Jules Beesley, EDUCATION DIRECTOR
Jules Beesley is an educator focused on critical media literacy education and youth empowerment. Jules has led a wide variety of LAMP workshops since 2011, working with youth of all ages across New York City to develop critical media literacy skills, concept and attitudes. Programs he has facilitated include those at KGIA and PS307 in Brooklyn, PS 160 in Queens, Bronx International High School and Fannie Lou Hamer in the Bronx, PS 241 and PS 242 in Harlem, the New York Public Library, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, Education Alliance and Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT). Since 2015 he has also taught science courses and filmmaking workshops at the Brooklyn Free School. Jules began his career as an independent filmmaker in 1999. He went on to become an editor, working at Lucasfilm Animation in California on Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated TV series. Since moving to New York in 2010 he has continued to edit professionally. Jules has a B.S. in Communications from Northwestern University where he majored in Radio/TV/Film. In 2014 he earned a Master’s degree in childhood education from Hunter College.
Melanie Butler, DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
Melanie is a writer and development specialist committed to challenging dominant representations of race, class and gender in media. She holds an M.A. in Political Science and is a contributing author to the recent books Queer Youth and Media Cultures and The 99%: How the Occupy Wall Street Movement is Changing America. Her articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals and online outlets ranging from the Cambridge Review of International Affairs to Ms. Magazine. Melanie has raised funds for public radio, developed feature documentaries with Oscar-nominated filmmakers, and managed media campaigns for peace and social justice groups all over the world. When she’s not writing grant applications, she can be found tackling typos — and patriarchy — at Feminist Weekly. Melanie wishes The LAMP had been around when she was in high school, and is excited to be helping its programs reach more people nationwide.
Meagan Carr, RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANT
Meagan recently graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in Philosophy and double minors in Peace and Conflict Studies and Anthropology. She has a passion for challenging racial biases and cultivating societies focused on social justice and reconciliation. While at Elon, she helped organize and coordinate several community talks drawing attention to issues of white privilege on campus, culminating in a student-lead demonstration. She has spent several summers interning with Wellspring Advisors, and she is excited to further her work here at The LAMP.
Candace Ho, VIDEO PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
Candace Ho is an undergraduate at Brooklyn College pursuing her degree in Film Production. During the summer of 2016, she was an editor for Whole Whale, a digital service agency, which taught her the importance of nonprofit work and their impact. Through film, media and marketing, she is interested in creating content to inspire and touch lives outside of the conventional audience.
Zenzele Johnson, EDUCATION ASSOCIATE
Zenzele identifies as a connector, curator, and advocate for education equity and inclusive media representation. She has a passion for empowering the youth by using media literacy to help them disrupt the narrative and understand the intersections of real-world context. Prior to working at The LAMP, Zenzele worked at Harlem Children’s Zone where she provided advisement, designed and facilitated academic and media literacy workshops. She recently became a 2016 Innovative Cultural Fellow for the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI). She holds a B.A. in Sociology, Pan-African Studies and English from Drew University.
Emily Long, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS & DEVELOPMENT
Emily Long has been with The LAMP since 2008, managing grant writing, project development, internal and external communications, special events, website and social media, strategic partnerships and The LAMP’s MediaBreaker/Studios video remix platform development project Emily earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Dramaturgy and Script Development from Columbia University in 2006. While at Columbia, she edited and catalogued hundreds of interviews and transcripts for the Oral History Research Office, focusing primarily on their 9/11 Project. She has extensive experience with numerous media through her work with Columbia’s Rare Books and Manuscript Library, Atlantic Theater Company, Sesame Workshop and others. She has spoken at conferences nationwide and her media and cultural criticism has been published in numerous outlets, including The Journal of Media Literacy Education, the Gotham Gazette and BoingBoing. She is also a contributor to The Huffington Post. Her case study on efforts to increase broadband adoption and access in New York City will be published in 2017.
