Ellie Walton


Ellie Walton, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and educator, has committed her life’s work to sharing personal stories of everyday heroes. Her films cover the stories of public housing residents fighting displacement (Chocolate City, 2007), day laborers searching for the American Dream (Igual Que Tú, 2009), theatre artists imagining change in schools and prisons (Walk With Me, 2012).

Ellie’s career has been focused on deep engagement and collaboration with the community which she documents in her films.

She is the recipient of the 2011 Mayor’s Arts Award, the highest honor given to an individual artist in Washington, DC. 


hawah bio pic

Hawah is an artist, author, educator, yoga instructor and community organizer. He has dedicated his life to teaching about solutions to violence and ways to peace, and has traveled to over 28 countries in the past 14 years to facilitate interactive workshops, dialogues, perform poetry, teach yoga, and speak with those interested in creating a caring, sustainable, and equitable world.

In 2000, Hawah finished at American University with a degree in Peace and Educational Philosophy and co-founded One Common Unity, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C.

Hawah has authored 4 books, produced 3 documentary films and 2 musical CDs; he is the creator/editor of “The Poetry of Yoga” book anthology which features Grammy award winning musicians and master teachers in an epic 2-volume set that includes writing from 19 countries and over 300 poets.

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Steve Ma


Steve Ma is the Senior Partner at Accelerate Change, and has been a leader in the social change arena for more than two decades. He founded and ran Live Green, a social enterprise focused on building a new, thriving green economy.

Steve also held senior positions at AARP, directed campaign offices for the Sierra Club and the state PIRGs, coordinated an environmental petition drive which generated 1.2 million physical signatures, and helped to bring about the passage of several environmental, good government, and health policies.

In 2001, Asianweek named Steve their Asian American of the Year for his innovative work to reduce the influence of big money in politics.


Cindy Ma 


Cindy is a facilitator, translator and bridge between worlds.  She grew up as a Chinese-American with a background in health care management and policy. After her mother’s struggle with a rare form of liver cancer, she began to investigate the root causes of disease, and discovered the links between physical health and environmental, mental and spiritual health as being deeply inter-related.

In her 6 years living abroad in China during a period of rapid growth, she witnessed first-hand how modern development was affecting not only personal and public health, but also environmental health on a wide scale.  Recognizing the unsustainable nature of our modern systems, she began a quest for alternatives. She has since been hosting events and facilitating dialogue to bring forth transformative information and ideas, and sharing them in creative and engaging ways.  She is a mother of three children, and as such, is primarily concerned for what kind of future they will inherit, and how best to prepare them for it.

She sees women and mothers across the world sharing the same concerns, and therefore founded S*HE to serve as a media platform and HUB, bringing together our collective questions and concerns with experts and visionaries, so we can problem solve together. She is a passionate, heart-centered inquisitor, a nourisher and a reflector, and believer in women to lead the way in restoring balance to our world.

Magee McIlvaine 


Magee McIlvaine was born in Canada and grew up between East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia) and Washington, DC. While attending high school in DC, Magee won the Raiser Fellowship to produce a political documentary about the kingdom of Swaziland in Southern Africa.

At the age of 16, he successfully gained access to the political elite, the opposition party, and even the King of Swaziland. This experience propelled him down a path of political and cultural exploration throughout the world with film as his medium. His work to date primarily focuses on the intersection of politics and the arts, especially the use of hip hop music and culture as a political tool. From Africa to Europe to South America, he has produced documentaries in some of the world’s most notorious urban areas.

As co-director of the groundbreaking ‘Democracy in…’ series (Senegal, France, Haiti), as well as two political documentaries in Venezuela, he conducts guerrilla filmmaking workshops around the world; and, his work has been presented at institutions of higher learning in the US and abroad (Harvard, MIT, GWU, Georgetown, Wesleyan, University of Cape Town, among others), and at music and academic conferences (SXSW, NXNE, CMJ, ASA, Waga Hip Hop Festival in Burkina Faso, and more).

 Sam McCormally 



Sam McCormally is a composer, songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist from Washington, DC.

He has composed music for numerous films, including the feature length documentaries Walk With Me and Igual Que Tú. Sam is the founding member of Ugly Purple Sweater, an indie rock band from Washington, DC.

He is currently collaborating on the score for Meena’s Dream, a play by Anu Yadav. Sam grew up in Northern Virginia and currently lives in a house in Washington, DC with his wife Rachel, his sister Anna, and his friend Ross.