Team

Team

Molly Raskin, PRODUCER/WRITER

Molly is a freelance journalist with a special interest in global/mental health. Since 2004, she’s contributed dozens of stories to the PBS NewsHour. She’s also produced/written short films for non-profits including Timbuktu Renaissance (narrated by Morgan Freeman) and Strong Minds (narrated by Ashley Judd). Molly’s work has appeared in publications including Scientific American Mind and Psychology Today. She is also the author of the non-fiction book No Better Time. To learn more, visit her Web site.

Ben Niles, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER

Ben is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. His film, “Note By Note (The Making of Steinway L1037),” won top honors at the Sarasota Film Festival, was nominated for an IDA award and selected to the prestigious American Documentary Association, screening in over 30 countries. It’s now airing nationally on PBS. He recently released “Some Kind of Spark”, a documentary following kids from underserved communities in a music outreach program at Juilliard. To learn more about Ben’s work, visit PLOW Productions.

Tom Placke, EDITOR

Tom brings his strong storytelling abilities and creative editorial services to projects including Documentary, Commercial, and Entertainment for a wide range of clients including Sesame Workshop, PBS News Hour, Conde Nast, GE and Four Seasons. He’s also edited short films for non-profits including the Timbuktu Renaissance (narrated by Morgan Freeman) and Strong Minds (narrated by Ashley Judd). To learn more about Tom’s work, visit Prune Post Production.


STORY ADVISORS

Matthew Luhrman

Matthew Luhrman has worked in film and television for over twenty years as an editor, writer and producer. He recently served as Supervising Story Producer on the acclaimed Esquire series “Uncorked” about wine sommeliers. He made his first film in college, a documentary about the ragpickers of Nepal. Ever since he’s been inspired by the power of documentaries to help raise awareness about urgent issues in the world, and to help make a real positive impact. For that he is honored to be a part of the “Still We Rise” team and to support this film’s important mission.


ADVISORS

Members of our Advisory Board offer guidance, support and expertise to maximize the impact of RISE and help ensure its accuracy. If you are interested in becoming an Advisor, please contact Molly Raskin.

Theresa S. Betancourt

Theresa S. Betancourt, Sc.D., M.A. is Director of the Research Program on Children and Global Adversity and Associate Professor of Child Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).

Dr. Betancourt has extensive experience in conducting research among children and families in low-resource settings, particularly in the context of humanitarian emergencies. She has been involved in the adaptation and testing of several mental health interventions for children and families facing adversity due to violence and chronic illness, including as PI of an NIMH-funded project to develop and evaluate a parenting/Family Strengthening Intervention (FSI) for HIV-affected families in Rwanda. She has recently worked with partners to adapt this intervention to focus on families with young children (<3 years) living in extreme poverty and options for delivering such family home visiting interventions via Rwanda’s Social Protection system.

Dr. Betancourt is currently PI of an ongoing project to integrate an evidence-based behavioral intervention for war-affected youth (the Youth Readiness Intervention) into education and employment programs in Sierra Leone. One of Dr. Betancourt’s longest standing projects (begun in 2002) is a prospective longitudinal/intergenerational study of war-affected youth in Sierra Leone. A current NICHD R01 research grant is supporting a fourth wave of data collection in the cohort to investigate the intergenerational effects of war in Sierra Leone by examining health and development of the young children of the original cohort as well as intimate partner relationships. This research comprises one of the few intergenerational studies of war ever conducted in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr. Betancourt has written extensively on mental health, child development, family functioning and resilience in children facing adversity. She graduated summa cum laude in psychology from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon and holds a Master in Art Therapy from the University of Louisville. She completed her doctoral work in Maternal and Child Health with concentrations in Psychiatric Epidemiology and Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Nina Chaudry, PBS, Senior producer of Women, War & Peace

Nina Chaudry is an award-winning journalist and producer with nearly 15 years of experience in documentary filmmaking. Most recently, she produced a documentary about the education reformer Michelle Rhee, which aired on PBS’s Frontline. She was the senior producer of Women, War & Peace, a five-part series on the strategic role of women in global conflict and peace-building, and the co-producer of the final episode, War Redefined. Seen by 12 million viewers on PBS, the films won two Overseas Press Club awards, a Television Academy Honor, and the ABA’s Silver Gavel.

Previously, she was a senior member of the PBS Emmy Award-winning international series Wide Angle where she worked closely with global filmmakers on more than 40 documentaries, covering issues such as the drug-fueled corruption in Colombia, the challenges to fostering democracy in Afghanistan, and efforts to reduce maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Nina has reported from Turkey about the rise of the conservative middle class and from India about the cultural impact of outsourcing and the epidemic of suicides among farmers. She represented Wide Angle at documentary forums, festivals and markets, including Sheffield Doc/Fest, IDFA, HotDocs, AFI DOCS, among others. She has been a judge, panelist or featured speaker for the Independent Filmmaker Project, POV, the U.N. and several universities.

Nina continues to mentor and advise independent filmmakers on their documentaries and is currently developing a documentary on the partition of British India in 1947, which resulted in one of the biggest and bloodiest migrations in human history and has left an indelible stain on Indo-Pakistan relations.

Sean Mayberry, Executive Director of Strong Minds

Sean Mayberry has twenty years of global management experience in the government, private and non-profit sectors. He has lived and worked in the developing world for more than a decade, delivering health products and services to the poorest communities in some of the most remote areas of the world. He is founder and director of Strong Minds, an organization dedicated to mental health care in Africa. StrongMinds is guided by an ambitious goal of treating two million depressed African women by 2020.

Prior to founding StrongMinds, Sean was the CEO for FXB International, leading its anti-poverty programs in Africa and Asia. Sean was also the COO for VisionSpring (2009-2011), a social enterprise which provides affordable eyeglasses to low-income populations. Sean also worked for Population Services International (PSI), a leading global health and social marketing organization, as Country Director for India, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Congo.

Prior to his work for PSI, Sean worked for more than five years in operations management for the Intel Corporation in the US and the Philippines. From 1988 through 1995, Sean held numerous positions at the US Department of State, including Foreign Service Officer in Kenya, where he was deeply involved in the US Government relief operations in Somalia. Sean holds an MBA in International Management from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and a Bachelor of Science in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.

Katie Meyler, Founder, More Than Me Foundation

Katie has been living on and off in post-war Liberia since she was 23 years old. She founded More Than Me, an organization that works in one of the most notorious slums in the world to help girls at risk of child-prostitution get off the street and into school. More Than Me works with community leaders to identify girls who are at the highest risk of being sexually exploited to ensure that education and opportunity, not exploitation and poverty, define their lives. They pay tuition, provide school lunch and work with the school and community to make it impossible for these girls to fail. It’s working – 10% of the girls are 1st in their class!

Katie has traveled on an Oprah’s Angel Network sponsored tour speaking to over 50,000 young people. She’s been called “The most passionate person we’ve ever met” by Bono’s ONE Foundation, a “Social Media Role-Model” at a UN sponsored technology event and named “Outstanding Woman of the Year” by the NJ Commission on the Status of Women. In December of 2012, More Than Me won the Chase American Giving Awards, being recognized as a leading Educator and Mentor. Katie is also a lauded public speaker, having spoken to over 40,000 people on the Challenges and Solutions to Global Poverty through Oprah’s Angel Network. In her free time, Katie can be seen on her fire engine red bicycle on the city streets, or performing spoken word poetry.