To Be Determined
Michael A. Betts II is director of CDS Courses at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, a native North Carolinian, and sound designer who is passionately fascinated by the story of the world around him. His work tends to center on Black and Brown bodies and their existence in white space. Several of his current projects and roles include: bringing back Mike Wiley Productions’ podcast, Parallel Lives, for another season; completing the first season of his first solo podcast, Missing History; sound design for Rob Hamilton’s The Misdirection of Henry Walker; and a collaboration with death row inmate Michael J. Braxton on an album and audio memoir.
Brittany Barbee is a multimedia storyteller from Durham, North Carolina. She weaves poetry, photography and music to navigate family and race dynamics with complete vulnerability, transparency, and intimacy. Brittany’s interest in the arts began in childhood when she used her creative talents to assist her in healing and coping. Her work demands for us to look inward and challenge ourselves. It can be difficult at times to revisit experiences that may have brought pain and discomfort, but Brittany’s multimedia practice creates a safe space to engage that vulnerability. She wants her work to be accessible so that anyone can feel empowered to unpack and explore issues – past and present – in order to remove their protective mask(s) and be their most genuine selves.
Elisa Benitez is an American born child of Mexican immigrants and is based in Charlotte, NC. She is an after school educator, helping newly arrived immigrant and refugee children acculturate to their new environment. She is in her final semester of graduate school at UNC-Charlotte in Latin American Studies. In the summers of 2015-2017, Eliza was an active member of a program sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina calledLift Every Voice, which involved young people from across the United States, South Africa and Botswana. Lift Every Voiceexplored North Carolina’s slavery history up through the Civil Rights Movement in the United States and in 2016, traveled to Cape Town, South Africa with a focus on the exploration of Apartheid. Eliza has been an activist for over 10 years, focusing primarily on immigrant rights.
Noah Showalter is a 20-year-old junior at Virginia Tech studying engineering. Noah’s family has had a huge impact on his awareness of the needs of others and his compassion for those less fortunate than he. His mother and church introduced him at a young age to the cruel history of race, particularly in America, and the importance for white people to take an active role in reconciling this history. Noah also participated and served as part of the team for the Episcopal program, Life Every Voicefrom 2015-2017.
Bree Newsome is an artist who drew national attention in 2015 when she climbed the flagpole in front of the South Carolina Capitol building and lowered the confederate battle flag. Bree’s act of defiance against a symbol of hate has been memorialized in photographs and artwork and has become a symbol of resistance and the empowerment of women. Bree is also a musician and writer who won the 2016 NAACP Image Award and been included in the Ebony 100 and Root 100 lists in recognition of her civil rights work.
She studied film at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her senior year short film, “Wake” won numerous accolades and was a finalist for the prestigious Wasserman Award, whose past recipients include Spike Lee.
At a critical time in American history with a tumultuous census, a national election, and an atmosphere of both heightened activism and racist backlash, When They See Us Vote is a limited-series podcast that seeks to engage and educate listeners who are becoming politically conscious and active at this moment with an analysis of how we build resilience and Black political power at the voting booth and beyond. An Advance Carolina project, When They See Us Vote is produced by Natalie Bullock Brown, Bree Newsome Bass and Ajamu Dillahunt co-host the podcast. Listeners can use the accompanying episode toolkit to deepen individual understanding around the issues discussed and serve as a guide for hosting conversations and study groups.