Kelly Anderson (Director, Producer, Editor) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Film and Media studies at Hunter College (CUNY). She recently completed Never Enough, a documentary about clutter, collecting and Americans’ relationship with their material possessions, which won an award for Artistic Excellence at the Big Sky Documentary Festival. Her other work includes Every Mother’s Son (with Tami Gold), about three mothers whose children were killed by police and who became advocates for police reform, which won the Audience Award at the Tribeca Film Festival and aired on P.O.V. Anderson and Gold also made Out At Work, which was at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on HBO. Anderson is the recipient of fellowships from the NEA, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Allison Lirish Dean (Producer, Original Research) has covered arts, culture, and urban planning and policy issues for public radio, and for publications such as The Next American City, The Huffington Post, The Brooklyn Rail, and Gotham Gazette. Her film production credits include Someplace Like Home (2008), an award-winning video for Brooklyn-based community organization FUREE. My Brooklyn grew in part out of extensive ethnographic research Allison conducted about the Fulton Mall as part of a study led by the Pratt Center for Community Development. In addition to her work as an independent media producer, Allison has served as Communications Associate for PolicyLink, and Research Analyst for Good Jobs New York. Allison holds a masters in urban planning from Hunter College/CUNY, and degrees in music composition and theory from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London (M.Mus), and Brandeis University (Ph.D.). She has served on the faculties of Bronx Community College and Brooklyn College/CUNY teaching both music and media studies and production. In 2011, she relocated from Brooklyn to Portland, Oregon.
Lisa Willis (Co-Producer, Counsel) is an intellectual property attorney who has lived in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn since 2006. She has been involved with a number of documentaries, including Skid Row (2008), about the homeless community in downtown Los Angeles, and A.W.O.L. (in production), about African-American athletes. Before law school, Lisa taught children with special needs and ran a preschool and afterschool in Harlem. Because of her experience as an educator, Lisa always knew that she wanted to raise her daughter in a diverse community and Ft. Greene seemed like the perfect place. As a resident of this changing neighborhood, she is very familiar with the benefits and challenges of living in a gentrifying community. She was drawn to My Brooklyn because she believes residents of gentrifying communities need to have an honest and real conversation with each other and believes this film can be a catalyst for this. Lisa received her Bachelors degree from The City College of NY, her Masters degree from Teachers College, Columbia University and her law degree from Harvard Law School.
Fivel Rothberg (Associate Producer) is a father, media maker, producer, editor, educator, and activist. He is currently completing Internal Exposure, an autobiographical documentary about being a single father who struggles with being a different kind of dad than his own. At the same time, he is developing a campaign to use the film as consciousness-raising tool regarding the subjects of abuse, depression, fatherhood and masculinity. Rothberg received his MFA in Integrated Media Arts at Hunter College, and for the past ten years has devoted his time to creating and presenting independent media that engages audiences, stimulates dialogue, encourages progressive social change, and bridges cultural divides.
Laurie Sumiye (Transmedia Producer) uses media and technology to explore new ways of looking at natural and urban environments and the people who exist in them. Informed by her experience in art, design, interactive media, animation, and broadcast journalism, Sumiye’s work uniquely combines media, graphic, digital, and documentary film forms, and been shown at EXIT Art in New York (2010), Asian American International Film Festival in New York (2010), Summercamp Project in Los Angeles (2010), and the Arts@Renaissance in Brooklyn (2010). Sumiye received her MFA in Integrated Media Arts at Hunter College in New York, dual bachelor’s degrees in Radio/TV Communications and Art from Bradley University, and studied art and design at the Institute of Italian Studies in Florence, Italy and The Pratt Institute in New York.
Quenell Jones (Director of Photography) started directing, editing and shooting mini-documentaries in high school and went on to get a master’s degree in Documentary Cinematography from the University of Salford in Manchester, England. Now settled in New York City, his recent projects are the award-winning documentaries My Brooklyn and Joe Frazier: When the Smoke Clears. Quenell is a member of the International Cinematographers Guild, and a committee member for that organization’s Education and Diversity Committee.
