Staff and Advisers


Khalil A. Cumberbatch, “Prisons & Protest” Producer. Khalil is a formerly incarcerated advocate for social justice movements in the New York City area. In addition to his work on “Prisons & Protest,” Khalil also serves as Manager of Training and Communications at JustLeadershipUSA, a national non-profit dedicated to cutting the US correctional population in half by year 2030. In December 2014, after being held for five months in immigrations detention, Khalil was one of two people to receive an Executive Pardon from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to prevent his deportation from the United States.

martha-foye-profile-pic-1a-squareMartha Foye, Managing Director of Nation Inside. Martha has years of experience managing construction and manufacturing projects. Her wide-ranging career has included positions as a mathematics educator, digital-content developer/editor, learning-lab coordinator, and now graduate student. Her outreach activities have been dedicated to boosting community interest in STEM-related fields by lending her management and education skills to nonprofits. She has a master’s degree from the School of Engineering at North Carolina A & T State University.

staff-photo-rendRend Smith, Communications Director. Rend is a writer by trade and began his relationship with the printed word exploring highbrow and lowbrow storytelling through internships at both Marvel Comics and the Antioch Review. From there, he moved on to the decidedly middlebrow pursuit of journalism. His work has appeared in the Village Voice, Washington City Paper, and New York Times, as well as other publications. His stories have explored the tragedy and comedy of community dynamics, delving into everything from mass shootings to noise ordinances. Since entering the nonprofit world, he’s worked on projects that focus on using narrative as a means to process and communicate disparate human experiences.

staff-photo-nickNick Szuberla, Executive Director and co-founder. Nick has helped design and lead national public information campaigns on issues ranging from sentencing reform to U.S. energy policy. He began his work at the Highlander Research and Education Center in 1996, and then joined Appalshop, an arts and cultural center in Whitesburg, Kentucky. Not long after, Nick founded Holler to the Hood (a multimedia project exploring urban/rural relationships), Thousand Kites (a national dialogue project addressing the U.S. criminal justice system) and Calls from Home (an interactive radio and organizing project). He has produced award winning documentary films, radio series, and multimedia productions. He has also trained hundreds of youth and adults in how to use low-cost media as an organizing tool, and has done artist residencies in 38 states. He is a graduate of Antioch College.

Charlon Turner, Outreach Coordinator. Charlon is an actor, director, publicist, and nonprofit program coordinator. She is the founder and CEO of Turner Solutions, a boutique PR firm for nonprofits and small businesses. She has performed in and directed numerous plays in Atlanta, GA and Wilmington, NC. She is Vice President of the Board of the Black Arts and Alliance and helps plan its annual North Carolina Black Film Festival. Charlon also worked in several capacities at Outside the Walls, a faith-based mentoring program. She has a BFA in Acting and Directing from UNC-Greensboro.

staff-photo-paulPaul VanDeCarr, Managing Director and co-founder. Since 2000, Paul has worked as a writer and strategist for nonprofits in the areas of media, arts, and religion. He wrote the Working Narratives guide on “Storytelling and Social Change,” and authored or co-authored such publications as Media and Movement Building (Auburn Media) and Communicating for Impact: Strategies for Grantmakers (GrantCraft). He has worked in diverse storytelling forms, including for playwright/actress Anna Deavere Smith and the Columbia Center for Oral History, and has trained nonprofit groups in storytelling and media production. He has master’s degrees from the Divinity School and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.



staff-emc-arts-logoEmcArts Innovation Lab for the Performing Arts




staff-spitfire-logoSpitfire Strategies




staff-yancey-logoYancey Consulting






advisors-denise-brownDenise Brown, Executive Director, Leeway Foundation.




Lillie Branch Kennedy, Executive Director, Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged.





Margo Miller, Executive Director, Appalachian Community Fund.





Tanya Mote, Associate Director, Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center.




advisors-andrea-quijadaAndrea Quijada, Executive Director, Media Literacy Project.





Laurie Jo Reynolds, Assistant Professor of Social Justice, School of Art and Art History, University of Illinois at Chicago.





Carlton Turner, Executive Director, Alternate ROOTS.




advisors-paul-wrightPaul Wright, Executive Director, Human Rights Defense Center, Publisher, Prison Legal News.



Advisers’ affiliations are for identification purposes only; no institutional endorsement is implied.