DC Vito, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
D.C. Vito co-founded The LAMP (Learning About Multimedia Project) in 2007. Since that time, The LAMP has brought media literacy training to over 3,000 youth, parents and educators, transporting equipment and facilitators directly to communities in need of its services. Under Mr. Vito’s leadership as Executive Director, The LAMP’s programming capacity has grown tremendously from serving roughly 75 students in the 2010-2011 school year, to serving over 850 students by the 2011-2012 school year. Mr. Vito worked as a community organizer for many years prior to The LAMP, having served in the Peace Corps in Mali, managing campaigns for City Council, State Senate and Presidential candidates, and spent eight years acting as Chairman of the Youth Services and Education Committee on Brooklyn’s Community Board Six. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the National Association for Media Literacy Educators (NAMLE), is a member of the NationSwell Council and was in the 25th cohort at the Coro New York Leadership Center. He was a keynote speaker at the first Wikipedia USA conference in 2014, co-taught “Media Literacy and Activism” at Queens College in 2015, and has spoken at a number of other conferences and events. Mr. Vito holds a B.S. in International Affairs from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife, German Shepherd puppy and lap-loving cat.
The LAMP was co-founded by D.C. Vito, current Executive Director, and Katherine Fry, Ph.D., current professor of media studies in the Department of Television and Radio at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.
KEITH BEVACQUA is a creator and student of education media. He is the Director of Media Production for TestRocker Inc. and is currently working towards a Master of Arts in Media Studies at Queens College.
CHANDLER CARTER is a recent graduate of Brown University where she obtained a Bachelor’s in Modern Culture & Media. After graduating, she worked with a market research firm as an analyst, conducting quantitative studies for media companies. She is interested in pursuing studies in media effects, understanding media’s influence on people’s perceptions, behaviors and beliefs, and how media literacy education might reduce and eliminate negative effects.
ANGELINE GRAGÁSIN is a writer, filmmaker, and researcher who tells stories about ecology, memory, and power. She holds an A.B. in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities from the University of Chicago and is a recent alum of NEW INC., the New Museum’s incubator for artists and creative entrepreneurs. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Screenwriting at the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema.
SEAN HACKETT is a Media Educator with a Master’s Degree in Media Studies from Brooklyn College at the City University of New York. He specializes in media literacy, new media, and has spent the past 13 years working in news production.
RACHEL KERRY is a New York City-based director, writer and educator specializing in multimedia and storytelling. She graduated Cum Laude from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Theatre and recognition as a Multimedia Literacy Scholar. She received the USC Discovery Scholarship Award and has also studied at New York University’s Playwrights Horizons School and The National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney, Australia. Highlights of Rachel’s years facilitating with The LAMP include working with incarcerated youth on Riker’s Island, LGBTQ youth at Harvey Milk High School, young adults at Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, and multiple branches of the Brooklyn Public Library.
JENNIFER LIU is a graduate of Hunter College specializing in documentary and narrative filmmaking with 8 years of experience in media education. She has held fellowships with Radio Rootz and the Sadie Nash Leadership Project, and was an educator and media producer with the Global Action Project for 5 years.
SARA MONTIJO is a poet, media educator, and reiki healer exploring modes of resistance to dismantle hegemonic formulations. She holds a B.A. from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and has previously worked in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and Iraqi-Kurdistan.
JEREMY C. NORRIS is a television industry professional with 15+ years of experience in the marketing and event side of the business. Over the course of his career he has worked with a variety of channels including MTV, Showtime, Smithsonian Channel, mtvU and MTV2. Jeremy has also invested a lot of his time working with youth-focused non-profit organizations. He is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in Television Production at CUNY Brooklyn College.
NATHAN SHEARD is the co-founder of the Black Movement-Law Project and a founding member of Just Info, a 24-hour hotline providing no-cost legal information in New York City. He has organized trainings in Ferguson and cities across the country to help communities exercise legal rights and to mitigate harmful interactions between law enforcement and communities of color. He also has a background in Music Marketing and Promotion for Sony Music (Epic Records, Sony Distribution, and Sony Urban) and EMI (Virgin Records).
LINDSAY SKEDGELL is a documentary photographer, filmmaker, and media activist with a degree in anthropology. Her work seeks to question and challenge the stereotypes placed on various individuals, subcultures, and groups through emphasis of individual experience and perspective. Learn more at her website, lindsayskedgell.com.
JESUS VILLALBA is The LAMP’s former Programs Manager and has facilitated workshops with The LAMP for over two years. He previously worked as a youth educator with Global Action Project, and is an active documentary filmmaker who has covered protests against police brutality in both Ferguson, MO and New York City.