Charlotte's REEL Urban Network (RUN) to the Democratic National Convention
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Who We Are

WE ARE… the Diverse Westside Charlotte Community.

The RUN DNC 2012 multimedia community link project is a non-partisan, education outreach led by Johnson C. Smith University.

Meet the Academic Team, Guiding Students

Prof. La ToniaProfessor Tonya M. Williams – Tonya M. Williams, Ph.D., joined the faculty in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Johnson C. Smith University as a visiting assistant professor of political science in Fall 2011. She is a graduate of the University of California, Davis and Clark Atlanta University in political science. Dr. Williams’ interdisciplinary scholarship broadly interrogates the intersection between race, gender, class and public policy.
Dr. Laurie PorterProfessor Laurie Corley Porter – Dr. Laurie Corley Porter calls Charlotte home as a graduate of Myers Park. She received her BA in Speech Communications from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, an MA in Organizational & Intercultural Communications from the University of Kansas, and a PhD from Regent University in Rhetorical Communication with an emphasis in Entertainment-Education for Social Change.
Prof. Val BlackProfessor Valerie Black – Professor Black is a South Carolina native but is proud to call Charlotte her new home. She has a B.A. Degree in Mass Media Arts from Hampton University and an M.A. Degree from Webster University. Professor Black received expertise by working as a news producer and in television stations in NC, SC, and Virginia before joining the Smith faculty.
Dr. GuffeyProfessor Gary Guffey – Mr. Guffey calls High Point home where he received his undergraduate degree and spent most of his life as a local business owner. He received his MBA from Wake Forest University, MA from Indiana University and is ABD to earn his PhD from the University of Georgia in Mass Communication.
Dr. MarioProfessor Mario Bahena – Dr. Bahena was born and raised in Mexico, and he came to the United States at age 16. He graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2001 and two years later with a Master’s Degree. In 2010, Dr. Bahena received his Ph.D. from Indiana University Bloomington in Latin American Literature.
Professor Cindy J. Kistenberg is an associate professor of visual, performing and communication arts.She grew up in Greensboro, NC, and earned her BA and MA in speech communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her PhD in speech communication with an emphasis in performance studies from Louisiana State University. She has written a book entitled AIDS, Social Change and Theatre: Performance as Protest. Her professional passion is using performance/narrative as a means of social change, and much of her performance-based work has focused on domestic abuse and HIV/AIDS education.
Dr. CynthiaProfessor Cynthia Cole – Professor Cynthia Cole is a resident of Columbus, NC where she lives in an intentional community called Adawehi. She received her BA in Studio Art from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA, and an MA in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Photography from New York University.

Who built this website? A couple of volunteers who want to help students and the Westside elevate their voices and learn new ways to explore, communicate and share their stories!