Our project is created and sustained by:
Dr. Mishy Lesser
Producer & Director
Director of Development
Upstander Project Circle of Advisors
Dr. Donna Hicks is an Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. She has been involved as a third party in numerous unofficial diplomatic conflict resolution efforts including projects in the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Cuba, and Northern Ireland. Her most recent book, Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict, was published by Yale University Press in 2011.
Dr. Rebecca Lowenhaupt is an assistant professor for educational leadership and higher education at Boston College. Her research interests include K-12 school reform, organizational theory, education policy, immigrant education, instructional and distributed leadership, and leadership for equity. Becca focuses on the fundamental role education policy and practice play in the immigrant experience and helps schools design meaningful, equitable educational opportunities for immigrant youth, and is especially interested in the changing policy climate for English Language Learners (ELLs). Becca advises Coexist on matters related to school reform and education policy.
Chico Colvard received his J.D. from Boston College Law School. He currently teaches “Race, Law & Media” related courses at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is a former Filmmaker-in- Residence at WGBH, Firelight Media Producers’ Lab Graduate and Sundance Institute Creative Producing Fellow. Chico’s feature-length documentary, Family Affair, premiered in competition at Sundance and has since won several awards and screened around the world. Family Affair is the first documentary acquired by Oprah Winfrey for her new cable channel, OWN. Chico’s current film project is a love story about the people who consume, manufacture and assume the identities of black memorabilia.
Robert Koenig is a multiple Emmy nominated producer and director. Robert served as the field producer and story consultant on Coexist. Robert directed the documentary film Returned: Child Soldiers of Nepal’s Maoist Army which won the prestigious Artivist Award for Child Advocacy. Robert served as an adjunct professor in The Department of Electronic Media & Film at Towson University and is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh.
Dave Joseph, LICSW, Vice President, Program for Public Conversations Project. An experienced dialogue practitioner, trainer, facilitator, mediator, and consultant who enjoys focusing on constructive conversations and conflict management, Dave has facilitated dialogues around intra- and inter-religious differences, class, abortion, marriage equality, domestic violence/healthy marriage/responsible fatherhood, and many other issues in the United States and in Africa. He co-founded and headed the Community Mediation Center of Rhode Island, and has directed mental health and addictions treatment services at community health centers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Dick Olsen has several decades of experience as a strategic planner and fundraising consultant for major non-profits and public universities including the ACLU, the University of Southern California, the University of California Los Angeles, and Echo Parenting and Education. He lives in Southern California.