City Art Space Board of Advisors
“I’ve been an educator for 31 years. Eighteen years as a teacher, 6, 7 and 8th grades; four years as an assistant principal,PreK-8; Nine years as a principal, PreK-6, PreK-4, and 5-8 middle school. I have had many experiences working with students at various grade levels.”
–Dr. Karen Wright, Former Principal, Educator in the Harrisburg School District
My lifelong passion has been to pour back into the community that has educated, nurtured and pushed me to reach my full potential. As a board member for City Art Space (CAS), I plan to use my experience in marketing, public relations and advertising to establish, build, and maintain relationships with community stakeholders to promote programs and initiatives of CAS. Additionally, I will assist in identifying the most effective communications strategies to promote CAS, while raising and maintaining awareness of the organization on a long-term basis.
“My experience started with a vision: to create more opportunities for individuals to experience visual art, culture and music all in one place. Nine years later, my expanded experience will contribute to the mission of CAS by encouraging students to craft and execute their creative interests without fear as a mentor. My background in visual arts and event production will be useful in the development of CAS’s bi-annual student lead exhibition.”
– Simóne J. Banks/Creative Digital Marketing Manager, Lionsgate/Code Black Films
Shannon is Director of Hiring, Diversity & Community Engagement at The Bronx Defenders, as well as Supervising Professor of The Bronx Defenders Holistic Defense Externship at Columbia Law School. Shannon oversees all hiring policies and practices at The Bronx Defenders, as well as supervises and collaborates with the Community Organizing Practice and the Robert P. Patterson Jr. Youth Mentoring Program. Shannon organizes and facilitates the race, class, power and privilege working groups, initiatives and workshops at The Bronx Defenders and beyond. She also created and leads the Intern of Color Mentoring Program, which offers a critical race curriculum and mentorship to interns from racially diverse backgrounds. Additionally, Shannon founded and leads the Job Preparation Series, assisting community members in resume building, cover-letter drafting, mock interviewing and obtaining professional attire. As an attorney in the Criminal Defense Practice, Shannon co-supervised The Bronx Defenders’ Desk Appearance Ticket Project, through which she trained and supervised law firm associates in arraigning clients in criminal court while collecting data on the enmeshed consequences of each arrest.
Shannon received her J.D. from New York University School of Law where she received a full-tuition scholarship as a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar for Public Service. While at NYU Law, Shannon worked on the School to Prison Pipeline through the ACLU Racial Justice Clinic and participated in the Juvenile Defender Clinic, representing juveniles in delinquency proceedings at the Legal Aid Society. Shannon has had internships at the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia and The Office of Child Advocate Attorneys in Atlanta, GA, as well as externships at The Public Defender’s Office—Atlanta Judicial Circuit, and the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office. Shannon received her B.A. in English from Spelman College, where she served on the Board of Trustees, graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude.
Publications: Shannon A. Cumberbatch, Enforcement and Enmeshed Consequences: The Limitations of Conventional Criminal Justice Reform, 52 Wash. U. J. L. & Pol’y 007 (2016),
– Shannon Cumberbatch/ Staff Attorney at Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense Practice/Recruiting and Hiring Manager/Co-Director of Holistic Defense Externship/Lecturer in Law, Columbia Law School
Susan is the owner/therapist at Akoma Healing Center, a mental health practice in the Harrisburg area. She is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional and a Licenced Professional Counselor. Susan educational background includes a Masters degree in Forensic Psychology and a Masters in Community Counseling from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. She holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. “A great deal of my work experience has focused on ensuring the healthy emotional development of children and adolescents. As a Board member of City Art Space, I contribute ideas that promote childhood mental health, provide successful program evaluation, and ensure that each of the programs offered by C.A.S. and their staff are aware of mental health red flags of the participants.”
– Susan Agyeman, LPC/ Psychotherapist
“I have years of experience in both the music business and the PA Department of Revenue in the Personal Income Tax Division. I hold a degree in Economics from Villanova University. I worked directly with our Executive Director and the youth during City Art Space’s eight week pilot.”
– Kareem Warren, Personal Income Tax Supervisor/Songwriter and Recording Artist
“I am a proud Harrisburg native and educator in the Harrisburg School District. I grew up immersed in the arts here in Harrisburg; I spent my entire childhood in classical ballet, theater, piano and painting courses. I developed a fascination with language early on—foreign language and artistic use of language—especially as it pertains to songwriting. I went on to study French and Business Administration at Howard University, a Historically Black College in Washington, DC. I then earned my Juris Doctor from The George Washington University Law School in 2010. Upon graduation from law school, I took an unconventional path and pursued a career as an independent artist—songwriting, performing and acting. In the past six years, I have been featured in various films and web series. I have performed across the United States and in international venues—most notably, Paris, France. I have collaborated with other artists from as far as the African continent and my content has been aired on networks as popular as MTV. My album is currently ranked among the Top 10 albums on college radio charts, and additional projects are in production. While developing my art, I returned to my hometown to provide support, empowerment and opportunity to the youth of Harrisburg City. As an educator and a mentor, I have been constantly inspired by incredible students, parents, faculty and administration. But most importantly, I have been able to express myself, and inspire our youth to do the same. As Executive Director of City Art Space, it is my goal to help our city’s youth cultivate their dreams, and their communities. Our motto: Create Your Space.”
-Amanda Carter, Educator/Songwriter and Recording Artist/Executive Director, City Art Space