Contributors - Freedom Stories

Discussion Panelists

Dr. Alicestyne Turley, PhD

Panelist

Dr. Alicestyne Turley, PhD
Director of Freedom Stories Project
Born in Hazard, Kentucky, prior to becoming an educator and public historian, Dr. Turley has worked in law enforcement, as a community organizer, and was the first African American administrator...
Sheila Arnold

Panelist

Sheila Arnold
Master Storyteller, Historic Character Interpreter, and Teaching Artist
Sheila Arnold has been a full-time storyteller since 2003, traveling throughout the country sharing her stories and songs, historic character presentations, Christian monologues, and professional development for educators.  Known for...
Andrew Baskin, MA

Panelist

Andrew Baskin, MA
Professor of History, Simmons College of Kentucky
Andrew Baskin is an Professor of History at Kentucky’s only private HBCU (historically black college or university), Simmons College of Kentucky in Louisville, teaching Western Civilization and African American History...
Mitchell Capel

Panelist

Mitchell Capel
Storyteller and Spoken Word Artist
Under the stage name of “Gran’daddy Junebug”, a character created for young folks, Mitchell calls his style of storytelling “sto’etry” because the majority of his stories are in rhyme. For...
Ilene Evans, MA

Panelist

Ilene Evans, MA
Artistic Director of Voices From the Earth, Inc.
Ilene Evans is an inspired storyteller, performer and scholar who weaves music, poetry, dance and drama, to bring history alive. Ms. Evans creates and presents storytelling/theater programs and workshops/seminars that...
Dr. Cicero M. Fain, PhD

Panelist

Dr. Cicero M. Fain, PhD
Assistant Professor of History, Southern Maryland University
Dr. Fain is a third-generation black Huntingtonian. He is the recipient of the Carter G. Woodson Fellowship from Marshall University and received his M.A. and Ph.D. in History from The...
Lyn Ford

Panelist

Lyn Ford
A nationally recognized and award-winning fourth-generation storyteller, author and educator, Lyn Ford shares folktale adaptations, spooky tales, and original stories rooted in her family’s multicultural African-American Appalachian (Affrilachian) heritage.  Ford’s...
Anne G’Fellers-Mason

Panelist

Anne G’Fellers-Mason
Executive Director, Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia
Anne G’Fellers-Mason is the Executive Director of the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. She has worked for the nonprofit for over ten years. Anne has a Bachelor...
Mama Linda Goss

Panelist

Mama Linda Goss
Co-Founder and former President, National Association of Black Storytellers (NABS)
Born in Alcoa, Tennessee, currently, Mama Linda Goss is the storyteller ambassador for the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum in Baltimore, Maryland and the storyteller-in-residence at the Peale Center....
Jasmine Henderson

Panelist

Jasmine Henderson
Board Member, Umoja Unity Committee
Jasmine Henderson serves as a board member and recording secretary for Umoja Unity Committee, a nonprofit organization focused on bridging diverse cultures through education and artistic presentations in East Tennessee....
William Isom, II

Panelist

William Isom, II
Director of Community Outreach, East Tennessee PBS
William Isom II is a 6th generation East Tennessean and Director of Community Outreach at East Tennessee PBS in Knoxville. As the director of the Black in Appalachia Project for...
Rev. Robert Jones

Panelist

Rev. Robert Jones
Storyteller, Musician and Visual Artist
Robert B. Jones, Sr. is an inspirational storyteller, singer, instrumentalist, and visual artist celebrating the history of American Roots music. His initial love was country blues guitar, but over the...
Anthony Mayle, M.Ed., CRC, ABD

Panelist

Anthony Mayle, M.Ed., CRC, ABD
Assistant Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion Marietta College
Tony Mayle was born and raised as part of a Morgan County, Ohio Melungeon community which has existed in the Morgan County area over several generations. He is a first-generation...
Dr. Dinah Mayo-Bobee, PhD

