2007, first U.S. Social Forum converges over 20,000 people in Atlanta, Project South serves as anchor organization. Historical transition of founders Jerome Scott, Director (staff) and Walda Katz-Fishman, Board Chair. PS creates the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) – Christi Ketchum, Emery Wright, Stephanie Guilloud & Will Cordery.
Staff as of Sept 14 2020:
Staff Leadership Team
- Emery Wright, Co-Director
- An Atlanta native, Emery was raised to be part of Black radical traditions of the U.S. South. Emery carries 2 decades of experience in community organizing, movement building, and political education working primarily across the U.S. South. Prior to working at Project South, Emery co-founded and directed a Black youth organization called The Nia Project which organized in Boston, Coastal South Carolina, and Atlanta. He co-founded and co-facilitated a weekly Black Studies course at South Bay Prison, and he has developed learning and leadership exchanges between grassroots organizers in the U.S., the greater Caribbean, and East Africa. Emery joined the Project South staff team in 2004 and was part of a successful leadership transition to Co-Director in 2007. Emery serves on the board of WRFG, the 35-year old community radio station in Atlanta, the Georgia Citizens’ Coalition on Hunger, and Project Vote.
- Stephanie Guilloud, Co-Director
- Stephanie Guilloud is originally from Houston, Texas with roots in Alabama. Stephanie is an organizer with 17 years of experience and leadership in global justice work and community organizing. At Project South, Stephanie works closely with Southeast regional organizing projects, the Southern Movement Assembly, and membership programs. Stephanie worked as the National Co-Chair of the Peoples Movement Assembly Working Group of the US Social Forum from 2008-2013. She served on the board of Southerners On New Ground (SONG), a multiracial queer organization, from 2005-2014. Stephanie is the editor of two anthologies: Through the Eyes of the Judged; Autobiographical Sketches from Incarcerated Young Men and Voices from the WTO; First-person Narratives from the People who Shut Down the World Trade Organization.
- Azadeh Shahshahani, Legal & Advocacy Director
- Azadeh has worked for a number of years in the U.S. South to protect and defend immigrants and Muslim, Middle Eastern, and South Asian communities. She previously served as president of the National Lawyers Guild and as National Security/Immigrants’ Rights Project Director with the ACLU of Georgia. Azadeh serves on the Advisory Council of the American Association of Jurists and on the Board of Directors of Defending Rights and Dissent. Azadeh has served as a trial monitor in Turkey, an election monitor in Venezuela and Honduras, and as a member of the jury in people’s tribunals on Mexico, the Philippines, and Brazil. She has also participated in international fact-finding delegations to post-revolutionary Tunisia and Egypt as well as a delegation focused on the situation of Palestinian political prisoners. She is the author or editor of several human rights reports, including a 2017 report titled “Imprisoned Justice: Inside Two Georgia Immigrant Detention Centers,” as well as law review articles and book chapters focused on racial profiling, immigrants’ rights, and surveillance of Muslim-Americans. Her writings have appeared in the Guardian, the Nation, MSNBC, USA Today, Aljazeera, and HuffPost, among others. Azadeh received her JD from the University of Michigan Law School where she was Article Editor for The Michigan Journal of International Law. She also has a Master’s in Modern Middle Eastern and North African Studies from the University of Michigan. Azadeh is the recipient of the Shanara M. Gilbert Human Rights Award from the Society of American Law Teachers, the National Lawyers Guild Ernie Goodman Award, the Emory Law School Outstanding Leadership in the Public Interest Award, the Emory University MLK Jr. Community Service Award, the US Human Rights Network Human Rights Movement Builder Award, the American Immigration Lawyers Association Advocacy Award, the Distinguished Leader Award from the Fulton County Daily Report, and the University of Georgia Law School Equal Justice Foundation Public Interest Practitioner Award, among several others. She has also been recognized as an Abolitionist by the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University & the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, and as one of Atlanta’s 500 Most Powerful Leaders by Atlanta Magazine. In 2016, Azadeh was chosen by the Mundo Hispanico Newspaper as an Outstanding Person of the Year for defending the rights of immigrants in Georgia. In 2017, she was chosen by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the 40 under 40 notable Georgians.
- Hanifah Rios, Operations Director
- Born in Philadelphia, PA Hanifah has lived in Atlanta, GA for over 20 years. Home schooled in a collective of families she was exposed midwifery at a very early age. “At our home women would gather and teach themselves of their reproductive health, and delivered each other’s children” this early exposure led to Hanifah’s passion in reproductive justice and is trained as a midwife. Hanifah has worked at The Center for Black Women's Wellness the local WIC clinic, and has managed a local Community based Doula Project where she infused her non-traditional education to empower the voice of young mothers and those who supported them during their pregnancies and birth.
As the Operations Coordinator, Hanifah will provide support to the day to day activities and the Real Talk programing for young parents and their peers.
