Keith Battle has been working in the video industry for 15 years producing content for Bay Area schools, non-profits, musicians and martial artists. His current project, Beyond the Gap, will tackle the complex issue of the “achievement gap”, in which many students of color find themselves left out of the tremendous benefits and opportunities of the tech boom. He shares his passion for visual storytelling in classes and workshops he conducts at the Bay Area Video Coalition. Keith has been building imaginary cities, skateparks, and community centers from an early age influenced by his mother who is an architect and city planner.
Russell Blanchard is an independent filmmaker based in New Orleans. He has produced and directed over 15 narrative short films that have premiered and competed at festivals in Los Angeles, Shanghai, New Orleans and Hawai’i. Recently completed five years as Creative Director and Lead Director/Producer for Falck Productions, a global health and safety film division. Previously worked in multiple departments on ABC’s LOST and at PBS Hawai’i. B.F.A. in Cinematic Production from the University of Hawai’i-Manoa’s Academy for Creative Media. Thesis film selected as first co-production to receive the SMART Exchange financier award and was co-produced/funded by Shanghai University and The University of Hawai’i. Attended the 2014 Sundance film festival as a volunteer. Founded LOCOfilm in 2010 to connect artists with projects that have a social impact.
Helen S. Cohen
Helen S. Cohen is an award-winning filmmaker and painter based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work as a documentary filmmaker follows draws on is a long and diverse history of activism and professional work with cultural,educational and community development organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Hampshire College and a master’s degree in urban planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Helen’s producing credits include the first three films in the “Respect for All series: It’s Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School (1996); That’s a Family!” (2000); and “Let’s Get Real” (2003). With Mark Lipman, she recently produced and directed the award – winning feature documentary “States of Grace” (2014). Helen has also directed, produced and/or executive produced documentaries for public interest organizations, including “Homes & Hands: Community Land Trusts in Action”, (1998) and “Streets of Dreams: Development Without Displacement in Communities of Color” (2013).
Tyra Fennell is founding director of Imprint.City, an organization seeking to activate industrial, underutilized spaces with art projects, encouraging community and economic development. Imprint.City produces BayviewLIVE, an annual art and music festival created to highlight the beauty of performing and visual arts that reflects the cultural landscape of the Bayview Hunters Point. Imprint.City also produces two subsequent Bayview-based festivals including the Burning Man inspired Bayview SPARC Festival in collaboration with the Flaming Lotus Girls and Bayview Harvest. Prior to launching Imprint.City, Tyra Fennell spent over five years developing and implementing programs for the San Francisco Arts Commission and is also credited for starting then SF49ers Vernon Davis’ Visual Arts Scholarship Fund, now the Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts and 3rd on Third, an activation which continues to occur every third Friday in Bayview. Tyra currently serves on the board of the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) and Bayview Community Legal. She is also a resident of the Bayview Hunters Point and a Howard University graduate.
Josh Healey is an award-winning writer, performer, filmmaker, and creative activist. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, and on his 13-year-old cousin Brian Silverstein’s Youtube page — where it has almost 27 ‘likes.’ A regular performer on NPR’s Snap Judgment, he currently directs the Culture Shift program for Movement Generation. Born and raised in DC, Healey lives in Oakland, CA.
Jane Lin, AIA, is a founding partner at Urban Field Studio, an urban design firm in San Francisco. Jane has over ten years of experience working as an urban designer combining her skills in architecture and background in city planning. Jane’s work focuses on ways to physically revitalize mixed-use districts, from downtowns to transit-oriented developments. Jane consults on projects that involve public-private-partnerships in both Northern and Southern California. Jane also is an artist-in-residence with LEAP Arts in Education and teaches architecture to K-12 students. It is important to Jane that large groups of non-designers become empowered with creative communication skills because they are the key to making our communities better. More recently, Jane has been testing the use of video as a visual communication tool for engaging the public in her projects. She holds a BA in Architecture, MS in Architecture, and a Masters in City Planning all from UC Berkeley and a member of the AIAEB, SPUR, and ULI.
Mark Lipman has worked as a documentary filmmaker for over thirty years,
exploring a wide range of subjects from domestic violence to human sexuality to affordable housing and community organizing. His films have been broadcast nationally on public television and won numerous awards. His producing credits include “To Have and To Hold” (1981), the first documentary to look at domestic violence through the experiences of men; “Holding Ground: The Rebirth of Dudley Street” (1996), a film about the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative’s successful efforts to revitalize a Boston neighborhood devastated by redlining, arson and illegal dumping; “Father’s Day” (2003), an experimental documentary about the death of Mark’s father; and “Gaining Ground”(2013), a sequel to “Holding Ground” that explores DSNI’s success in preventing foreclosures and fostering youth leadership. Mark has an MFA in filmmaking from the Massachusetts College of Art and a BA in psychology from Harvard University.
Tomiquia Moss leads Hamilton Families as CEO with more than 20 years of nonprofit leadership and management experience. From 2014-2017, she served directly under the mayors of both San Francisco and Oakland, most recently as Chief of Staff for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. Previously, she was the Executive Director of the HOPE SF Initiative, a public housing and neighborhood revitalization effort with San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee’s Office. Prior to that, Moss was SPUR’s Community Planning Policy Director. She was the founding project director of the San Francisco Community Justice Center of the Superior Court of California and served as director of the Community Organizing Department for the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation. Tomiquia has been a social worker and community activist working as an advocate for social justice and economic equality in many communities around the country. She holds a Masters’ Degree in public administration from Golden Gate University. Tomiquia and her family are proud to call Oakland home.
