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Meet Our Staff
Brenda Boman joined the ACPP staff as Development Director in 2005, following a 27-year teaching career, during which she taught English to every grade from junior high through seniors at Auburn University. She has a B.A. in secondary education from Auburn and an M.A in English from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.
Communications director Jim Carnes grew up in Columbus, Mississippi, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began his editorial career at Encyclopaedia Britannica in 1977. After directing the Teaching Tolerance project at the Southern Poverty Law Center from 1995 to 2003, he joined the ACPP staff to work on the Amendment One tax reform campaign.
Health policy analyst M. J. Ellington joined Arise in 2011, bringing a wealth of experience covering state government and health for several major Alabama newspapers. A graduate of the University of Alabama, she also served as program administrator at Montgomery Area Council on Aging and executive director of the Mental Health Association in Montgomery.
Kimble Forrister joined Arise in 1991 as state coordinator. A native of Nashville, Tenn., he worked in urban ministry in the Northeast in the 1970s, completed an M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary, and served as Southeast Regional Organizer at Bread for the World for nine years in the 1980s.
Health reform organizer Dollie Hambrick joined the Arise team in 2011 to coordinate our outreach on the Affordable Care Act, who has lived in Alabama since 1990. She has a B.A. degree from Jackson State University and an M.S.W. from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. Her broad range of social work experience includes 10 years as Social Work Director at the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Lead organizer Pres Harris has worked for Arise since 1994. Pres has a B.S. in justice and public safety from Auburn University at Montgomery and an M.S. in management from Troy University. She has lived in Montgomery, Alabama, her entire life and enjoys spending time with family and friends, working in her church, watching movies, and singing along with gospel/ inspirational CDs.
Organizer Rebecca Jackson is a Montgomery native who received her B.A. in political science from the University of Alabama. She came to ACPP in the spring of 2007 as a policy fellow and later joined the organizing team, with a focus on e-advocacy and voter engagement.
Stan Johnson has been a contract organizer with Arise since 1995. Based in Birmingham, he covers the Birmingham, Anniston and Huntsville areas.
Organizer Shakita Brooks Jones, also a Montgomery native, is a graduate of Troy State University with a B.S. in social work. Shakita has a master’s degree in public administration and a nonprofit management certification from Auburn University Montgomery. Her experience as a social worker serving low-income HIV/AIDS patients and hospice clients led her to join the ACPP staff in 2008 to work for more humane state policies. She covers the central belt of counties across the state.
Policy analyst Chris Sanders is a lifelong Alabama resident and a two-time graduate of the University of Alabama, where he earned a bachelor’s degree and a law degree. He is a former editor of The Crimson White and served as an articles editor for the Alabama Law Review. He has analyzed budget and tax issues for ACPP since 2007.
Policy analyst Stephen Stetson grew up in Troy, Alabama, and began college at the University of Kentucky, finishing at the University of Texas with a degree in journalism (media studies). He was a policy debater (and coach) and also the Senior Associate Editor at The Daily Texan, the student newspaper at UT. He covered politics for his hometown newspaper before attending law school at the University of Alabama. He joined the ACPP staff in 2008.