The School for Creative Activism is excited to announce the participants of our 2011 workshop training in Mebane, North Carolina.
My name is LaWana Mayfield and I reside in Charlotte, NC. I am a community activist working in the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community along with bringing the Hispanic and African American communities together in dialogue around immigration reform. I also serve with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee as the CMCRC Youth Leader Sub-committee Chair, as a member of the AFSC Immigrant Solidarity Committee, a member of the League of Women Voters, on the Young Adult, Political Action and Ambassadors Ministry of Shiloh Institutional Baptist Church. I have decided to run for City Council District 3, which is the district I have lived in for over 11 years and am looking forward to the Creative Activism training to guide me in creative organizing.
Lee Walton & Donovan McKnight
Often regarded as an Experientialist, Lee Walton aims to connect people, raise awareness and reflect the culture we live in. Walton’s art takes many forms including public events, interactive web-projects, public performances and more. His work often involves collaboration with numerous participants and practitioners from diverse fields. Walton has created commissioned projects for museums, institutions and cities both nationally and internationally. Walton co-founded (with Donovan McKnight) the Super G Experiential Residency in Greensboro and is an Assistant Professor of Art at UNC Greensboro. His work can be viewed at www.leewalton.com
Donovan McKnight is a current master’s candidate in the Liberal Studies program at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is cofounder and co-director of Face to Face Greensboro, a community development non-profit organization which organizes public events geared toward person-to-person interaction and collective enlightenment through conversation. McKnight is also co-director of Spare Room, an artist-run initiative that nomadically facilitates opportunities in open spaces for emerging artists, makers, and thinkers. He is also co-director (with Lee Walton) of the Super G Experiential Residency Program, set in the flea market area of an international supermarket in Greensboro, NC. McKnight is employed by the North Carolina Humanities Council.
My name is Wesley Morris and I am a native of Raleigh, NC and a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University where I studied History. I am 25 years old and continue to live and organize as a community organizer for The Beloved Community center in the city of Greensboro, NC. My organizing history includes work with immigrant communities, farm workers, street groups, colleges, religious groups etc. Currently, The Beloved Community Center is working on a campaign to establish a civilian/citizens review board with subpoena power to do the justice work of making the police department more accountable and professional. I’ve experienced two trips abroad one to West Africa and the other to Brazil, South America. I look forward to the SCA in Mebane to give and receive gifts. I’ve been with the Beloved Community Center since February 2008 as well as a local faith community since February 2010 and look forward to growing with the work.
Omisade Burney-Scott is a native of New Bern, North Carolina and a 1989 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the Founder and Principal of Ananse Consulting and sees herself as an “Organizational Belayer” or “one who secures the rope, enabling the climber (individuals and organizations) to ascend safely to new heights”. Omisade’s professional career spans higher education, non-profit leadership, philanthropy and organizational coaching. In addition to Ananse Consulting which provides organizational capacity building, coaching, program design, philanthropic leadership development, and board development, Omisade has worked as the Director of Community Partnerships and Learning for the Southern Rural Development Initiative (SRDI) and as a Program Director with both the Warner Foundation, a small private family foundation in North Carolina and Public Allies North Carolina, a national AmeriCorps leadership program. She has been a participant in the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond Undoing Racism workshop, VISIONS, Inc. multicultural training, as well as the YWCA’s Race Study Circles (101 and 201). She is also member of the 99-01 class of the Wildacres Leadership Initiative William C. Friday Fellows for Human Relations as well as a 2003 Southeastern Council on Foundation’s Hull Leadership Fellow. The Hull Fellowship, much like the statewide effort of the Friday Fellows program, focuses on servant leadership, race and difference, questions of integrity and ethics, albeit in the context of philanthropy in the Southeast. Omisade is a founding member of a Triangle Area African American Giving Circle called NGAAP, The Next Generation of African American Philanthropist that directly addresses the “supply /demand” paradigm inherent in philanthropy that is connected to issues of power and privilege.
Omisade continues to seek opportunities to address issues of difference, power, and privilege individually as well as part of a collective effort. She serves on various non profit boards including stone circles board, Fund for Southern Communities, and Spirithouse. In addition, Omisade was selected to be a member of the Core Faculty for the Leadership Practice. The Leadership Practice is a collaborative partnership between the Asset-based Community Development Institute of Northwestern University and the national office of Public Allies which provides Asset-based Community Develop (ABCD) technical assistance to AmeriCorps programs nationwide.
Omisade believes in the interconnectedness of spirituality and activism and the mighty and righteous work of indigenous leaders tethered to local communities and small organizations. She resides in Durham.
T. Sharee Fowler is the Director of the Empowering Effective Teachers Initiative at United Way of Forsyth County. She completed her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Teaching with a specialization in Cultural Studies at UNCG in May 2010 and currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Salem College. Sharee’s professional history has centered primarily on relationship violence prevention, advocacy for women and girls, and community organizing. In recent years Sharee served as the Associate Organizer for CHANGE (Communities Helping All Neighbors Gain Empowerment), a nonpartisan, multi-racial, multi-faith community organizing group in Winston-Salem, NC. Prior to her position with CHANGE, she spent nearly eight years acting as a victim advocate and community educator, as well as the Coordinator for the Domestic Violence Community Council at Family Services, Inc. Sharee’s involvement in public life includes serving on the Board of Directors for The Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem and Chair of its Women’s Issues Research and Assessment Committee. She also sits on the Strategy Team of CHANGE, the Advisory Committee for the Shugart Women’s Center at Forsyth Technical Community College, and the Advisory Board for Vigils for Healing.
Craig White is a staff member of the Center for Participatory Change, which supports grassroots organizations working for social, racial and economic justice in Western North Carolina. Craig’s work at CPC includes working with immigrant rights groups, African American youth programs and community centers, Cherokee cultural organizations, and LGBTQ equality advocacy groups. Before his years with CPC, Craig was a founding member of a political and educational traveling theater group, and people often tell him that his theatrical background shows up when he’s facilitating meetings.
Shaunee Morgan, Field organizer, Northeastern North Carolina. Shaunee joined Democracy North Carolina full-time in early 2010 after completing an internship with us arranged through the School of Social Work at UNC-Chapel Hill. As a field organizer in Pitt County and surrounding communities, Shaunee helps local organizations and individuals identify and advocate for the civic issues they care about while promoting our advocacy and electoral reform goals. She holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in Social Work from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Erin Dale Byrd is a mother, community activist, political strategist, and cultural worker in Raleigh NC. She was raised in a military family with roots in Tennessee and Texas. She has 10 years of experience in successful coalition work on campaigns including increasing the minimum wage, public financing of judicial campaigns and same day voter registration. Her work focuses on building the capacity of organizations with emphasis on culture, civic engagement/organizing, planning, communication and evaluation.
She is the Civic Engagement Coordinator of Blueprint’s NC, a collaborative of 53 progressive organizations in NC working for a fairer more just North Carolina. She serves on the board of Southern Partners Fund, NC NAACP/Historic Thousands on Jones Street Coalition and the NC Association of Community Development Corporations. She is a member of the Fruit of Labor, the cultural arm of Black Workers for Justice. Erin’s B.A. (1997) in Sociology is from the College of William and Mary, in Virginia.
Elena Everett is a organizer and activist from Durham, NC. She is a media activist and videographer as well and a youth organizer. Currently she works with the Wake Youth Organizing Institute through Action for Community in Raleigh working to stop the re-segregation of public schools and to empower high school students to find and use their voices for positive social change.