My career as a documentary journalist and producer has spanned a wide range of forms, from stills to video to multimedia. In 2004 I founded Swimming Elephant Productions which is a multimedia company through which I produce all of my projects. My most recent endeavor, Discovering Ganesh, explores the Hindu elephant-headed deity through a multimedia exhibition, book and website. Ganesh, one of India's most beloved Gods, has been revered for millennia as the Remover of Obstacles, the Lord of Beginnings and the Patron of the Arts. Various versions of Discovering Ganesh have been exhibited at the United Nations, the National Arts Club in New York, the Lille International Arts Festival in France, The International Houston Arts Festival, and at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California.
In addition to Discovering Ganesh, I exhibited photographs from If Only It Were Love at New York University's gallery space, Casa Italiana, in 2004. The project tells the story of an unrequited love affair I had with one of Jacques Cousteau's underwater photographers while living in Rome in the early 1990s. From 1995 to 2000 I created The Spirit That Runs Through The Holy Tabernacle Church, a photo essay that captured the spiritual life of a Pentecostal church in Harlem. A portfolio of this work is part of the permanent collection of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.
As a video journalist I directed and co-produced Can't Wait 'Til Sunday, with National Geographic photographer/cameraman Bob Sacha. This 10-minute documentary, which profiles Carl J. Graham, the bishop of Harlem's Holy Tabernacle Church, was filmed on the last night of his 30-year career as a mechanic for the U.S. Postal Service. Additionally I produced three video shorts for Discovering Ganesh and an animation about cocoa farmers called Dia, The Magical Bike.
From 2004-2006 I worked at the Peabody award-winning satellite TV station, Link TV, which broadcasts eye-opening documentaries about the problems facing humanity and efforts to address them. I was so inspired by the programming and the viewers' expressed desire in becoming changemakers, that I began a career transition in 2006 which led me to found the Global Giving Circle in 2009.
Education and training: I studied photojournalism at New York's International Center of Photography from 1993-1996 and comparative religion and anthropology at Columbia University from 1991-1994. I graduated from Vassar College in 1989, with a B.A. in Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
Professional Bio since 2009
Since February 2009, I has concentrated on building unique giving communities focused on raising funds and awareness around such issues as human rights, the water crisis, global warming, youth education, women's leadership and social entrepreneurship. Through the Global Giving Circle, I created opportunities for people of all income levels to support hybrid grassroots social enterprise and philanthropic initiatives focused on poverty alleviation. In December 2009, I launched Global Gifts That Matter, an online gift emporium supporting high-impact nonprofits and social enterprises through the sale of gifts and gift donations. In February 2010, I began work on the Global Cocoa Project. Its mission is to support cocoa farmers around the globe by supplying them with not only tools to improve the quality of their cocoa production, but also basic needs for their daily lives.
Also in 2010 I co-founded the Social Innovators Collective, a network of emerging founders, leaders, and individuals who work in the social enterprise and nonprofit sectors.