MEET THE CHARIS CIRCLE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Susana M. Morris (Board Chair) is an Associate Professor at Georgia Tech. She received her Ph.D. from Emory University and her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College. A specialist in contemporary African American and African Caribbean literature, her research interests include the politics of family and intimacy, gender and feminist theory, and black sexualities. She is the author of Close Kin and Distant Relatives: The Paradox of Respectability in Black Women’s Literature, from the University of Virginia Press. She is also a founding member and contributing writer for the popular feminist blog, The Crunk Feminist Collective and co-author of The Crunk Feminist Collection from Feminist Press.
Ellen Rapier (Treasurer) has been an avid supporter of Charis Books and Charis Circle since first coming to the bookstore as a freshman at Agnes Scott College in 1998. She has worked for over 10 years in finance. During that time, she has offered financial literacy workshops to youth and adults in Atlanta, including through Charis Circle. She brings her passion for financial health, especially in social justice circles, to her work as Treasurer for the Circle. Ellen lives in Roswell with her husband and two children, who have grown up coming to Charis. Please see www.theoaktreegroup.net for her credentials.
Ruby-Beth Buitekant was raised by Charis. Since the days of the young writers group led by Linda Bryant, Ruby-Beth has been encouraged to speak loudly by her experiences at Charis. She is now a lawyer with the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) focusing on Public Policy and Organizing. Before her legal education, Ruby-Beth worked for the Center for Court Innovation's Crown Heights Mediation Center managing the anti-gun violence program Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets. She has been a featured speaker on panels and publications relating to racism within the criminal legal system, Black Lives Matter, and prison abolition. Buitekant holds a JD from The City University of New York School of Law and a BA from Wesleyan University. She is from and in love with Atlanta, GA.
A native Atlantan, Zanetta Byers-Harris (Board Development) is the Human Resource Manager at Create Your Dreams, a long-term, youth enrichment program dedicated to nurturing the talents and dreams of students living in underserved areas of Atlanta. If you are interested in serving on the Charis Circle Board of Directors, please contact Zanetta via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alex Dileo attended her first Charis program just days after moving to Atlanta from Memphis, where she received her B.A. in Political Science from Rhodes College. For this Atlanta transplant, Charis was and continues to be a life-giving space for feminist community building, learning, and connection. By day, Alex is a fundraising consultant for Coxe Curry & Associates, the oldest and largest nonprofit consulting firm in Georgia, where she helps her clients to live out their missions and be transformational. By night, you can find her underneath an ever-growing pile of books, trying to hit 10,000 steps on her FitBit while listening to poetry podcasts.
Chelsea Hoag grew up close to Nashville, but her love for feminism and queer community blossomed at Berry College as she mastered a degree in Communication. After graduation, she quickly joined Lenz Marketing in Downtown Decatur where she worked closely with Decatur Book Festival, Amplify Decatur, and Atlanta Science Festival. When she's not creating awesome events for Rotten Peaches, the queer womens' social club she co-founded, or making content at Wussy Mag, you can find Chelsea coaching kids golf. (Yes, she really did play varsity golf in college and can kick your butt!)
Susan Landrum (Volunteer Coordinator) is a native of Atlanta and first stepped into Charis as a senior in high school to be a part of the Young Writers Group led by Linda Bryant. This transformative experience forever shaped her understanding of intersectional feminism and planted the seeds of love for community building and development. After four New York winters at Vassar College and a stint in gorgeous Seattle, Susan made her way home. She worked at Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV) for five years as a volunteer and development director before returning to Georgia State University for a Master’s in Social Work. Susan is currently the Executive Director for VOX Teen Communications, Atlanta’s home for uncensored teen publishing and self-expression. She is fueled by plenty of coffee, books, friendship, family, and the earnest love of a hound named Elvis. Susan is honored to be a part of the Charis community and looks forward to supporting and furthering its vital mission!
Nora Lewis is a native Texan who only works in Corporate America for the health insurance and to pay her student loans. Her life's work has always been in providing inclusive spaces for and support to marginalized communities. She has chaired the People of Color Hospitality Suite for the Creating Change Conference and served as an officer in several of her university's queer and community service organizations. Nora loves art, books, serial killer shows, podcasts, NPR, and smiling at babies and small animals. You'll probably see her walking around Atlanta in a pair of Chucks while quietly laughing at her own jokes.
Anne Zacharias-Walsh is an activist and writer from the midwest who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She has worked with progressive labor unions and social justice organizations and campaigns throughout the United States and Japan for more than twenty-five years. She is the author of Our Unions, Our Selves: The Rise of Feminist Labor Unions in Japan.