Cynthia Black (Producer, Director, Videographer, and Photographer) conceived of the Voices of Witness Africa film after conversations with colleagues about ways to move the bishops of the Anglican Communion forward on issues of inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Building on the successful VOICES OF WITNESS (2006), produced by Louise Brooks and Susan Russell, and having heard from too many Anglican bishops in Africa that there were no gay people in their dioceses, she imagined a film that would be shown at the Lambeth Conference (the decennial conference of Anglican bishops worldwide) that would tell the stories of LGBT faithful in Africa.
Cynthia is an Episcopal priest who has served parishes in New Jersey, Michigan and Minnesota, and most recently was Dean of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She received her Master of Divinity and Doctor of Divinity (Honoris Causa) from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, California. She is an award winning photographer, and enjoys using videography to encourage others to interact with Gospel values of peace and justice. She has produced videos for various non-profit organizations, including the Episcopal Church. She has been a member of the Episcopal Church’s governing board-- the Executive Council, president of the Episcopal Women’s Caucus, and a member of the Claiming the Blessing collaborative of the Episcopal Church.
Katie Sherrod (Producer, Director) is an independent writer, producer, and commentator based in Fort Worth, Texas as well as the communications director for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. She was elected to the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church at that church’s General Convention 2009. She is the editor of and a contributor to Grace & Gumption, Stories of Fort Worth Women published by the Texas Christian University Press [Fall 2007]. She is the author of Women of the Passion, the story of the passion of Jesus from the viewpoint of the women who followed him. She wrote and produced the National PBS Documentary Freedman’s Cemetery Memorial: A Place of Healing. She produces videos for several corporate clients as well as for The Episcopal Church and is a contributor to the Texas Faith blog of the Dallas Morning News.
She writes a blog called Desert’s Child, at www.wildernessgarden.blospot.com.
In 2008 she was given an honorary doctorate from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Katie has won numerous national and state awards for her work in newspapers, magazines, radio and television. She was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame in 1987 for outstanding contributions in the field of communications. She is married to the Rev. Gayland Pool. She has a daughter, Daniella Judge, and two amazing grandsons, ages 7 and 4.
Joe Norman (Editor, Director of Photography, and Videographer) has over 25 years in the film & video production business and has worked in almost every phase of production during that time-- Producer, Director, Director of Photography, Editor, Production Manager, Grip. He has produced corporate training films and commercials. His film and broadcast work includes the National PBS Documentary Freedman’s Cemetery Memorial: A Place of Healing, Bank of America’s Black History Chronicles Award series (Video tributes to Community heroes with over 30 years of service in their respective fields), First Tuesday Production’s Market Focus (a fashion & accessories magazine-style show produced for the Apparel Mart & DMC Markets), Impact with Willis Johnson (a syndicated variety series, ABC), IMTV Dance/Music Video Entertainment show from The Iguana Mirage Nightclub (Dallas) and various Multi-Cam Award shows (NABJ, Dallas Fashion Awards, Western Image Awards, etc.).
As Director of Photography, he has worked on many national PBS series, including U.S. Mexican War, New Tastes of Texas with Stephen Pyles, and With Ossie & Ruby. Other DP work includes a USA Film Festival tribute to Rod Steiger, Dallas Cowboy & Southwest Conference Football and many fashion videos & runway shows.
His awards include an Emmy (Documentary Series) for U.S. Mexican War (1846-1848), a Batchy Award (NASPL) for “Cash Five” commercials, a Heartland Emmy runner up (Best Non-News Feature) for Freedman’s Cemetery, and a Dallas Press Club Katie Award (Best Television Arts Story) for Freedman’s Cemetery.
Paul Lee (Associate Producer) was born in Hong Kong in 1963, and moved to Toronto with his family in 1976. He graduated from the University of Toronto with Hon.B.Sc. (biology/anthropology/Latin American Studies) and M.A. (anthropology) and Ph.D. (education), and from York University with M.B.A. (arts & media administration) and M.F.A. (film). As a film producer, Paul specializes in producing films for first-time filmmakers, and in producing international co-productions, women's films, Asian films, human rights/social justice educational films, and LGBT films. Paul has produced, co-produced, and associate-produced over 20 films, including San Francisco filmmaker Jenni Olson's Berlin-premiered BLUE DIARY and Sundance-premiered THE JOY OF LIFE, and the Berlin-premiered BELOW THE BELT by Toronto filmmakers Dominique Cardona and Laurie Colbert. Since 1991 Paul has organized, programmed, and curated film festivals in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Mauritius, Iran, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan and the Philippines. In 1994 Paul made his own first short film THICK LIPS THIN LIPS, which has won 9 awards, and was screened at over 240 film festivals worldwide, after its premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival. In 1995 he made his second film THESE SHOES WEREN'T MADE FOR WALKING, which has won 6 awards, and was screened at over 90 film festivals worldwide, after its premiere at the Sydney Film Festival (and the film is used in the Women's Studies curriculum in more than 30 universities and colleges across Canada, the U.S., Polynesia, and the Caribbean). In 1999 he made his third film THE OFFERING, which has won 70 awards to date, and was screened at over 490 film festivals worldwide, after its premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival. When not making his own films or producing films for other independent filmmakers, Paul takes care of International Marketing for the Cinema Development Fund in Kyrgyzstan, and for the Swedish film distributor Glimz AB.
John Clinton Bradley (Consulting Producer) is the Acting Executive Director of Integrity USA—which served as the fiscal agent for Voices of Witness Africa and provided significant administrative support for the project. John and his partner, Michael Hopkins, provided sanctuary in their home to Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo for several months in 2001 during the height of the persecution against him.
Susan Russell (Consulting Producer) is currently on staff at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena where she is a Senior Associate. She serves as president of Integrity USA, and convener of “Claiming the Blessing” – a national collaborative ministry focused on the full inclusion of GLBT people the Episcopal Church. She is also a member of the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) Religion Council. A Los Angeles native, her family includes her partner Louise, two sons (ages 22 and 25) two dogs and a cat. She is an ENFJ, a second soprano and a second-generation Los Angeles Dodger fan.
Louise Brooks (Consulting Producer) is an Emmy award winning producer and director. She directed and produced the original VOICES OF WITNESS, the story of gay and lesbian couples and their allies in the Episcopal Church. VOICES OF WITNESS was the recipient of the Episcopal Communicators coveted Polly Bond award in 2006.