Richard Calton, Founder, Executive Director
Richard is a graduate of New York University where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism, with a minor in Computer Science, and he also holds a Masters Degree in Education, as a Reading Specialist, from City College of New York. As a consultant with the Institute for Learning Technologies at Teachers College, Columbia University, Richard taught graduate level classes and assisted Harlem area schools with technology projects. Prior to his position at Teacher’s College, Richard worked for New York City Public School System for 13 years—3 years at the district level managing the implementation of computer technology projects and providing professional development to teachers in the East Harlem school district, and 10 years as a teacher in East Harlem schools. In 1996 Richard founded HarlemLIVE, Inc. as a way to enhance the education offered by New York City Public Schools by allowing students to explore journalism within the newly emerging Internet technologies.
Melvin Johnson, Associate Director
Melvin Johnson, a HarlemLIVE alumnus, has been actively involved in the movement to Bridge the Digital Divide since he began working with the Internet publication in 1999. At HL, Johnson represented the organization at national and international conferences and at community events, encouraging young people to use technology as a means of social and economic mobility. Melvin attended Columbia Business School’s Institute for Not-for-Profit Management. He has worked as a production assistant for Russell Simmons’ One World (RS1W), and has been a Technology Coordinator for Madison Square Boys & Girls Club and Columbus Clubhouse. He was the Program Director for Playing2Win, the nation’s first Community Technology Center, and the Network Administrator for the Thurgood Marshall Academy for Social Change. Melvin returned to HarlemLIVE, where his journey began, in January to assist Founder Richard Calton with the organization’s transition from a volunteer run organization to staffing key position. He currently attends Empire State University where he is majoring in Business Management and Economics.
Gisely Colon-Lopez, Director of Operations
Gisley is a HarlemLIVE alumna. While attending New York’s High School of Art and Design, Gisley served as HL’s Office Manager and, during her senior year, was also responsible for marketing and public relations, contributing to the success of that summer’s Youth Media Challenge. Gisely was a marketing major at NYC College of Technology, for a year, prior to becoming a Marketing Representative for a statewide health insurance non-profit organization where she quickly progressed to a trainer. This position renewed her passion for teaching and Gisley began taking education classes at York College. She will continue her studies, part time, at Hunter College in January 2008.
Cynthia Simmons, Development Consultant
Cynthia is a writer who has been working in arts administration and development since the 80s. She developed and produced the first Audience Development Committee (AUDELCO) play festival. As development consultant for jazz artist Cassandra Wilson, Cynthia developed cross-gender collaborations between Ms. Wilson and other performing artists, and oversaw the post product and distribution of the video, Traveling Miles. After honing her critical writing skills in Goddard College’s MFA Writing Program in Vermont, Cynthia apprenticed with Michelle Hodges, a development consultant provided pro bono to HarlemLIVE through the Foundation Center’s First Steps, Next Steps Program, prior to becoming their Development Consultant. She is also the development director for the Mary Lou Williams Resurgence Project, an organization the presents the work of this unheralded jazz composer.