MMP exists to build a media, education and organizing infrastructure that will cohere and amplify the growing movement to end poverty. We use media to organize poor and working people to tell our stories to each other and the world, disrupting the stereotypes and structures that keep our communities divided.
Staff and Leadership Bios
Alix Webb – Director of Education
Alix is a co-founder of MMP who has worked for almost two decades with grassroots community organizations working for economic justice and an end to poverty around the United States. As of July 2013, Alix is the new MMP Director of Education. For the last two years, Alix was Site Coordinator for the six MMP BTOP Computer Centers, part of Philadelphia’s Freedom Rings Partnership. From 2006-2011, Alix was the Program-Manager for the Poverty Initiative in NYC, helping to create its Poverty Scholars Program and Poverty Initiative Fellows Program. In Philadelphia, Alix has worked with welfare rights activists through the Kensington Welfare Rights Union, low-income Asian youth through the Asian Arts Initiative Youth Arts Workshop, leaders and members of local non-profits through Bread and Roses Community Funds’ Barbara Smith Community School, and college students through Swarthmore College CIVIC, among others.
Bryan Mercer – Co-Executive Director
Kristin Campbell – Field Director
Milena Velis – Media Production Director
Milena is an organizer, media educator and multimedia journalist. Originally from Chile, Milena calls Philadelphia home. Milena began working with MMP in 2007 as a Spanish-English interpreter and radio producer with Labor Justice Radio, and now designs and teaches media trainings and coordinates MMP’s radio programming. Before working with MMP, Milena covered local news for Al Día, a Philadelphia-based Spanish-language weekly newspaper; worked with the Prometheus Radio Project to build new community radio stations around the US; taught multimedia journalism at Temple University; and worked as an interpreter in courtroom and healthcare settings. Milena holds a B.A. in History from Swarthmore College.
Rebekah Phillips – Co-Executive Director
A native from Venezuela where she earned a degree in Linguistics and Modern Languages, Zoraida migrated to USA with her family in the early 80s. Her first job in the states was at a factory where she experienced firsthand all the difficulties due to language barriers and racial discrimination. Since then Zoraida has dedicated her free time to help fellow immigrants to fill out legal forms, translate letters, go with them to immigration appointments and guide them through the process. For many years Zoraida has been working supporting nonprofit organizations on their work for human rights and social justice in the Philadelphia area in different administrative roles as well as interpreting, translating, writing, editing, designing and maintaining websites. She volunteered for MMP before becoming Office Manager. Zoraida is the proud mother of three very talented and smart kids.
Board of Directors
Allison Erdneka Budschalow
Amendu has served as a member of MMP's Executive Committee and MMP’s Labor Committee, a site organizer for the MMP and Logan CDC Carlton Simmons Technology Keyspot Computer Center, and the coordinator of MMP's Labor Justice Radio. A hip-hop artist, stand-up comic, lifetime resident of Philadelphia, fighter for the rights of all people, father and grandfather, Amendu is also an SEIU 32BJ member and shop steward representing maintenance workers.
Amy Miller grew up working class in a small town in Upstate New York. She got involved with social justice organizing first by doing community service in college in Washington, DC -- volunteering at shelters, soup kitchens, Habitat for Humanity -- and saw that none of these presented long-term solutions to poverty and economic injustice. She moved to Philly in 1995 to work full-time with Empty the Shelters and the Kensington Welfare Rights Union. She organized and supported organizing by unemployed folks struggling to build a movement for economic human rights on a local, statewide and national level. Along the way she also got a Master's degree in creative nonfiction from Goddard College in Vermont in order to tell stories of poverty and anti-poverty. For the past nine years she has worked writing and managing grants for a research center in Penn's Nursing School. Amy met her partner Cindy 12 years ago, and they have a 4-year-old son named Zachary.
Carmen got involved in MMP through the Community Leadership Institute's fight against eminent domain abuse in North Philadelphia. She has served as a member of the Executive, Education, and Board Development Committees, focusing on MMP's human, health and religious resources and strategy. A massage therapist and Verizon retiree, Carmen is also a grandmother, a cancer survivor, and an incredible cook.
Now the Coordinator of the Cross City Campaign for School Reform, Fred was a Philadelphia Student Union (PSU) member in high school, working to secure adequate funding and avoid privatization in Philadelphia public schools. Through this work he came to believe in the collective power of youth and after graduating from college joined PSU as an organizer to put his energy and skills toward the improvement of Philadelphia. Fred was a member of the MMP Leadership Council in 2010 and 2011 and has consulted on, designed and led a wide range of curricula, studies and workshops with MMP as well as with many other organizations locally and around the country.
Mica Root - Board PresidentMica is an MMP co-founder and former Education/Executive Director. Over the past eight years, including four as a staff person, she has played lead roles in developing MMP's network(s), community-building strategies and organizational infrastructure. Currently working on a number of writing and community-wellness projects (of which one of the most fun is this), Mica is a firm believer that every day should involve both dancing and delicious food. Prior to MMP, Mica worked as a travel guidebook writer and editor and in the national administration of the American Friends Service Committee's immigrant rights initiative, Project Voice. She grew up in New York City, received a BA in English from Harvard University, and has lived in Philadelphia since 2002.
Shivaani is an MMP co-founder and consults with Penn State University faculty on innovative uses of technology. For nearly two decades, she has been using storytelling and media production as a vehicle to connect and cohere communities struggling for what they need and to surface some of the most pressing issues we face. In the past she has curated performances and screenings by people of color artists, produced multi-media projects, documented human rights violations in the United States, and organized individuals and organizations to engage in a battle of images to end poverty. Shivaani continues to deepen her understanding of media, technology, and social change as a doctoral student in Adult Education. She brings fun, flair, and laughter to her collaborative work.
Todd is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University, an MMP co-founder and former chair of the Executive Committee, and a father to Sebastian and Woody the Dog. Trained as a socio-cultural anthropologist, Todd studies the convergence of new media, globalization and social movements and is currently finishing a manuscript entitled Cyber Left: Indymedia and the Making of 21st Century Struggle. Prior to his post at Rutgers and his work with MMP, Todd helped found a graduate employee union campaign at the University of Pennsylvania, and prior to that lived in sub-Saharan Africa for three years.