Featured Speakers

Stephen Henderson, Editorial page editor, Detroit Free Press. Picture taken Tuesday, June 2, 2012. KATHLEEN GALLIGAN/Detroit Free Press STEPHEN HENDERSON (Keynote) has been editorial page editor for the Detroit Free Press since January 2009. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, and a former editorial page editor of The Michigan Daily, the school’s 125-year-old daily student newspaper. Henderson has also been a reporter, editorial writer and editor at the Baltimore Sun, the Chicago Tribune, the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader and the Knight Ridder Washington Bureau, where he covered the U.S. Supreme Court from 2003-2007. Henderson’s work has also been honored with more than a dozen national awards, including the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, the 2014 Scripps Howard Award, the 2001 ASNE writing award for editorials, several National Headliner Awards and two Sigma Delta Chi prizes. He was also the National Association of Black Journalists’ pick for Journalist of the Year in 2014. Henderson hosts a daily radio show, Detroit Today, on WDET 101.9 FM, Detroit’s public radio station. And he is host of the weekly talk shows “American Black Journal” and “MiWeek,” both on Detroit Public Television.
schweitzer SARAH SCHWEITZER (Keynote) is a reporter for the Boston Globe. She was a Pulitzer finalist in feature writing in 2015 and a member of the Globe team that won the Pulitzer in 2014 for breaking news coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing. She shared Columbia University’s Dart Award in 2011, which recognizes outstanding reporting in media that portrays traumatic events with accuracy, insight and sensitivity while illuminating the effects of violence and tragedy on victims’ lives. Her work has been featured in The Best American Science and Nature Writing, The Best American Newspaper Narratives, and Reportagen. She previously worked for the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire and the St. Petersburg Times in Florida. Originally from Texas, she lives with her family in Etna, New Hampshire.
AmbarEspinoza AMBAR ESPINOZA’s roots in environmental journalism started in Rhode Island a few years ago as an environmental reporting fellow at the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting. She worked as a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio for a few years covering several beats, including the environment and changing demographics. Her journalism experience includes working as production and editorial assistant at National Public Radio, and as a researcher at APM’s Marketplace.Espinoza joins Rhode Island Public Radio most recently from Seattle, WA, where she earned a master of education with a focus on science education from the University of Washington. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from American University in Washington, D.C. Espinoza was born in El Salvador and raised in Los Angeles, CA.
mguterl_photo_ MATTHEW PRATT GUTERL teaches and talks and writes about the complexities of race and nation in American life at Brown University in the departments of Africana Studies and American Studies. He has a PhD in American History from Rutgers University, which he earned in 1999. He writes, sometimes, in The Guardian, or The New Republic, or The Chronicle of Higher Education, or Inside Higher Ed.  He has written or co-authored several books on American culture, spanning a wide range of topics, but joined by a focus on race and race-relations, on inequality and difference, and on struggles for justice and structures of oppression. His most recent solo-effort is Josephine Baker and the Rainbow Tribe. He has recently begun two new large-scale projects: a global life of the queer, cosmopolitan, human rights icon and revolutionary, Roger Casement, and a book on class passing, which is also, in a way, a history of racial passing and cross-dressing. Aside from this work, he has an ongoing collaborative writing partnership with a friend and fellow academic, Caroline Levander. Together, they’ve written Hotel Life, which is a broader kind of cultural critique, aimed right at the heart of contemporary American life, trying to do for hotels what Foucault once did for prisons.
lucasmann LUCAS MANN is the author of Class A: Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere, a 2013 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writer’s Selection, and Lord Fear: A Memoir. His essays have appeared in Slate, TriQuarterly, Gawker, Barrelhouse, BuzzFeed and The Kenyon Review, among others. He earned his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa and is currently an assistant professor of English at The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
unnamed SUNSHINE MENEZES is Associate Director of the Office of Marine Programs and Executive Director of Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography.  She has overall strategic and operational responsibilities for executing Metcalf Institute’s mission of expanding accurate environmental news coverage through innovative training and resources for journalists, scientists, and other science communicators to build a deeper public understanding of science and the environment. Prior to focusing her communication efforts on improving news coverage of the environment, she developed national and state-level environmental policy, first as a Dean John Knauss National Sea Grant Marine Policy Fellow with Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. and later as part of a multidisciplinary team at the URI Coastal Resources Center and Rhode Island Sea Grant. Menezes received a B.S. in zoology from Michigan State University, a Ph.D. in biological oceanography from the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, and was a Rhode Island Foundation Fellow from 2013-2014. She currently serves on the selection committee for the American Geophysical Union’s Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism and a National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) working group to create a pedagogical framework for integrating natural and social sciences in graduate education.
kendallmoore KENDALL MOORE is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and an Associate Professor in the departments of Journalism and Film Media at the University of Rhode Island. Before joining academia in 2003, she worked as a field producer and reporter with ABC News/Discovery Health, the Discovery Channel; and as a health and medical reporter for Reuters. As an independent filmmaker, her films focus primarily on issues of race, health, environment and gender. Her films have appeared on PBS and in numerous film festivals, including most recently: Media that Matters, Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival, Provincetown Film Festival, San Diego Black Film Festival, and Women of African Descent Film Festival. She recently completed Sick Building,Toxic Town which examines PCB contamination at the University of Rhode Island and is in production on Philosophy of the Encounter, which is an experimental documentary/fiction hybrid about African film philosophy. She has received several grants and awards including two Fulbright Scholar Awards: Tanzania (2001) and Jamaica (Specialist, 2004); The Rhode Island Film Fellowship for Outstanding Filmmaking (2007). She serves on the boards of The Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting as well as The Story Board and the Community Advisory Committee for Rhode Island PBS. In addition, since 1996, she has managed a non-profit media organization, The Women’s Documentary Collective/Communipod, which was established to help create access to the media, for traditionally underrepresented groups.
DSC_0485 ALISHA PINA started her career with the Providence Journal more than twenty years ago. The intern-turned-reporter moved from the Massachusetts and East Bay bureaus to the main headquarters downtown when the paper downsized. She covered Providence and Mayor Angel Taveras’ reign until her recent assignment began in the summer of 2014. Now she captures the essence of Lil Rhody – issues that matter and its people, places, diversity, history and quirks. She is also an occasional columnist and a contributor to the Journal’s many special projects. She helped lead its 4-day multimedia series, MLK: 50 Years Later, in 2013 that won a Metcalf Diversity in the Media Award from Rhode Island for Community & Justice. In 2015, she was a chief contributor of the team delivering the Race in Rhode Island series, which not only celebrated the state’s diversity but also explored how gaps among the races in RI are hurting everyone. Partly because of that work, Alisha received a community service award in November from Oasis International, in Providence. At its 100th anniversary, Alisha won the George S. Lima Award from NAACP Providence. She also received the Media Achievement Award of Excellence from the American & Cape Verdean Cultural Exchange Commission of Rhode Island and several first place nods from the Rhode Island Press Association.