society of St. Vincent DePaul for 19 years, and in 2015, she received The Martin Luther King, Jr. Award “Keeping The Dream Alive” for the work she has done serving communities. In 2016, she was the subject of a five-chapter Restorative Narrative, “A Prayer for Winton Terrace.” In 2016, she opened The Turning Pointe Outreach Ministries in the Winton Terrace Community Room.  


Lori Shontz:

Lori teaches reporting, writing and sports journalism at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC). Last year, MediaShift named her one of 20 top innovators in journalism education. She runs a student news bureau that covers national and international track and field competitions; her students’ work has appeared in 37 publications, including The Miami Herald and Runner’s World. Learn more about Lori here.

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Michael Skoler

Michael works with NYT columnist David Brooks on Weave: The Social Fabric Project in Washington, DC at the Aspen Institute. Weave supports a grassroots movement that is repairing America’s frayed social fabric by bringing communities together to support and serve each other. Michael is a non-profit executive, journalist and serial collaborator. He served as a science and foreign correspondent at NPR, led public radio’s local regional newsroom (in Minnesota) and founded the Public Insight Network, the first major crowdsourcing system for newsrooms. He stays centered through parenting, meditating and backpacking.

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Michelle Tomko

Michelle is a stand-up comedian, actor, and freelance writer in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She has received the Atlantic City Weekly Nightlife Award for “Best Comedian” the past four years in a row. Last year her performance art piece was an official selection for the city-wide art festival 48 Blocks Atlantic City. In 2018, she accepted a four-year appointed seat on the Atlantic City Arts Commission. Learn more about Michelle here.

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Thomas Walsh

Thomas is a radio producer and audio engineer in New Orleans. He is the project manager of The Listening Post, a community journalism and engagement project that creates and expands conversations about civic issues. He has produced programs and podcasts for The Southern Foodways Alliance, Le Show with Harry Shearer, and American Routes. Learn more about Thomas here.


Naseem Miller

Naseem Miller is a reporter at the Orlando Sentinel, covering health care, medicine and science on multiple platforms, but she remains partial to the written word. She has a bachelor’s degree in molecular & microbiology. Her master’s degree is in multimedia journalism. 

Miller covered the hospitals after the Pulse Night Club shootings in Orlando, Florida. She’s the co-organizer of the Journalists Covering Trauma Facebook group.

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Jonah Mixon - Webster

Jonah is a poet-educator and conceptual/sound artist from Flint, MI. His debut poetry collection, Stereo(TYPE), won the 2017 Sawtooth Poetry Prize from Ahsahta Press and the 2019 PEN America/Joyce Osterweil Prize. He is completing his Ph.D. in English Studies at Illinois State University and is the recipient of fellowships from Vermont Studio Center, Center for African American Poetry and Poetics, The Conversation Literary Festival, and Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. Learn more about Jonah here


Elissa Yancey

Elissa is a lifelong storyteller, journalist and educator. She joined the inaugural Restorative Narrative Fellowship class after realizing she'd been telling Restorative Narratives in her work for decades. She has an undergraduate degree in English Literature, and a Master's degree, from Northwestern University, in Education. She has been a magazine writer and editor, a multi-media journalist and an online content specialist, among varied titles, but most importantly, a mentor and friend. She has co-founded two non-profits--WordPlay Cincy and A Picture's Worth. Both, in complementary ways, focus on sharing the power of story to build meaningful, life-changing connections--connections to learning and connections to one another. 

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Barry Yeoman

Barry is a freelance journalist in Durham, N.C., who specializes in putting human faces on complex social issues. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Nation, Popular Science, Audubon, Mother Jones, CityLab, National Wildlife, The American Prospect, Texas Monthly, and many other publications. Learn more about Barry here.