- Ayinde Summers, Education Director
- Ayinde Summers grew up in the green metro area of Atlanta GA developing a love for the great outdoors and fun education. In 1999 he began fostering a career in Experiential Education as a program director for NFL-Youth Education Town Atlanta where he designed his first program Georgia Explorers Camp. This project allowed students to navigate the geography and archeology of Georgia while engaging academic challenges . Ayinde began learning the science of experience learning as an apprentice with, industry pioneer Tony Coppage who has 34 years of facilitating and challenge program design. By 2004 Ayinde was designing and facilitating programs and workshops for corporations, educational institutions and student groups. He also formed Cultural Expeditions that develops service crews and give youth character development through skill development and cultural awareness using Kurt Hahn and Howard Gardner pedagogies. Through this company he has been able to discover social technologies that now encompass literacy, math, science and service learning. Ayinde Summers has also made presentations at the South Eastern Regional Board’s, High Schools That Work, International Dyslexia Conference and been recognize by the National Parks Service.
- Bassey Etuk, Education Organizer
- Bassey is a South Atlanta Native and long time Project Southian. Bassey was one of the first youth to join Project South in 2000 and has been in the fight for justice since then. Bassey loves educating the ppl of his community through the University Sin Fronteras. He believes that every person has the ability to teach and deserves to express ways that oppression has effected them. He also loves how art and music can inspire change. Bassey’s favorite quote is “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”- Albert Einstein
- La’Die Mansfield, Southern Regional Organizer
- La’Die Mansfield, is a journalist, organizer, activist, strategist for social change and founder of Hello Racism. She worked as a communications manager for Georgia’s Civic Engagement Table, mentored young women of the Southern Rural Black Women Initiative in video production and currently serves as a board member of WRFG, 89.3.
- Manzoor Cheema, Southern Regional Organizer
- A resident of Raleigh, NC, Manzoor Cheema has been an active member of social justice movements for over 15 years. In 2004, he launched a grassroots social justice TV show, Independent Voices that ran for five years. He went on to co-found Muslims for Social Justice, an organization dedicated to pursuing Muslim liberation theology in 2013. In 2015, he launched the Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia (MERI), a network of organizations to fight racism and Islamophobia. Manzoor is the recipient of the 2014 International Human Rights Award awarded by the Human Rights Coalition of North Carolina, and the 2016 Self-Determination Award by Black Workers for Justice. Manzoor Cheema’s work on social justice has been covered in the local, national, and international media.
- Jaequan Allison, South Atlanta Community Organizer
- Hey my name is Jaequan Allison, and I am the youth organizer for Project South. I am 20 year’s old, and my hobbies are dancing, and playing the drums. I been with project South for about 5 year’s, so it’s not like a second home for me now.
- Nautica Jenkins, South Atlanta Community Organizer
- Hello ! My name is Nautica Jenkins and I am 19 years old. I’ve been working with project south as a organizer for about 3 years now. Throughout my journey with education justice I’ve had the opportunity to work with my peers in a way that for me to was unimaginable. We created a campaign call 10mil4real to combat the struggle of police brutality. We also worked to tackle the issue of the lack of resources for students in schools. Overall, being at project south has been an incubator for my political and social views. I’ve been allowed the experience to grow and evolve in the movement world.
- Nathan Hunter, IT and Data Systems Coordinator
- Nathan Hunter is a technologist, innovator, and software programmer. With over 13 years of system design and innovation experience he has enabled enterprise core innovations in chemical, electrical, and software related fields with in the private and public sector. While he is an accomplished systems engineer, his approach to system and technology design can be called “non-traditional”: as he is primarily self-taught. Mr. Hunter therefore views system design not from the framework of what he learned at university, but what he believes makes sense from a basic scientific and empirically based approach. Mr. Hunter has sat on numerous technology start up boards and has been recognized for his innovations and software design approaches at several universities and industry conference symposiums.
- Priyanka Bhatt, Staff Attorney
- Priyanka Bhatt, born in Kenya, grew up primarily in Brooklyn, New York and central New Jersey. She also lived in the Midwest and South, and completed her undergraduate studies in Georgia. Priyanka is a recent graduate from Ohio State University where she received her Juris Doctorate and Masters of Arts in Public Administration. During her time in law school, Priyanka was a Public Service Fellow with Dean’s Special Recognition. She served on the executive board for the Moritz Chapter ACLU and Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, and was the staff editor for the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. She also frequently volunteered with the Legal Aid Society of Columbus where she participated in criminal record expungement, naturalization, and homeless shelter pro bono clinics. In 2015, Priyanka was a legal extern with the Ohio Public Defender’s Office Wrongful Conviction Project where she helped with innocence claims. Priyanka was also a summer family law intern with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society in 2016 where she primarily helped domestic violence survivors in different legal proceedings. In addition, Priyanka was a legal extern for the Minority Caucus of The Ohio House of Representatives in 2017. Through her master’s program, Priyanka did extensive research on different restorative justice models and completed her capstone on food deserts’ negative impact on women. Prior to law school and graduate school, Priyanka engaged in community building efforts in Atlanta and also volunteered with several Atlanta based non-profit organizations.
