Born in Ethiopia and raised in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Haiti, part Chinese and part white, Jennifer is asked more often than not, “what are you?” Not finding the answer to that question simple, or easy, Jennifer became a journalist and filmmaker so she could explore themes of identity and connection. She worked at The Washington Post where she created the Emmy nominated video series onBeing. With "Whitman, Alabama," Jennifer returns to that question, "what are you?" while hoping to raise the volume on voices from the American South. Her previous work has received a Knight-Batten Special Distinction Award for Innovation, an Online News Association Award for Innovation, awards from the White House News Photographers Association and recognition from the American Film Institute.
Bob is a Birmingham photographer and filmmaker who regularly provides coverage of contemporary social issues for editorial clients such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and MSNBC.com. His most recent documentary, Strong Enough To Fight, received international broadcast distribution in 2013 after screening in numerous film festivals.
Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Pierre grew up in Cherry Hill, NJ. In 1998, Pierre was hired as the web developer for washingtonpost.com's pioneering multimedia section. That's where he discovered the art of video storytelling and became a full-time video journalist. After 10 years at the Post, Pierre began his own independent filmmaking company. He makes films with hopes of peeling back the layers of prejudice, racism and ignorance. He's a director, director of photography and an editor.
Liz Hildreth is a digital content designer and a poet. She is a member of "Poems While You Wait," a group of Chicago poets who set up typewriters and write poems for $5 on any topic. She was first drawn to poetry at 13 when she stumbled across the Whitman poem "Once I Pass'd through a Populous City." She decided then that she would grow up one day to be sad and tremulous and to walk through a big city, totally devastated in love.
Chip is senior lecturer of emerging media in the department of journalism at the University of Alabama. He has written for many publications, including Slate, Gourmet, and the Oxford American, and his book, The Perfect Fruit (Bloomsbury), tells the creation story of the pluot.
AL.COM STUDIOS TEAM
Justin Yurkanin is the Director of AL.com Studios, based in Birmingham, Alabama, leading a team of a dozen video journalists. He has more than 13 years experience as a photojournalist, videographer, producer and editor.
Ginnard Archibald is an AL.com Studios video producer and photographer from Birmingham; his other work includes portrait and events photography.
Adam Schwartz is an AL.com Studios video producer and filmmaker from Birmingham and a former Assistant Professor of media production at the University of Alabama.
This project was made better by many people who offered support, creativity, ideas and know-how: Ben Connors for early creative thinking about what is still possible, Deryck Hodge for generous support in helping work through finding a home on the web, NINE's Billy Swift for continuing to quickly do "one more thing," to build this site; AL.com's Director of Social Media Elizabeth Hoekenga for ensuring new audiences will continue to see this work; and AL.com's Brian McAlister for pulling together final details and ensuring new videos will continue find a home.