Introducing Our New Staff Structure & Organizational Graphic

Organizational chart designed by Talamieka Brice.


As a member-led organization and staff, we seek to work in ways that align with our values. This organizational chart was developed by the ROOTS staff as part of the 2020-23 Strategic Plan. It reflects the beauty of our organizational model and the collaborative, team-based way our staff works. It also challenges us to continually evolve our practices and structures and keep growing into our values, especially when it comes to shared power. We share this chart as we begin working on this four year strategic plan, expecting that it will change and evolve in the coming years.

Organizational Chart Highlights:

  • Where we used to have three departments (Programs, Operations, and Communications), we now have four teams. Cultural Organizing and Strategic Partnerships have split the work that used to fall under the Programs umbrella.
  • Cultural Organizing focuses on our gatherings like ROOTS Week and Weekends, Intercultural Leadership Institute, Learning Exchanges, Rhizomes, Work Groups, and Cultural Policy work (like our partnership with Southern Movement Assembly).
  • Strategic Partnerships focuses on our partnership programs: Partners for Change, Partners in Action, Artistic Assistance, and the Solidarity Fund.
  • The Executive team, consisting of the Executive Director, Executive Assistant, and Executive Committee hold the container for all the work of ROOTS – their line encompasses the full staff structure. They keep the 30,000 foot view.
  • Special Projects is an area of work that everyone on staff has a hand in. For example, the ROOTS Book, Archive, and Language Justice are special projects led by the Communications team. The Greenhouse initiative (stay tuned!) is an Operations-led special project.
  • Similarly with Development, all staff members’ work intersects with this work, even as it is led by the Executive Team. From participating in grant visioning and writing, to developing budgets, to building relationships, we all play a role.
  • The ROOTS membership are represented throughout and around the staff structure. Some members work within team structures on contracts (proposal coaches, documentation team, ROOTS Week curation, etc.). And the membership as a whole holds the circle of our organization intact.

Our new team structure paved the way for new teammates! This spring and summer we have welcomed four new and amazing staff members to the ROOTS team: Nathalie Nia Faulk (they/them & she/her) and indee mitchell (they/them & he/him) joined the Cultural Organizing team, Jen Williams (she/her) joined the Communications team, and Raven Crane (they/them, he/him, & Raven) joined the Executive Team. We also said goodbye to Ashley Walden Davis, as she began the next chapter of her professional life.

Read on for details about our full staff roles, who to contact for what, our brand new radical titles [with standard titles in parentheses], and click the links to staff bios to learn more about each individual staff member.

The full ROOTS staff at our weekly Zoom meeting, just before Ashley Walden Davis’ departure.




Michelle Ramos, she/her/hers

Vision Keeper [Executive Director]

The primary role of the Alternate ROOTS Executive Director (ED) is to implement the strategic goals and objectives of the organization. Additionally, this position requires the ED to work with the Chair and/or President to enable the Executive Committee (ExComm) to fulfill its governance function, and give direction and leadership toward the achievement of the organization’s philosophy, mission, and strategic plan objectives. The Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the administration, operations, programs, communications, and strategic plan of the organization. Other key duties include public speaking, fundraising, marketing, and community engagement nationwide.

Contact Michelle about: Board service, ROOTS public appearances/panel service, philanthropic partnerships, ROOTS training/workshops, staffing concerns.

Ryan Crane, they/them/theirs & he/him/his & Ryan

Roadmapper [Executive Assistant]

The ROOTS Executive Assistant is a part-time position providing administrative support to the Executive Director and Executive Committee. Additionally, the Executive Assistant will support administrative work with the entire ROOTS staff and support in member requests as needed.

Contact Raven about: Setting up meetings/calls with the ED or ExComm, Zoom calls, entry communication with staff members, membership, clarity for which team/staff to contact with a question.



Wendy Shenefelt, she/her/hers

Auntie of Cultural Exuberance and Sanctuary [Cultural Organizing Director]

Wendy leads the Cultural Organizing team and is primarily responsible for implementing strategies that will maximize synergies among program areas and establishing consistent, objective program performance standards of accountability. The Director of Cultural Organizing supervises Cultural Organizing Team and contractors, as well as work with ROOTS staff to execute the day-to-day activities in all ROOTS programming.

Contact Wendy about: ROOTS Week, ROOTS Weekends, Southern Movement Assembly, and our work to build relationships with communities that are underrepresented at ROOTS including Native and Indigenous, people with disabilities, and more.

Nathalie Nia Faulk, they/them/theirs & she/her/hers

Mistress of Cultural Exuberance and Pleasantries  [Cultural Organizing Programs Coordinator]

Nathalie is responsible for mobilizing the ROOTS community to develop and implement Cultural Organizing Programs. Alongside the Cultural Organizing Team, they manage the operations of all cultural organizing programming at ROOTS while supporting the involvement of ROOTS membership within these programs.

