Community Fellows, Spring 2023

Rasheed Ajamu is a reporter and radio show host for the Germantown Info Hub, a community-centered journalism project highlighting the Germantown section of Philadelphia, where Ajamu was born and raised. They are also the creator and curator of @PhreedomJawn, an Instagram blog dedicated to uplifting and aiding Black experiences and people in Philadelphia.

Some of their accolades include being one of the 76 Most Influential People of 2020 for Philadelphia Magazine, receiving the Never Delete Your Account Award from Billy Penn in 2021, and recently being honored as one of Al Dia's Forty Under 40 in 2022.

Sheila Lorrett Emerson likes to get, in the words of Civil Rights Leader John Lewis, “in good trouble, necessary trouble!” She is currently the President of the Board of PFLAG Philadelphia, the first and largest organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for LGBTQ+ people and their families.

She is also the Resident Services Manager and Neighborhood Advisory Committee Coordinator for Germantown United Community Development Corporation and helps people go from surviving to thriving by sharing the plethora of largely unknown City of Philadelphia and other resources that could benefit them. The only Black raptor handler and educator at John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove, she also is a farm hand/animal tender at Upper Main Line YMCA Environmental Education Complex where she takes care of a variety of animals.

Anjelica Sanders is a community journalist covering stories on the intersection of health, policy, community, and culture in Philadelphia. Born and raised in West Philly, she is inspired by the city’s eclectic streets, black history and culture, and the connection of all things.

After working in public health with a focus on community health education, she transitioned to public policy, where she works on a range of issues with an equitable health lens. In her many endeavors, she puts to use the power of storytelling to maximize impact and connect with others.

Jamie Oliver is an inspiring Field Producer shifting towards Solutions Journalism. I’m from a little town called Mount Vernon in New York located outside of the Bronx. I moved to Denver, Colorado and received a Bachelor Degree in Technical Video production and now live in Philadelphia. My motivation in telling stories is discussing what’s going on in my local community and its surrounding areas; primarily focusing on African American and Hispanic issues in Philadelphia and its surrounding areas.

Here are just some of the stories I love to explore: Black on Black and Brown and Brown violence from the eyes of the Mothers & children. To placing Injection Centers in Kensington that could possibly help that community. Lastly, how are single fathers’ coping with the family court system. These topics are important to me because it effects our entire environment and the generations after us!

Barbara Ellis is interested in exploring the work of nonprofit organizations that drive educational opportunities and access for students in low income and underserved communities. She grew up in South Central Los Angeles, lived in government-owned housing in a small West Texas town, and left college to work full-time when the burdens of student loans became too much.

Barbara returned to school and learned beside her children, whom she homeschooled to Harvard after acceptances to several Ivy League schools and Stanford University. She now has master’s degrees from Saint Joseph’s University and the University of Pennsylvania, which she obtained at the age of 47. 

Rachel K. Godfrey is a writer and creative development professional based in Philadelphia. Her work resides at the intersection of the creative and cultural industries. Guided by an interest in how we can build a softer and more spiritually sustainable world, she centers the arts, identity formation, tech, and social justice education in her practice. Rachel is currently the Site Director of Rock to the Future's MusiCore Germantown program. In 2019, she received her Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies from Wesleyan University, with a concentration in Literature and Performance.

As a storyteller, Rachel is dedicated to highlighting global-minded artists, educators, and other cultural workers who are using personal passions to nourish their communities.