After meeting each other, Chris Toppin and Jefferson Davis Riordan realized an immediate and extraordinary chemistry. The two friends and sometime bandmates set about writing some of the best material of their careers, working first in Chris’s basement and then, eventually, in their own studio. Along the way they became more than friends, and the band they created, LOVE LOVE, became the story of their own unfolding love: wonderful, turbulent, problematic, magical.
Andrée Zaleska is a climate activist, storyteller, writer, and mother. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts and is the founder of JP Green House, a zero-carbon homestead in Jamaica Plain. You can learn more about her home and her work at JPGH.org.
Avinoam Lerner is a Boston, MA - based author, innovator and a practitioner in the field of Complementary Medicine, specializing in cancer recovery. His approach to recovery highlights the multidimensional nature of illness and the need to treat it not only on the level of the body but also on the level of the mind.
Ben Uyeda is a co-founder of the award-winning architecture firm ZeroEnergy Design. His current design venture, Homemade Modern, has reached more than 12 million people and resulted in his designs being produced and enjoyed on 6 different continents. His goal is to produce designs that are "desirable to people who have lots of options, yet attainable by those who don’t”.
Casey Carey-Brown is an LGBTQ parent blogger, editor, and writer living in Jamaica Plain. Enthusiastic about new ideas, Casey loves everything. Casey uses their poetry degree to write Taylor Swift lyric haiku and appreciates a good book, a latte, and a freshly painted crosswalk.
Chrismaldi Vasquez is a lifelong organizer, activist and director of Boston’s Family Independence Initiative Boston, which partners with over 700 families as they work together to change the way we talk about poverty in America.
Chuck Collins is an organizer, storyteller and writer based at the Institute for Policy Studies where he coordinates the Program on Inequality and the Common Good (see www.inequality.org). Raised in the 1 percent, he is co-founding board member of the Patriotic Millionaires (www.patrioticmillionaires.org) and Class Action (www.classism.org), and author of several books including, with Bill Gates Sr., 'Wealth and Our Commonwealth' and 'The Moral Measure of the Economy.'
Cornell Coley is a full-time teaching artist, former folkloric dancer and arts administrator whose has won multiple grants and awards. His work and research have taken him to West Africa, across the USA, the Caribbean, Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia. He relishes the daily challenge of creating rhythm-based music in community to improve lives.
Deborah Frieze is an author, entrepreneur and activist committed to strengthening local economies. Her award-winning book, co-authored with Margaret Wheatley, ‘Walk Out Walk On: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now,’ profiles pioneering leaders who walked out of organizations failing to contribute to the common good—and walked on to build resilient communities. She is a founding partner of the Boston Impact Initiative and founder of the Old Oak Dojo, an urban learning center in Jamaica Plain where neighbors gather to rediscover how to create healthy and resilient communities.
From farm to farmers markets, from restaurant kitchens to food enterprises, from school food to city government, Edith Murnane has worked to develop food systems that support food businesses all along the food chain while creating food access for Massachusetts residents.
After 10 years in the book business, Kate Layte left her job at a major publishing house and opened an independent bookstore in Boston.
Ken is the co-founder of the Hyde Square Task Force, a Jamaica Plain-based youth community development non-profit. A specialist in multicultural fiction, he has traveled extensively throughout Latin America and is a Professor of English at Roxbury Community College. Ken recently published a collection of short fiction entitled: ‘Don’t Mess with Tanya: Stories Emerging from Boston’s Barrios.’
Philip Sheppard is a composer, producer and pioneer of the electric cello. He is a professor at The Royal Academy of Music and has composed extensively for film, television and theatre. He has collaborated with major figures in pop music, has produced soundtracks for the Olympics, Tour De France, the BBC and for over 30 feature films. Philip regularly writes and plays with UNKLE and has been featured as a guest artist with numerous rock musicians including Jeff Buckley, David Bowie, Jarvis Cocker, Jimmy Page and Pretty Lights.
Remi Picó, also known as Remigio Picone in the academic field, is a scientist and conceptual artist. Remi is a Research Fellow at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, and has degrees in computer science, molecular cell biology, and nanotechnology. Remi’s artistic works have been featured in international art journals and shown in Europe and USA. His current artistic work explores the use of temporality and semiotics in art.
More on Rick Berlin: ”Throughout the decades and the shifting fortunes of the business Rick Berlin has continued to make music with intelligence and integrity, building an international reputation around his knotty, singular piano playing, straight-from-the-heart singing and a style of character-based songwriting that’s drawn favorable comparisons to the likes of Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen— although Rick rocks more than both." - Ted Drozkowski in The Boston Phoenix.
Shamus Moynihan is a local promoter and organizer. He has had jobs of every description, many more than most of us can imagine in a lifetime. These experiences give him a unique and worldly perspective on any challenge. There isn't a corner of Jamaica Plain or the city of Boston that he hasn't visited or been an integral part of.
Susan Naimark is a nationally recognized educator on race, racism and white privilege, the author of The Education of a White Parent [www.educationofawhiteparent.com], and a faculty member at University of Massachusetts Boston School of Education. Her trainings on implicit bias, community building, cultural proficiency and institutional racism have supported tens of thousands of people across the U.S. to engage constructively across the differences that too often divide us.
William Morales is Executive Director of the Boston YMCA Achievers and the Egleston Square Youth Teen Center, the first Latino to hold this position. His career with the Y started 19 years ago at the Teen Center, opened in response to a family and community tragedy when his only brother fired on Boston police officers while William sat in prison. He earned a B.S. in criminal justice and is currently working towards his M.S. in management, an amazing accomplishment from a young man who could not read or write at the age of twenty. William feels that his greatest accomplishment in life has been being the dad he never had to his five children.