Advisory Board

Advisory Board Members
Jean-Pierre Brice, Chester resident and CEO of
Amanda Johnson, Chester resident and Director of Visions Video Pro
Stefan Roots, Chester resident and Community Journalist of Chester Matters
Twyla Simpkins, Chester resident and Founder/Director of The Yes Center

CDS Collaborators & Partners
Ulysses Slaughter, Program Manager of Chester Made
Taylor Tolton-Kain, Program and Communications Associate for Chester Made
Christopher Mele, Advisor and Professor of Sociology, University at Buffalo

Advisory Board Members' Roles
Advisory Board members bring their unique special relationships, talents and competencies to help achieve Chester Digital Storytelling (CDS’s) mission to promote social change and enhance the well-being and preservation of the history of Chester. Advisory Board members serve as a resource to CDS on all matters concerning the Chester community.

As stewards, Advisory Board volunteer member activities include organizational involvement, time investment, and advancement of the CDS Mission.  

Members, who are committed to telling and reshaping Chester’s story, serve as Guardians of CDS – its mission and objectives. They oversee and advise to make certain that the CDS is and remains a community-based entity, that CDS is a good steward of the community’s knowledge resources held in the public trust, and strives to be inclusive of the diverse populations that reside in Chester.

The board oversees the organizational direction of CDS, including ensuring effective planning and project continuity and providing oversight of programs and services.

CDS Mission & Values Statement

CDS is a call to action that amplifies storytelling as an avenue for social change with clear, tangible effects for community life on the ground, including

  • reproducing and enhancing rapport among residents, strengthening communication pathways between residents and community leaders
  • normalizing (and preserving) the sharing of views and perspectives on city life, and identifying Chester’s otherwise neglected opportunities as well as other challenges.

CDS serves a broad range of informational functions, including but not limited to

  • Providing a broader, fuller and public familiarity with Chester’s past and present, addressing, among other things, topical issues of social justice, environment, education, community health, housing and homeownership, senior living, and the experiences of young people.
  • Facilitating educational programs and training about Chester’s past and present
  • Assisting and supplementing fund-raising projects and publications with digital stories, illustrations, photographs, and relevant documents
  • Enriching celebrations and commemorations of local events and public figures

CDS values locally created knowledge as plural, diverse and complex, as a collective enterprise involving a wide range of residents (across age, class, gender, race, ethnicity, length of residency, etc.) produced by the Chester community.

As a sustainable resource for locally created knowledge, CDS highlights diverse voices and experiences of historically marginalized communities while challenging longstanding efforts of mainstream institutions to silence and ignore them.

CDS is committed to local control and ownership, preservation, and the global sharing of the digital story collection.