Craig Wilder (Lead Historian) is a Professor of History at MIT. He studies United States urban history with a particular focus on race, religion, and culture. He is the author of A Covenant with Color: Race and Social Power in Brooklyn (Columbia: 2000/2001) and In the Company of Black Men: The African Influence on African American Culture in New York City (NYU: 2001/2004). In 2004, Columbia University awarded him the University Medal of Excellence during its 250th Anniversary Commencement.
Tom Angotti is Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning at Hunter College and the CUNY Grduate Center, and Director of the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development. His recent book, New York For Sale: Community Planning Confronts Global Real Estate, was published by MIT Press in 2008 and won the Paul Davidoff Award. He is Land Use columnist for Gotham Gazette, co-editor of Progressive Planning Magazine, and served as a senior planner with the City of New York.
Julian Brash is currently Professor of Anthropology at Montclair State University. His research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of anthropology, geography, and interdisciplinary urban studies. They include urban development and politics, economic development policy, urban neoliberalism, the politics of space and place, urban identity, political economy, and the study of North American society and culture. His book, Bloomberg’s New York: Class and Governance in the Luxury City (University of Georgia Press, 2011) focuses on how Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s corporate and technocratic approach to urban governance fared in the contentious arena of New York City development politics. His work has been published in Urban Anthropology, Critique of Anthropology, Social Text, and Antipode.
Valery Jean is currently the Director of Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE). She has a thirteen-year history of working for and consulting with activist, progressive and human service organizations in the areas of community organizing, management, marketing, program evaluation and funding development. Valery became FUREE’s development director in 2006 and previously worked with the Student Liberation Action Movement at Hunter College, Neighborhood Youth & Family Services, and The Brotherhood-Sister Sol. Valery attended Hunter College focusing in Psychology and Africana, Puerto Rican & Latin Studies to study the devastating effects of racism, sexism, classism, and misogyny on women of color.
Alyssa Katz is the author of Our Lot: How Real Estate Came to Own Us (Bloomsbury, 2009), about the explosive combination of Washington politics and Wall Street greed that created the housing bubble and mortgage crisis. She teaches journalism at New York University and writes for The American Prospect, The Big Money, Salon, Housing Watch, Mother Jones, The Next American City, and other publications. Katz also works with the Pratt Center for Community Development, an organization that helps community-based organizations in New York City’s low- and moderate-income communities influence city planning and development. Alyssa was previously editor-in-chief of City Limits, an award-winning magazine investigating the institutions and policies at work in New York City’s neighborhoods. Before covering urban policy, politics and housing, Alyssa was a cultural critic for The Village Voice, The Nation, and Spin.
Karen Miller is an associate professor of urban studies at LaGuardia Community College, where she teaches urban studies and history courses. She is currently a Residency Research Fellow at the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Michigan. Miller’s research examines how struggles over racial and economic justice help shape cities and structure imbalances of social, political and economic power. Her book manuscript, Managing Inequality: Northern Racial Liberalism, Black Activism, and Urban Politics in Interwar Detroit, examines struggles between black and white city residents over how to understand racial difference and define its political consequences in Detroit between 1916 and 1940. In 2008-2009 she worked for the American Social History Project at the CUNY Graduate Center as a faculty mentor for high school teachers.
Sharon Zukin is a professor of sociology at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, and this year is a visiting professor in the Urban Studies Programme at the University of Amsterdam. Not a New Yorker by birth, she has tried for many years to document and explain how her adopted city has changed during the time she has lived here—most recently in Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places (Oxford University Press, 2010). Her book Loft Living (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982) was one of the first to connect the dots between deindustrialization, art, and real estate development as well as to point to the importance of cultural work in the post-industrial city. She expanded this theme in Landscapes of Power: From Detroit to Disney World (University of California Press, 1991), which won the C. Wright Mills Award, and brought it back to New York in The Cultures of Cities (Blackwell, 1995).