About Common Circles
Former attorney &
Television & film
producer with more than
25 years of experience
Bayeté Ross Smith
Examining how identity is both a performance as well as a set of characteristics has always been central to my work. I am curious about how identity forms the basis of human interactions and social systems. This analysis extends to examining who controls the images and media that define people and cultures globally, in a time that is defined by ease of access to information and user generated and disseminated media. Social and community engagement is therein a crucial element of my work.
Collaborating with Common Circles provides an ideal scenario where these ideas can be explored in a way that engages multiple communities across the country in a practical and relatable way, that hopefully will inspire deeper self reflection. It also provides an additional opportunity to research diverse perspectives on identity, from the minds of young people from a variety of economic backgrounds.
Bayeté Ross Smith is a photographer, multimedia artist and filmmaker from Harlem, NY. He began his career as a photojournalist with the Knight Ridder newspaper corporation, and has gone on to work as a multimedia artist and producer for The New York Times and POV.
As an artist, Ross Smith has exhibited his work internationally with the Smithsonian Institution, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Brooklyn Museum, the Oakland Museum of California, the Schomburg Center, the Unseen Photo Festival (Amsterdam), Goethe-Institute (Ghana), and Zacheta National Gallery of Art (Poland), to name a few. His collaborative projects "Along The Way" and "Question Bridge: Black Males" were showcased at the Sundance Film Festival among other festivals. His accolades include a TED Residency, an International Center of Photography Infinity Award for New Media, and a Jerome Foundation fellowship.
Ross Smith is a faculty member at the International Center of Photography and New York University, and the associate program director of the nonprofit Kings Against Violence Initiative, a hospital- and school-based non-profit violence prevention organization based in Brooklyn, NY.
USC Shoah Foundation
Gregg is a Managing Partner of Altus Power America Management. Until 2013, Gregg was the head of the Liberty Harbor team and the chief investment officer of Liberty Harbor, the credit alternatives platform at Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM). He oversaw the flagship Liberty Harbor fund, a value focused, event driven credit hedge fund, as well as related funds and separate accounts. Gregg joined Goldman Sachs as a partner in 2006. Prior to joining the firm, Gregg was a senior portfolio manager at Amaranth Advisors, a multi-strategy hedge fund located in Greenwich, Connecticut. Gregg led Amaranth’s global corporate credit investment team from 2000 to 2006. Before joining Amaranth, he was a vice president at Chase Manhattan Bank. From 1997 to 1999, Gregg served as a portfolio manager and senior analyst for Chase’s Special Situations Fund. Prior to that, he worked in the High Yield Finance Department of Chase’s Global Investment Bank.
Gregg earned a BA in Economics from Tufts University and a JD and MBA from the Georgetown University Law Center and School of Business.
Alan Marcus, PhD
Sara E. Brown PhD
Karen Handelman, founder and owner of 501creative, has been on a journey to learn about bias and equity since the early 90s. She spent a year volunteering full-time for Habitat for Humanity, has sat on multiple nonprofit boards working to create more equity and inclusion, and continues to support organizations that are making a difference for individuals in our communities.
When Karen first met Marla and Sue in 2016, she realized quickly that their vision for Common Circles – working with students and teaching them about bias and commonality at an early age – was missing in many of the organizations she had worked with. She believes that learning about implicit bias and accepting that it exists in all of us is a huge first step.
501creative is a design and communications agency for nonprofit organizations. Founded by Karen Handelman in 1995, 501’s tight-knit team of designers, programmers, and strategists work closely with nonprofits around the U.S. helping them create brands, messaging, and materials to fundraise, recruit, and educate. 501 has been working with Common Circles since 2016 helping develop the overall brand, website, and a variety of educational tools including the “We Are White Plains” Traveling Museum. Learn more about 501creative. Learn more about 501creative.
Empire Display Solutions
Display Design &
Empire Display Solutions is a worldwide leader in designing and manufacturing trade show displays, retail spaces, and corporate environments. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, we are pleased to offer a wide array of products and services to meet all of our partners’ needs and budgets. From concept to completion: We work together to bring our clients’ vision to life through award-winning and dynamic displays. Learn more about Empire Display Solutions.
Hart New York
Display Design &
City of White Plains
District Leader &
Ellen Berger is a City of White Plains District Leader, member of the Nominating Committee, the Executive Committee, and Program Chair of the White Plains Democratic City Committee. Ellen created and executed the White Plains High School Student Essay Contest sponsored by the WPDCC (White Plains Democratic Committee) to engage high school students to think about how to solve problems within our communities and to inspire young people to become active citizens, think proactively to help build community. ria She organized a Citywide photography exhibit, at the White Plains Public Library, “Countdown to Eternity”, The Last Year of Martin Luther King’s Life, showing the work of renowned photographer Benedict Fernandez, also sponsored by the WPDCC. Ellen also brought Emmy award winning documentary film producer, Emily Driscoll, to the Democratic City Committee for a screening and discussion highlighting environmental issues.
Earlier in Ellen’s career, she was appointed Membership Chair of Westchester County for Channel 13 and later started a nationwide art gallery representing outstanding American craft artists. She was a dealer of contemporary art by American artists.
Ellen was instrumental in bringing the exhibit “We Are White Plains” featuring the Shoah Foundation’s “Dimensions in Testimony”, funded and organized by “Common Circles” to the White Plains High School and Middle Schools.
Ellen is also on the Board of “Steve’s Camp at Horizon Farms”, the Gedney Association of White Plains, and Friends of Museums in Israel, among others. She holds a degree from New York University in Fine Arts and French and an MA from the University of Buffalo in French Literature. Ellen began her career as a high school teacher in Buffalo, NY.
We would like to acknowledge our appreciation for the wisdom and guidance we have received from both prior and current Advisory Board members who have generously committed time and leadership since our inception.
Dr. Kira Hudson Banks
Department of Psychology
Saint Louis University
Director of Professional Development
Greater St. Louis, Missouri Area
Associate Dean for Diversity
& Associate Professor
Flint W. Fowler
President of the
Boys & Girls Clubs of
Greater St. Louis
Dr. Holly Hick
St. Louis, Missouri
on implicit bias
the McMurtrey Financial Group
at RBC Wealth Management
Chief Program Officer
and Family Services
Dr. Stephen Radinsky
Vice President for
Facing History and Ourselves
The Staenberg Group
Research & Learning Department
Common Circles creates innovative and unprecedented interactive experiences that provide completely new ways for groups and communities to engage with each other. We invite organizations, institutions, businesses, schools, and individuals that are interested in promoting thoughtful action to join us in this cooperative endeavor. We welcome collaboration and new ideas on our current projects and are available to consult on yours.
Email email@example.com to learn more about our experiences and how you or your organization can be involved.
For funding sponsorship, or for information on how to make a donation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.