Staff

 

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Bryan Mercer – Executive Director

Bryan, a long-time staff member of Media Mobilizing Project, has served as Executive Director since 2013. He has led a number of major programs areas, including a collaboration with nearly two-dozen partner organizations to create Keyspots, a city-wide digital literacy program to broaden internet access. Bryan is committed to using strategic media and communications to strengthen and connect communities organizing for their human rights, and he frequently leads trainings and workshops to share practices for media in organizing. Bryan also works on state and national media policy advocacy, and serves as a board member of the Center for Media Justice, which is committed to a ground-up approach to securing media rights and access.  Bryan received his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in Anthropology and Comparative Ethnic Studies.

483564_10150685985044413_920965889_nHannah Sassaman – Policy Director

Hannah came to MMP as a volunteer, working on grassroots fundraising, and now serves as the Policy Director of the organization.  As the Campaign Director at the Prometheus Radio Project, Hannah helped lead the grassroots organizing and legislative strategy that resulted in the passage of the Local Community Radio Act – a bill that opened up the FM dial to thousands more community radio stations nationwide.

Hannah led the CAP Comcast campaign – focused on holding Comcast accountable to poor and working people in Philadelphia and beyond. Hannah helped to build the Coalition for a Just District Attorney, a groundbreaking coalition helping to co-govern policy reform to end mass incarceration with Philadelphia DIstrict Attorney Larry Krasner.

She is a recent Soros Justice Fellow focused on risk assessment algorithms in pretrial decision-making, and a nationally recognized speaker and author on these issues. Hannah is a member of the Board of Directors of Allied Media Projects and at Fight for the Future; she is a trustee at the Valentine Foundation, the mom of two great kids and the partner to a brilliant community programmer.


img_1858Helyx Chase Scearce Horwitz – Information Systems and Technology Manager

Helyx Chase Scearce Horwitz volunteered for MMP for the first time in 2010 and joined staff in 2014. Helyx is passionate about storytelling as a means to draw connections.  They have worked on documentaries, non-fiction and experimental narrative productions, multi-channel video installation, archival video production and preservation, and oral history video production. Their video art is built by, about, and for televisions and computers. Helyx holds a B.A. from Hampshire College where they studied Video, Activism and Youth Development and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Information Science program at Drexel University.

Jenessa Irvine – Policy Organizer

Jenessa started with Media Mobilizing Project as a social work fellow in Fall 2018, and is now part of the MMP team as a policy organizer. In her work, she focuses on fighting the negative impacts of biased algorithms and coordinating with fellow grassroots organizations. She also supports media and grant work, and is co-leading an accessibility initiative for our shared office space. Originally from Los Angeles, she has spent the past two years in Philadelphia and is excited to be part of MMP’s movement work advancing criminal and social justice. She has a background in education nonprofits and macro social work, and is thrilled to explore organizing and storytelling through this role. She has a BA in American Studies from Pomona College and a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mariam Dembele – Communications Coordinator

Mariam Dembele is a multimedia journalist. She began writing in 2014, while she was a student at Temple University. Her reporting focused on student activism, community relations and changes to the surrounding area. Since then, she has continued to cover news, politics, culture and social justice issues throughout Philadelphia, with a focus on community-based solutions. In 2017, Mariam started working at Media Mobilizing Project as a production intern. It was here that she realized her passion for visual storytelling. With MMP, she has produced videos about the fight to end youth homelessness and the immigrant rights movement. She currently serves as the Communications Coordinator. Through her work, Mariam aims to further engage people in Philadelphia in social justice issues, to center community voices in the narrative and to amplify the continuous work communities are doing to build a more just Philadelphia. Mariam holds a B.A. in Journalism from Temple University. She also freelance writes for African-American Culture Magazine FunTimes, along with other publications.

amberPep Marie – PhillySUN Program Coordinator

Pep Marie is a proud Philly native (Germantown!) and alumnae of the Philadelphia School District. In 2006, while attending the High School for Creative & Performing Arts, Pep Marie became a member of the Philadelphia Student Union and was first introduced to the importance of marginalized voices in social justice work. Pep Marie went on to attend Oberlin College and majored in Sociology with concentrations in both Africana and Urban Studies. The student organizing Pep Marie took part in (during both secondary and higher education) in the fight for education as a human right affirmed for Pep Marie that those most directly impacted must take the lead in the movement. This commitment to building leaders in and around our schools to lead the work is what excites Pep Marie most about this project and working with the Media Mobilizing Project.

Zakia Royster-Morris – PhillySUN School Organizer

Zakia Royster-Morris is an ambitious wife and mother of two beautiful girls. Born and raised in Philadelphia and a product of the Philadelphia School District, Zakia knows the ins and outs of Philly’s education system.  Zakia has always displayed a natural talent for public speaking and demanding justice for those whom have been overlooked. Back in 2008, during her 10th grade Spanish class, Zakia found her calling to fight for equality in education and became a member of the Philadelphia Student Union. During her time in PSU, Zakia learned that social justice is a universal fight. That every struggle of the oppressed is connected, that each connection starts with educating the people. After high school, Zakia went on to study at a local HBCU, Cheyney University, where she majored in Political Science. Now, years later with a family of her own, Zakia still finds time to continue to demand a critical and social change in Philadelphia. Sticking to her love for education and grassroots movement, Zakia now primarily works with the organization PhillySUN as a School Organizer.

Zoraida Ossa – Office Manager

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 and currently she volunteers with Movement of Immigrant Leaders in PA (MILPA), fighting against anti immigrant bills, and Multifaith Action for Social Justice in South Jersey, organizing advocates for immigrant justice to pass ordinances and resolutions to protect undocumented communities in both states. Zoraida is the proud mother of three very talented and smart kids.