Communications Fellows

The Center invests in fellows who tell the stories of real people affected by economic justice issues.
  • Jeremiah Chapman

    Jeremiah Chapman | Communications Fellow

    Jeremiah Chapman is a North Carolina-based activist who focuses on raising the voices of people fighting for equality. Jeremiah honed his skills as a photographer, videographer and graphic designer while a staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives. His latest video project, Tundra, will focus on the lives of people in marginalized communities, immigrants and how protecting the safety net will help all families thrive.

    View Jeremiah’s work here.


  • Wendi C. Thomas

    Wendi C. Thomas | Writing Fellow

    Wendi C. Thomas is a social justice activist and award-winning journalist from Memphis, Tennessee. Click here to read some of Wendi’s work.

    Twitter: @wendi_c_thomas


  • Stephanie Land

    Stephanie Land | Writing Fellow

    Stephanie is mom to two beautiful girls and their shelter dog, Bodhi. She has worked as a house cleaner and landscaper to make ends meet and now works as a freelance writer whose work has been featured on The Guardian, Vox, DAME, Mamalode, Salon, and Literary Mama. She lives in Missoula, Montana. Click here to read some of Stephanie’s work.

    Twitter: @stepville


  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith | Communications Fellow

    Stephen Smith is the Director of the WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, a movement-building organization that seeks to make West Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family – no matter who you are.  In the last 5 years, we have helped win 26 state policy victories (from raising the minimum wage to expanding school breakfasts), start 29 student chapters, fund 209 community development projects, launch a statewide racial justice organization, and offer candidate training to 203 West Virginians. A veteran organizer with stints in Boston, Chicago, and overseas, Stephen is also the author of Stoking the Fire of Democracy: Our Generation’s Introduction to Grassroots Organizing.  He now lives with his brilliant wife Sara and fiery son Jackson in his hometown of Charleston, WV.

  • Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

    Darryl Lorenzo Wellington | Writing Fellow

    Darryl worked as a parking lot attendant in Savannah, Ga, before switching careers in his late 30’s. Since becoming a freelance writer, he has covered post-Katrina New Orleans, poverty exploitation in the plasma industry, and the Charleston massacre. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Click here to read some of Darryl’s work.

    Twitter: @darrylwellingto

  • Thomas Kennedy

    Thomas Kennedy | Writing Fellow

    Born in Argentina, Thomas Kennedy came to the United States with his parents at the age of ten, first living in New Jersey before settling down in Miami. After living as an undocumented immigrant for over a decade and seeing the daily struggles his parents overcame in their daily lives in order to have a better life, Thomas became involved in student activism and immigration reform advocacy. He is currently an International Relations student at Florida International University and works with the Florida-based immigrant’s rights organizations United Families and the Florida Immigrant Coalition. Click here to read some of Thomas’s work.


  • Sharisse Tracey

    Sharisse Tracey | Communications Fellow

    Sharisse Tracey is an Army wife in upstate New York, mother of four, educator and writer whose work has appeared in many publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Salon and Essence.Her life story has been featured in an off Broadway play, NOT SOMEONE LIKE ME, which chronicles five stories of sexual assault survivors. She’s is an activist focused on domestic violence, sexual assault, autism awareness, military families and equality in education. Click here to read some of Sharisse’s work.

    Twitter: @SharisseTracey



  • Christen Hill

    Christen Hill | Communications Fellow

    Christen Hill is a multimedia journalist and video storyteller with a focus on issues of race, social justice and culture. Christen graduated with a broadcast journalism degree from the University of Tennessee and has worked in Washington, DC as a video producer and writer. She is currently a communications graduate student at Georgetown University.

  • Mikka Macdonald

    Mikka Macdonald | Communications Fellow

    Mikka Macdonald is a writer who focuses on social justice issues. She is a communications professional in Washington, D.C. who has worked on twelve state and local political campaigns. She recently published an academic article in the Princeton Journal of Asian American Studies (Unfound), in which she examined the personal consequences of American public policy on Japanese Americans during World War II through her family’s experiences. Her writing has also appeared on and

  • Nissa D. Tzun

    Nissa D. Tzun | Communications Fellow

    Nissa D. Tzun is a Center for Community Change communications fellow. She is media artist, educator, community organizer, and the founder of the Forced Trajectory Project, an award-winning, long-term documentary project illuminating the narratives of families impacted by police murder, established in 2009. In 2014 she assisted in forming Families United 4 Justice, a nationwide collective of families impacted by police murder, organizing for collective and political power. Currently, Nissa works for the Journalism & Media Studies Department at UNLV, and is pursuing her Master’s in Social Work.

  • Catherine Bugayong

    Catherine Bugayong | Communications Fellow

    Catherine Bugayong is a Center for Community Change video communications fellow. Cat is a filmmaker, Trader Joe’s enthusiast and Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory student. She is no stranger to CCC, first joining the Center for Community Change Action in 2016 working as an organizer to get out the vote among Latinx voters. Then she joined the communications team working on multimedia. She is based in D.C.

  • Agunda Okeyo

    Agunda Okeyo | Communications Fellow

    Agunda Okeyo is a Center for Community Change communications fellow based in New York City. She is a writer, producer, organizer, and activist born in Nairobi and raised between New York City and the Kenyan capital. Her work has been published in Salon, The Daily Beast, O Magazine , Okay Africa and NBC, among others. She has been featured as a rising producer and activist by The New Yorker, The New York Times, Essence, The Root, The Hollywood Reporter and NBC among others. She also hosts Sisters of Comedy shows in comedy venues in NYC, often to support social justice causes.

Too often, the media relies on tired tropes about poverty and who is poor, portraying people who live on the brink as either victims or deadbeats. Our writing fellows work to change the narrative of poverty, focusing on the real lives of the people who are struggling every day to make ends meet for their families. The fellows come from a variety of backgrounds and locations, but they share a passion for social justice and first-hand experience that brings powerful context to the stories they tell. Their stories have been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Vox and Salon, among other publications.

We coach our Communications Fellows to tell their stories and those of the people in their communities and across the nation who live on the brink in this economy. Our goal is to raise the voices of low-income people and empower new leaders to speak out and join the movement through powerful storytelling.