Co-Facilitators: Anne D’Urso-Rose, Jodie Zalk
Anne D’Urso-Rose – Associate Director, Malden Access Television (MATV) Aside from being Associate Director at MATV, where she has worked for over 26 years, Anne D’Urso-Rose is a Trustee of the Malden Public Library. Working on the Malden Reads project allows her use her skills in community-building while sharing her passion for reading and literature.
Jodie Zalk – M.P.P., Community Education Activist As one of Malden Reads’ co-founders and co-facilitators, Jodie brings more than 15 years experience as an administrator in education and working with youth. She brings leadership expertise to the program and is delighted to see how the Malden Reads program has taken root in the community — the connections made among Maldonians; to city resources including the schools; to our books and films, programs and other events.
STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Martha Bezzat – Malden Public Schools Staff and Malden High School Council
Martha Bezzat currently works at the Beebe School and also serves on the School Council at Malden High. She is very committed to promoting the diverse cultures of Malden and is also an active member of Forestdale Community Church. She has studied about and traveled in the Arab world and brings that experience to the committee. Martha loves the reading adventures provided through Malden Reads and loves celebrating great books, the exchange of ideas, and community gatherings!
Ron Cox – Executive Director, Malden Access Television Ron has been involved with community media for over 27 years and has been the executive director of MATV since 2006. He is also an accomplished artist and animator and has had several exhibitions. Ron designed several posters and videos to promote the Malden Reads project and has coordinated talent for many of the special events. He is proud to offer MATV’s staff time and resources as a lead collaborator in this project
Susan Margot Ecker – Photographer + Cyclist
Susi + her husband Matt O’Keefe bought a house in Malden in 2003 + fell in love with their neighborhood, which inspired Susi to explore the wider community + get more involved. Susi discovered Friends of Oak Grove Inc (FOOGI) meetings + branched out from there. Next she discovered Malden Reads, City of Malden’s Anti Racism Community n’ Unity gatherings, Restorative Justice Workshops, Malden Arts + Malden Community Organizing for Racial Equity. She loves the diversity of Malden + really enjoys meeting people from all different cultures. She wants to play a part in shaping Malden into a city where everyone is welcome, has an equal opportunity no matter what skin color, religion, or sexual orientation they identify as, which makes Malden a much richer place to live. Her passions are environmental portrait photography, bicycle touring on a tandem with her husband, Matt, social + racial justice, reading + vintage clothing!
Caron Guigli – Assistant Director, Malden Public Library As the Assistant Director of the Malden Public library and a life-long reader, Caron believes that book discussion and sharing is a wonderful way to make friends and build community. By being able to work with the Malden Reads group, she hopes be able to do that and more.
Robin Inman – Arts Advocate Robin is passionate about creating community via the arts, whether literary, visual or performance. When the arts thrive, the community prospers. Robin served on the Malden Arts committee for 10 years and currently volunteers for Malden Creates and MATV’s Neighborhood View. She is excited about fostering dialogue and forging community bonds via the shared reading and discussion offered by Malden Reads. Robin has lived in Malden since 1992.
Chris Kosta – Community Supporter I have been an avid reader since my youth and belong to the Malden Library Monday night book run by Barbara Brown where we are exposed to a diversity of cultures, subjects and venues through reading and enjoy lively discussions about these selections. Malden Reads has been doing the same since its inception so I am happy to be involved with a group that is dedicated to get Malden’s diverse community reading and discussing issues important to all.
June Macdonald – Malden resident June has participated in Malden Reads events since the program’s inception and joined the Steering Committee in 2014. She has particularly enjoyed the thought-provoking discussions, becoming connected with others in Malden and having an opportunity to give back to the community. A lifelong learner, she enjoys, history, travelling, and coordinating special events.
Erga Pierrette -Community supporter and social worker
Erga, a graduate of Simmons College, is a social worker (MSW and LCSW) living in Malden with her young family. She loves to read and is an agent for social change and social justice for all. She believes in unity and strives for peace and equality, and is passionate about undoing racism. She is enthusiastic about participating in Malden Reads wherever she can!
Karen Phillips is a Malden resident and a recently retired nurse. She joined the Steering Committee for the 2018 program and, when she is not volunteering for Malden Reads, she is finding time to travel the world!
J. Chrisina Smith – librarian at B.U.
J Christina Smith is the Anthropology & Sociology Librarian at Boston University and a former archaeologist and English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor. As a child she frequented the Redwood City, California public library. She has lived in Malden since 1995.
Karen Stern – Freelance Editor & Librarian Karen Stern lives in Malden with her husband and children and works as a Reference Librarian and Coordinator of Adult Programming at the public library in Wakefield, MA. She is very happy to foster both literacy and a sense of community in Malden by helping out with Malden Reads.
Dora St. Martin – Director of Malden Public Library As the Director at the MPL, I believe public libraries continue to be critical institutions of lifelong learning and significant places in our communities, just as they always have been. The Malden Public Library is thrilled to be a lead organization in Malden Reads and looks forward to many months of lively book discussions, educational panels, related film showings, and much, more.
NOT PICTURED: Natasha Eslami
Malden Reads Subcommittee Members
Karen Buck – Malden resident Karen Buck has enjoyed being part of Malden Reads for the past few years. She says, “This has been a terrific way to connect with the community and partake in reading wonderful books with coordinated events. Malden Reads is a great source of energy!” Karen Buck’s family moved to Malden in 2004 from Cambridge, MA. Her children are in the Malden Public Schools.
Sue Carr – Although Sue recently moved to the Cape, we wish to acknowledge her contributions to the program since 2013. She has helped with book selection, planning, publicity, and volunteer coordination at events. She writes, “Participating in Malden Reads was a fun way to become an active member of our community.” We will miss you, Sue, and hope you will continue to participate in the program from afar!
Marie Coulanges – Community Supporter Nothing excites Marie Coulanges more than finding ways to bridge cultures and to bring the community together. Marie has served on the MATV Board of Directors and has been involved in many community events and initiatives throughout the years. She lives in Malden with her two adult sons.
Eda Daniel – Community Activist & Supporter
Eda loves creating excitement around learning and reading. Having worked with international students and lived among different cultures, there is a natural connection between Eda’s values and Malden Reads. Eda has been involved with Malden Reads since the first year and, even though she has recently moved to another state, she continues to provide her energy and ideas electronically!
Mei Hung – Executive Director, Chinese Culture Connection Mei Hung is the Executive Director of the Chinese Culture Connection, founded in 1985. She is dedicated to education, lifelong learning and bridging cultures. The Chinese Culture Connection has been a collaborative partner with Malden Reads since the first year of the program, through the “East Meets West” film screenings, activities for youth and more.
Nekita Lamour – Nekita is an educator and a facilitator of community-driven expanded learning opportunities. She has given seminars on Haitian culture, language and history. She is a writer and storyteller and is interested in ways to bring people together, which makes her a perfect fit for the Malden Reads program. Nekita is helping Malden Reads to offer multi-lingual book discussions and to
Rebecca Smith – Children’s Librarian, Malden Public Library After more than 11 years in adult publishing, Rebecca Smith realized that becoming a children’s librarian would enable her to combine her love of books, information, and children with her desire to serve the public and enrich people’s lives.For more than eight years, she has had the pleasure of serving the wonderfully diverse community of Malden (where, coincidentally, she found her first post-college apartment–just two blocks from the library). A true believer in the power of libraries and books to build community, Rebecca is delighted to be a part of Malden Reads.
NOT PICTURED: Karen Lynch, Julie McGee, Elena Martinez