The Plot of Land Team
Sue Mobley is a New Orleans based urbanist, organizer, and advocate. She is Director of Research at Monument Lab. Sue was most recently a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Art and Space at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania, as well as a member of the New Orleans City Planning Commission. Sue was Co-Director of Paper Monuments, served as the inaugural Visiting Fellow for Arts and Culture at the American Planning Association and was Public Programs Manager at the Small Center for Collaborative Design at Tulane School of Architecture.
Jordy Yager is a career journalist, and currently serves as the Director of Digital Humanities at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center in Charlottesville, VA. His award-winning work has appeared on PBS and in The New Yorker, NPR, and the Columbia Journalism Review, among many others. Jordy has helped lead Central Virginia’s efforts to map racial covenants alongside historically Black property and corresponding life outcomes, in a broader effort to further community-driven reparative work.
Li Sumpter, Ph.D. is a multidisciplinary artist and independent scholar who applies strategies of worldbuilding and mythic design toward building better, more resilient communities of the future. Li’s creative research and collaborative design initiatives engage the art of survival and sustainability through diverse ecologies and immersive stories of change. Li is a cultural producer and eco-arts activist working through MythMedia Studios and the Escape Artist Initiative. She is also actively engaged in interdisciplinary projects with Monument Lab, Painted Bride Art Center and the Education Ecologies Collective. Li holds an MA in Art and Humanities Education from NYU and a MA/Ph.D. in Mythological Studies and Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and has been a visiting professor at Haverford College, Moore College of Art and Design and recently returned to Pacifica to teach at her alma mater. Li is a recipient of the 2018 Sundance Institute and Knight Alumni grant, a 3-time recipient of the Leeway Art and Change Grant, a 2020 recipient of the Leeway Transformation Award, a 2022 recipient of the Velocity Fund, a 2022 Afrofuturist-in-Residence with the Village of Arts and Humanities, a 2022 Leeway Media Artist x Activist-in-Residence with the Theatre in the X, and was recently named a 2023 Bertha Artivist.
Emma grew up in California, where she learned to cherish the fight for justice and climate action. She has co-founded a collaborative environmental museum from the future, walked the Camino de Santiago, and worked in more restaurants than she can count. Most recently, Emma's passions have led her to work with non-profits such as the Center for Biological Diversity and Earthjustice on climate change litigation. She's currently working on the Plot of Land project to design its logo, social media, and website. Emma got her BS in Society and Environment from UC Berkeley and will graduate from UC Davis Law School in 2023.
Tongva Land (Long Beach) - Mer Young is a descendant of Chichimeca and Apache. She is an Indigenous published multidisciplinary artist who has created a body of artwork manifested in collages, drawings, paintings, and founder of Mausi Murals public artworks. She is a BIPOC activist, steward of land and water and environmental justice advocate. Young's artworks aim to inspire, celebrate and elevate indigenous and native cultures and to bring about change within Brown and Black communities.
Young’s works have been included in numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally. Her public art works can be found in the East Village Arts District of Long Beach, CA, in The Sixth and Ninth District of Long Beach, CA, in The City of Glendale, CA, The City of South Pasadena, The City of San Pedro, The City of Paramount, The City of Anaheim, The City of Tustin and in the Art District of Los Angeles and the 3rd Ward in Houston, Texas.
She is a current member of The National Foundation of Independent Artists (NFIA), she holds Associate Degrees in Fine Arts and Liberal Arts from Long Beach City College and received her Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree from The University of Southern California.
Nick Jenisch is a project manager for the Albert & Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, and has been engaged in public interest design for more than fifteen years. With experience in teaching, project management, architecture, and planning, he brings a deep understanding of urban scale and the regional context to his work. Nick conducts research on affordable housing in New Orleans and the impact of policy on urbanization, and has helped partner cities and organizations secure funding for more than 30 community-based design projects.
Thomas J. Adams is Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and History (by courtesy) at the University of South Alabama. From 2014 to 2021 he was a faculty member in History and American Studies at the University of Sydney where he remains an Honorary Associate. He has held fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Camargo Foundation, and IGK-Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History and has taught at Tulane University, Indiana University Northwest, and the University of Chicago where he received his Ph.D. in US History. His research focuses broadly on the history and contemporary politics of work, political economy, inequality, and urbanism in the United States and Gulf of Mexico basin. His most recent book is the edited collection Remaking New Orleans: Beyond Authenticity and Exceptionalism (Duke, 2019).
