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.
Isabella Barbuto is from Red Hook, NY and studied English-Creative Writing and education at Agnes Scott College. She aspires to be a journalist, primarily focusing on education justice, and enjoys reading thrillers, short fiction, and creative nonfiction in her free time.
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. 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 email@example.com.
Chelsea Hoag grew up close to Nashville, but their love for feminism and queer community blossomed at Berry College as they mastered a degree in Communication. After graduation, they quickly joined Lenz Marketing in Downtown Decatur where they worked closely with the Decatur Book Festival, Amplify Decatur, and Atlanta Science Festival.
Susan Landrum (Board Secretary) 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. Susan is currently the Executive Director for VOX ATL, 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 pup named Huck. 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.
Lane Porter is the board’s student representative of Agnes Scott College, where they’re a senior majoring in English Literature and minoring in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She aspires to a career as an editor at a mission-driven press but in the meantime sates her appetite for words with pirate stories and ekphrastic poetry. A former Charis intern, Lane feels so lucky to be a crosswalk away from a heart of queer, feminist community.
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.
Coming soon: Annisah Um'rani
Anne Zacharias-Walsh is a writer, organizer, and activist who has fought for human and civil rights for workers, women, POC, immigrants and LGBTQ+ folks for more than 40 years. Anne has written for progressive labor unions, living wage campaigns, and on local labor issues throughout the Midwest. She also founded a Chicago-based communications hub for progressive labor and social justice campaigns. In 2000 she moved to Japan to support grassroots efforts to create labor unions for women only. She is best known for her book Our Unions Our Selves: The Rise of Feminist Labor Unions in Japan and “Working Longer, Living Less: Understanding Marx Through the Workplace Today”, co-written with her partner John Walsh. Anne now lives in Atlanta and hopes to one day be able to leave her house again to enjoy the city’s thriving literary and spoken word scene, and losing herself in the bookshelves at Charis.
Y. “Falami” Devoe’s first love for Charis began as a volunteer when she moved to Georgia from Ohio. Falami is a Womanist, PhotoArtist, Poet, Self-Care Ritualist ™ and Professor at Antioch University. Proud “Gigi”, she loves entertaining, reading a good suspense or mystery, listening to NPR, scrapbooking, dancing, powerlifting and riding her Peloton and outdoor cycling. Falami is the author of the Self-Care Ritualist Journal.