Panelist

Dr. Dinah Mayo-Bobee, PhD
Associate Professor, East Tennessee State University
Dinah Mayo-Bobee is an Associate Professor of History at East Tennessee State University. She began developing and teaching college-level courses in 2002 and earned a Ph.D. in History at the...
Dr. Steven Nash, PhD

Panelist

Dr. Steven Nash, PhD
Associate Professor, East Tennessee State University
Steven Nash is an Associate Professor of History at East Tennessee State University. He earned his master’s degree in history from Western Carolina University in 2001 and his PhD from...
Alona Norwood

Panelist

Alona Norwood
Community Activist
Alona Norwood, age 21, was born in Elizabethton, Tennessee. Alona currently resides in Johnson City, Tennessee where she is active in community protests and continues her work with several grassroots...
Sparky and Rhonda Rucker

Panelist

Sparky and Rhonda Rucker
Storytellers, Musicians, and Recording Artists
Sparky and Rhonda Rucker deliver uplifting presentations of toe-tapping songs spiced with humor, history, and tall tales. Their music includes a variety of old-time blues, Appalachian music, slave songs, and...
Dr. William H. Turner, PhD

Panelist

Dr. William H. Turner, PhD
Distinguished Professor of Black and Appalachian Studies, Berea College (Retired)
Harlan County, Kentucky native; consultant to non-profits serving marginalized communities; and Director of Education for the Appalachian African American Cultural Center, Bill is the fifth of 10 children, born in...
Frank X Walker, MFA

Panelist

Frank X Walker, MFA
Artist; Poet; Director MFA Program, University of Kentucky
A native of Danville, Kentucky, Frank X Walker is the first African American writer to be named Kentucky Poet Laureate. Walker has published ten collections of poetry, including Turn Me...
Dr. Darin J. Waters, PhD

Panelist

Dr. Darin J. Waters, PhD
Associate Professor, University of North Carolina (Asheville)
Dr. Darin J. Waters is an Associate Professor of History and Director of Community Engagement at the University of North Carolina at Asheville where he teaches courses in American history,...
Dr. Elwood Watson, PhD

Panelist

Dr. Elwood Watson, PhD
Professor, East Tennessee State University
Dr. Elwood Watson is Professor of History, Gender Studies and African American Studies. He has published numerous articles about race, gender, higher education, popular culture and American culture in national...
Dr. Sandra Weissinger, PhD

Panelist

Dr. Sandra Weissinger, PhD
Associate Professor, Southern Illinois University
Dr. Weissinger is Associate Professor of Sociology at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. She also currently serves as Director for the Department of Sociology Graduate Program at Southern Illinois University where...
Wayne Winkler, MA

Panelist

Wayne Winkler, MA
Author; Director WETS-FM at East Tennessee State University
In addition to serving as director of ETSU’s public radio station, Wayne Winkler is the author of two books, his first, Walking Toward the Sunset: The Melungeons of Appalachia and...

Advisory Panel

Contributors
Alicestyne Turley, Ph.D
Freedom Stories Project Director
Contributors
Ron Carson
Founder/Director, Appalachian African-American Cultural Center
Contributors
Adam Dickson
Director, Langston Centre
Contributors
Joy Fulkerson
Director of Leadership and Civic Engagement, East Tennessee State University
Contributors
Mama Linda Goss
Co-founder and Former President, National Association of Black Storytellers
Contributors
William Isom, II
Director of Community Outreach, East Tennessee PBS
Contributors
Kiran Singh Sirah
President, International Storytelling Center
Storytellers | International Storytellers Center (ISC)
Michelle Treece
Member, Johnson City School Board and Retired Educator
Contributors
Dr. William Turner
Education Director, Appalachian African-American Cultural Center
Contributors
Dr. Darin J. Waters
Chancellor for Community Outreach and Engagement, University of North Carolina at Asheville

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