Jameela Hammond is an audio storyteller with a passion to spotlight BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities. Several months after receiving her masters in Specialized Journalism from University of Southern California with a focus in (video/audio) podcasting, she returned as an Adjunct Professor for the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, focusing on Navigating Media & News in the Digital Age. She has hosted on Annenberg Radio’s "From Where We Are," "JAMPACKED," and on "The Black Catalyst Show." She created "JAMPACKED" and "The Black Catalyst Show" to share unheard BIPOC and LGBTQ+ stories.
Jameela also received the honor of being awarded one of L.A. Press Club’s Foot-in-the-Door Fellows. Her background ranges from working as an Editorial Assistant at KNBC/NBC4 where she received an ovation for breaking the Faria Beach murder story to doing the sports and weather news updates on KSPC 88.7FM. Jameela believes it's incumbent upon her to represent and share unheard stories. As a vessel, she wants to create meaningful content and tell life-altering stories.
Katherine Nagasawa is a multimedia journalist who specializes in participatory storytelling rooted in community and place. She was previously a digital and community engagement producer at WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR news station, where she worked within the newsroom and for the public-powered project "Curious City." Katherine is currently a digital and impact producer for Full Spectrum Education, where she helps develop cinematic digital history projects for classroom use. Her latest Full Spectrum project, "Resettlement: Chicago Story," focuses on Japanese American World War II incarceration and resettlement to Chicago. You can learn more about her work at katherinenagasawa.com.
Melissa Fundira is a journalist, audio producer, and researcher based in Toronto. With connections to Kigali, New York City, and Montreal, Melissa's work speaks to her interest in justice and resistance across world cities and the Black diaspora. She most recently produced Season 3 of Rethinking Humanitarianism, a podcast that explored humanitarian aid as reparations, more equitable alternatives to the United Nations, whether decolonized aid is an oxymoron, and more. Melissa was the audio lead and associate producer on the CBC's Black on the Prairies project, an award-winning exploration of the history, contributions and influence of Black people on the Canadian Prairies. Melissa has written for the CBC and University Affairs Magazine, and has worked as a producer, scriptwriter, and broadcaster for CBC Podcasts, CBC Montreal, Historica Canada, and Blue Wire Podcasts. As a researcher, Melissa was part of a University of Calgary team that produced a report on anti-racist practices in municipalities across Canada, the USA, and the UK. Melissa has an MSc in City Design and Social Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She wrote her dissertation on the fight to preserve affordable housing in her childhood neighborhood of Roosevelt Island in New York City – a story she further reported on for Monument Lab's Plot of Land podcast.
Irina Zhorov is an award winning journalist who's reported on mining, infrastructure, housing, agriculture and Russian cowboys. She's interested in how people interact with their environments, whether built or wild, and why. Her first novel, Lost Believers, will be published by Scribner in August.
Mark is a researcher, sound engineer, and composer with an extensive background in film, television, radio, and podcasting. In 2021, he obtained a Masters in Research Architecture from Goldsmiths, University of London, where he applied open-source investigation methods to map the expansion of the United States border throughout Central and South America. His work has been featured in The Guardian and Los Angeles Times. As a sound designer, he collaborates with the investigative research agency Forensic Architecture. Their collaborations have premiered at the Berlinale Film Festival and have been awarded the Golden Nica at Prix Ars Electronica competition. He has toured across Europe and North America performing under his musical alias, COMBAT!, where he explores themes of belonging and identity through music.
Anya Groner writes and reports about the environment, racial justice, and family. Her stories and essays can be read in Guernica, The New York Times, The Oxford American, Orion Magazine and The Atlantic and have been recognized by Best American Short Stories, Best American Travel Writing, Best American Science Writing, and Best American Essays. Her exhibit Extractivism, in collaboration with the filmmaker Jazmin Miller, is currently on Display at Tulane University's Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design. A recipient of awards from the Cincinnati Review, Studio in the Woods, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Sewanee Writers Conference, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and the Louisiana Board of Regents, Groner lives in New Orleans with her husband, two children, and dogs. She teaches creative writing at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and is a founder and teacher at New Orleans Writers Workshop.