Leah Nichols is a designer and filmmaker based in San Francisco. Her work explores social justice themes and community politics through a range of visual storytelling techniques, from street art to short films to block parties. She has collaborated with artists on projects about gentrification, written about neighborhood change, and spoken about the importance of public open spaces. Her short films include Where My Ladies At, which seeks to reveal the lack of female representation in public art, and Asians in America (CAAMFest selection), which chronicles the history of Asian-Americans through three stereotypes.
Jeffrey Paris is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Francisco, since 2001. He is also Director of the Environmental Studies Program, and teaches courses in environmental and animal ethics. His early research concerned problems such as political resistance and incarceration. He is currently working on the topic of our hominin ancestors and family tree in order to better understand the human difference from nonhuman animals in the present day.
Susannah Smith is a documentary filmmaker specializing in urban stories. In particular, she is interested in exploring the ways race and sexuality intersect with the politics of gentrification and sustainable cities. She is dedicated to creating films that are nuanced, based in social justice, and still bring a smile to your face. Recent projects include The Lexington Club Archival Project, People Live Here, and collaborating on Women’s March short, Queer Arts Festival performances of White Lies and Rally The Troops, and work with the UC Critical Sustainabilities Group. She has worked as a Creative Producer, Account Manager, Editor, and Post-Production Supervisor in the Bay area for over 10 years. For fun, she gets her buddies to collaborate on playful lo-fi animations with cardboard, embraces the role of art teacher and spoiler extraordinaire to her nieces, makes jewelry, and posts ridiculous pics of her dog George to Instagram. In 2012 she earned her MA in Social Documentation from UC Santa Cruz.
Strauss lost his live-work space in March of 2015 due to a fire in the adjacent unit, and was thus uniquely prepared to go into tenants’ rights activism immediately after Ghost Ship. Oakland Warehouse Coalition advocates for affordable alternative housing at the local and state levels, and has forged key relationships with elected officials, city staff, and ethical developers. The Coalition has developed partnerships with tenants’ rights groups on both sides of the Bay by opening up its advocacy work to include the broader low-income and homeless community. Strauss has been a Production Designer for concerts and special events since 1999, and has run the DIY recording studio Survivor Sound since 2008. He is considering running for an Oakland City Council seat in 2018.
Anne Stuhldreher is the Director of Financial Justice in the Office of the Treasurer for the City and County of San Francisco. San Francisco is the first city in the nation to launch a Financial Justice Project to assess and reform how fines, fees, and financial penalties impact the cities’ most vulnerable residents.
Throughout her career, Ms. Stuhldreher has advanced innovations in local economic empowerment, civic engagement and public interest journalism. In San Francisco, she brought people together to initiate and launch initiatives like: Bank on San Francisco (that spurs banks to create starter accounts for the estimated one in five Americans who don’t have them). As a Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver, she helped start the Bank on California. The “Bank on” strategy that Ms. Stuhldreher conceived is being replicated in dozens of cities. She also authors op-eds and articles in outlets such as the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Sacramento Bee. Formerly, Ms. Stuhldreher worked at the Ford Foundation, Opportunity Fund, the California Endowment and is currently a fellow at New America CA.
A native of Australia, Jack has been fascinated by the authentic urban spaces ever since he was old enough to play LEGO. It was no surprise that since leaving college, Jack has worked in local area revitalization, real estate development for the past 15 years. Jack is a real estate consultant at the Northern California Community Loan Fund, where he works with social purpose and arts organizations to solve their real estate needs in the Bay Area. His work encompasses real estate readiness training, acquisition and leasing strategies, multi-tenant centers and working with distressed real estate. Jack holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and business from the University of Western Australia and a master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of British Columbia.
Mr. Williams is the principal of Junious Williams Consulting, Inc. (JWC) a firm specializing in research, policy and program development on issues of equity and social justice. From 1998 through 2016 he served as President and CEO of Urban Strategies Council, a social justice impact organization. He holds a Juris Doctorate in Law and a Bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Michigan. In addition to private law practice, his career includes: founding the Saginaw Student Rights Center and co-founding the Ann Arbor Student Advocacy Center; work on school desegregation, disparate student discipline and education equity at the Program for Educational Opportunity at the University Of Michigan School of Education; Executive Director of Student Attendance and Discipline for the Detroit Public Schools; and Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at CSU, Fresno. He has worked on community building, education and criminal justice reform, workforce and economic development efforts including negotiating landmark community benefits agreements on major development projects in Oakland and San Francisco. He is co-founder and Board Chair of the Oakland Community Land Trust and Board Chair for the Center for Law and Education.
Sadaf Zahoor is an East Bay native and member of the underground music scene and a debate coach for the Bay Area Urban Debate League. Sadaf became an advocate for her home, Burnt Ramen after it was outed after the Ghost Ship fire and is committed to regaining access to the space that her and others love so dearly. Understanding the importance of spaces where marginalized folk can have an outlet for creative expression is a cornerstone in Bay Area life, and needs to be protected.