2023-2025 Advisory Circle

Press On’s advisory circle reviews our recent programmatic work and offers feedback for improvement and feedback about things going well that should continue; gives feedback about our alignment with our mission, values, and guiding principles; and creates a shared analysis of the political and media landscapes and what interventions are needed.
Members meet four times a year, once at the beginning of each quarter, and commit to a two-year term. The advisory circle consists of past participants, past staff members & collaborators, stakeholder convening participants, Southern movement journalists, and Southern movement organizers.

Clarissa Brooks

Clarissa Brooks (they/she) is a former community organizer from Charlotte, North Carolina and alumna of Spelman College. Her dedication to black liberatory work began as a student organizer fighting against racialized sexual violence. Currently based in Atlanta, as a freelance journalist Brooks has written for various publications on a variety of topics from profiles over upcoming artists like Florida rapper Saucy Santana for Rolling Stone to an investigative report on the passing of 19-year-old activist Oluwatoyin Salau for Harpers Bazaar. She now serves as editor at Reckon News.

 
Nicki Faircloth

Nicki Faircloth (she/her) is a nonprofit director, board member, storyteller and communications consultant, assisting nonprofits, foundations and government agencies. She serves as a Prismatic Artist Resident through the Cypress Fund and is a member of Cohort II of the UNC Native Leadership Institute. She is a co-founder of Indi/visible, an organization focused on using culture and the arts to promote healing for friends and family of MMIW. Additionally she is a sister of Sigma Omicron Epsilon, an enrolled member of the Skaroreh Katenuaka Nation (Tuscarora) and resides in Wilmington, North Carolina. 

Kési Felton

 

Kési Felton (pronounced “Casey,” she/her) is a writer from Acworth, GA. Through storytelling, her goal is to learn how to best leverage digital platforms to tell impactful stories that translate to lasting communities in real life. She is the founder and publisher of Better to Speak, a Black youth-led community media platform working to transform silence into language and action. 

Jupe Javeta
Jupe Javeta (they/them) is a Black southern, queer, nonbinary person who resides in Albany, Georgia where they were born and raised. They are an artist, culture keeper and community member who practices community healing through visual art, documentation, written work, and installations. Having grown up in the small city of Albany, Jupe fully believes in the power of intentionality + integrity. Jupe founded dts (down the street) media as a culturally insightful and community minded arts platform. Their visual work (photography & documentary short films) center reconciliation and reprieve for Black folks in the Deep South. Their written work centers grief as a ritual and rites process, and digs into the transformative potential of grieving. Their community work (events and arts spaces) focuses on marginalized communities and connecting people across those communities to places/spaces of rest, affirmation and communion. In each modality, they are driven by a deep love for their people and a determination to reflect it back to the communities they come from.   As a compliment to their upbringing, they also have an educational background in Design & Media (A.A.S.), Carpentry (Technology Diploma), and Afro-American Studies (several courses). With their lived experiences and educational experiences, Jupe brings an intersected lens that guides their creative processes.    
DaLyah Jones

DaLyah Jones (she/her) was born and raised behind the “Pine Curtain” of rural Deep East Texas. She serves as the program officer for Borealis Philanthropy’s Racial Equity in Journalism Fund. She is the former Director of Engagement and staff writer for the watchdog magazine Texas Observer. She’s also a former board member and Freedomways Fellow with movement journalism – journalism in service of liberation – collective Press On. DaLyah’s work in news and storytelling has been aimed at providing coverage to and by historically disadvantaged communities in Texas, especially in the rural regions. Her past work can be found at NPR, Texas Monthly, NBC Think, OkayPlayer, Texas Highways Magazine and more.  

Serena Sonoma

Serena Sonoma (she/they) is a writer by way of North Carolina who focuses on intersectional feminism from an LGBTQ+ lens, specifically in its relation to cissexism and transmisogyny. Her work has appeared in Vox, Out, Teen Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and various other news publications.

V Starks
V Starks (they/he) is a filmmaker, cultural worker, and educator whose work is rooted in their experiences as a Black, Queer, southern artist. V is interested in the use of film as a tool for disrupting dominant narratives, documenting community histories, and exploring the relationships between race, class, gender, and sexuality. Their directing and producing work primarily center the lives and experiences of Black women and QTBIPOC communities.  V hopes to continue developing relationships and infrastructure with fellow artists organizing toward a more liberated South. They are the founder of the Sweet Tea & Cinema Collective, an emerging group of artists from across the Black Belt who are collectivizing their resources and developing community-oriented, anti-imperialist, and anti-capitalist film practices. 
Nada Merghani

Nada Merghani (she/they) is an award-winning movement journalist, digital communications expert, unapologetic Scorpio, and a Type 1 Diabetic living in Durham, North Carolina. As a Nubian person born in Sudan, they are deeply committed to the values of Pan-Africanism and think all people of African descent deserve the right to find connection and solidarity amongst each other as we all fight for our collective liberation. They are also a proud HBCU student currently navigating their last semester at N.C. Central University! 🦅  Nada believes in a world where journalism is accessible and used to help explain the murky and complex parts of the world in a way that’s simple enough for all to understand. Storytelling is their passion, and they believe in journalism as one of the most important and effective forms of storytelling we have at our disposal. They have been published in a variety of local and statewide outlets, interned at WUNC and PBS NC, and are currently employed as the Digital Infrastructure Coordinator for the Southern Vision Alliance.  When they are not working or studying Nada can be found cooking for their friends, swimming, rewatching old Real Housewives of Atlanta clips with their cat, or loudly (and badly) singing along to Beyonce songs.