Contact Nathalie about: ROOTS Working Groups (UpROOTING Oppression, Gender Equity Work Group,YOOTS), and Learning Exchanges.

indee mitchell, they/them/theirs & he/him/his

Mastress of Cultural Exuberance and Agitation  [Cultural Organizing Programs Administrator]

indee provides direct support to the Cultural Organizing Team by managing the administrative responsibilities of Cultural Organizing programs which includes co-curating ROOTS Week and ROOTS Weekends. indee also manages and helps implement all Alternate ROOTS’ digital organizing and live streaming efforts.

Contact indee about: ROOTS Week/ends Curation & Operations, Rhizomes, ROOTS digital organizing & live streaming efforts.



Clarissa Crawford, she/her/hers

Partnerships & Process Road Opener [Strategic Partnerships Strategist]

Clarissa is a steward of the resources and processes that build, support, and promote deep and meaningful partnerships between Alternate ROOTS, our community members, and our field allies. A process prober, Clarissa, investigates the road ahead to help ensure the path is open, equitable, and strategically aligned with the mission and generous spirit of this community.

Contact Clarissa about: all things Strategic Partnerships – Partners for Change, Partners in Action, Artistic Assistance, and the Solidarity Fund.



Paige Heurtin, she/her/hers

Caretaker, Peacemaker & Implementer [Operations Director]

Paige is the leader of the Operations team, and sees her role with ROOTS as providing a firm and sturdy foundation for ROOTS’ programs work. Paige’s main responsibilities are managing money, including preparation of quarterly financial statements, budgets and ROOTS’ annual audit. She also serves as ROOTS human resources representative, supervises the registration process for ROOTS events, and keeps our remote office processes flowing. As a finance person, Paige is a bean counter. But in addition to counting the beans, she also makes sure they are seasoned, well cooked and delicious, to keep our ROOTS community nourished and comfortable.

Contact Paige about: quarterly financial statements, budgets, fiscal sponsorship, human resources, and remote office processes.

Aimee McCoy, she/her/hers

Oracle of Synthesis [Operations Manager]

Aimee is the second member of the Operations team. She focuses on financial accounting and tracking by maintaining the day-to-day operations of the organization and feels her role is directly linked to members as she processes accounts payable and accounts receivables. Aimee assists Paige in keeping the organization running smoothly internally and is the go-to person on staff for ROOTS’ membership processes and event registration management. Aimee is also the key person for ROOTS organizational strategy coordination by tracking and reporting on ROOTS 2020-2023 Strategic Plan objectives and work progress.

Contact Aimee about: accounts payable/ accounts receivable, strategic plan tracking, membership (status/dues/profile/renewals/donations), and ROOTS’ event registration.



Nicole Gurgel-Seefeldt, she/her/hers

Communications Orchestrator & Story Strategist [Communications Director]

As the Communications Orchestrator & Story Strategist, Nicole develops and directs the strategy for all of ROOTS internal and external communications, including digital and print publications, content-based projects, website, and public relations, to consistently articulate and advance the mission of Alternate ROOTS. Nicole leads the Communications team, ensuring that Alternate ROOTS’ communications support and uplift the membership and position ROOTS as a thought and practice leader in the field of arts and social justice. Nicole is the staff lead on the ROOTS Book project.

Contact Nicole about: ROOTS overall communication strategy and vision, story pitches, ROOTS Book.

Melisa Cardona, they/them/theirs & she/her/hers

Platforms Whisperer & Visual Story Alchemist [Communications Specialist]

As the Platforms Whisperer & Visual Story Alchemist, Melisa develops and disseminates all web-based communications, internally and externally, maintaining the excellence, consistency, and usability of ROOTS communications ensuring that Alternate ROOTS communicates with its constituents clearly. Platforms include: ROOTS website, MailChimp, social media, Vimeo, and Flickr accounts. Melisa also leads ROOTS’ Language Justice work.

Contact Melisa about: ROOTS’ website, social media, e-blasts/newsletters, photography, or video, and Language Justice work.

Jennifer Williams, she/her/hers

Wordsmith [Communications Coordinator]

As the Communications Coordinator & Wordsmith, Jen coordinates and develops the communications work of Alternate ROOTS. Jen maintains internal and external communications calendars, writes copy, develops the monthly Member News, and is responsible for sharing organizational, member, and partner announcements via our various channels. Jen also leads ROOTS’ archival work.

Contact Jen about: announcements/information to share with the ROOTS community, communications calendar, all things copy-writing, and the archive.

Alternate ROOTS supports the creation and presentation of original art that is rooted in communities of place, tradition or spirit. We are a group of artists and cultural organizers based in the South creating a better world together. As Alternate ROOTS, we call for social and economic justice and are working to dismantle all forms of oppression—everywhere.