Youth Leadership Team
- Stephen Garlington, Youth Organizing Fellow
- My name Stephen Garlington I am a youth organizing fellow at Project South. I have been with them for almost 5 years now and to this day love organizing for the community I am a part of.What got me into organizing was seeing people in my hometown of detroit struggle with poverty and the corruption of our economy.once I moved to Atlanta I became much more aware of problems outside of the detroit and followed project south throughout highschool. I am a proud graduate of carver highschool of the arts and a artist dedicated to bettering our community.
- Ruben Solis has been working to advance people’s liberation movements for over 40 years. Born in la Grulla on the border of Mexico and the United States, Ruben is an incredible organizer, historian, and social movement educator. He co-founded the Southwest Workers' Union in 1981 in San Antonio, and two decades later, SWU is one of the most significant examples of community labor organizing, racial justice work, and environmental justice organizing in the country. Ruben was part of the founding group of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, the [[Southwest Network for Environmental & Economic Justice], and the Colegio Jacinto Trevino in 1970, a Chican@ Freedom School in the Rio Grande Valley. Ruben organized the Border Social Forum in 2006 as an essential step on the road to the first US Social Forum in 2007. As co-coordinator of the Peoples Movement Assembly from 2007 to the present, Ruben has been a primary architect in designing and testing community governance methodology to build power and self-determination in this moment. In 2011, Ruben founded the University Sin Fronteras to respond to the critical need for advanced social movement study based in practice, history, and theory.
- Najma Nazy’at is the Director/Lead Organizer of the Boston-area Youth Organizing Project (BYOP). Najma has worked in youth programs and in the youth development field for over twenty years. In 2014, BYOP is partnering with Project South to develop strong local youth-led organizing efforts.
- Kenny Bailey, Design Studio for Social Intervention
- Kenny is Sector Organizing & Strategy Lead at the Design Studio for Social Intervention and is working with Project South on Organizational Development. Kenny started his activism in the early eighties as a teenager, working in his neighborhood for tenants’ rights and decent housing, targeting the St. Louis Housing Authority. He went on to work for COOL, a national campus-based student organizing program, and then moved to Boston where he worked for the Ten Point Coalition, Interaction Institute for Social Change, and Third Sector New England, as well as being on the Board for Resource Generation. He is an incredible trainer and a consultant, working primarily on issues of organizational development and community building.
- Trupania Bonner is an organizer, award-winning filmmaker, and director of Crescent City Media Group based in New Orleans, LA. For nearly 10 years, Trupania has worked at the intersection of film, civic engagement and social change throughout the South. In 2013, Trupania was selected as a National Micro-Fest Fellow and as an Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar in 2012 honoring Trupania’s innovative approach to community building and voter engagement. From 2008-2012, he served as Executive Director of Moving Forward Gulf Coast, Inc., a community-based organization building potential in communities of color across the Gulf Coast. Trupania currently serves on the board of Project South, the 2025 National Black Men and Boys Network, and the National Men Against Violence Network. Crescent City Media Group anchors communication projects for the Southern Movement Alliance.
As of 2015;
- Trap Bonner - Crescent City Media Group, New Orleans, LA
- Brenda Hyde - Southern Echo, Jackson, MS
- Suzanne Pharr - National Council of Elders, Knoxville, TN
- Carolyn Pittman - Georgia Citizens’ Coalition on Hunger, Atlanta, GA
- Gabriel Sayegh - Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY
As of 2015;
- Emery Wright, Co-Director
- Stephanie Guilloud, Co-Director
- Jeanette Cuevas, Operations Coordinator
- Alicia Murphy-Hicks, Accountant & Program Volunteer
- La’die Mansfield, Community Organizer
- Ashe Helm-Hernandez, Atlanta Program Coordinator
- Jemar Raheem, Community Organizer
- Ash-Lee Henderson, Regional Organizer
- Jovan Julien, Communications Strategist
- Ayinde Wilburg, Communications Intern
- Nicole Enos, Local Organizing Intern
- Jaequan Allison, Local Organizing Intern
As of 2015;
- Ruben Solis, University Sin Fronteras
- Najma Nazyat, Boston-area Youth Organizing Project
- Kenny Bailey, Design Studio for Social Intervention
- Trupania Bonner, Crescent City Media Group
- Malika Benoit, Youth Leadership Team
- Stephen Garlington, Youth Leadership Team
National Day Laborer Organizing Network January 31, 2014.
For those who get Al Jazeera America, special 30 minute feature on the #Not1More campaign debuts tonight!
Look out for familiar faces from Congress of Day Laborers/Congreso de Jornaleros , GLAHR, Southerners on New Ground, and Project South. — with Elizabeth Gorman Shaw, Ponciano Ugalde, Marisa Franco, Tomas Martinez LA Voz, Sandra C. Solis, Carlos Garcia, Caitlin Breedlove, Reyna Njr, Ade Nicholls, Jacinta Gonzalez G., Paul Boulos, Paulina Helm-Hernandez, Stephanie Guilloud, Cesar Maxit, Josh Rushing and Sharon Lungo.
Young Educators Alliance leaders
Owólabi William Copeland February 5, 2013 ·
Young Educators Alliance and Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty & Genocide — with Aziza Wilburg, Emery Lumumba, Arai Kazi, Aziza Wilburg, Noelle Frye and Siwatu-salama Ra in Atlanta, GA.