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Join Stephen Janis, Taya Graham, and Jayne Miller in conversation with Ashley Esposito of Baltimore Renters United as we discuss the film in detail and how you can be involved in making change in Baltimore! We will engage in a town hall dialog inspired by the movie, generated by you!
Ashley “Ash” Esposito is a leader with an unwavering passion for social justice. She is guided by a deep understanding of the struggles renters face in Baltimore. Her empathetic, compassionate nature and lived experience have established her as a trusted advocate and ally. With a wealth of experience in community organizing, government relations, and policy advocacy, Ashley brings remarkable skills and knowledge to her role.
Her impressive track record is filled with successful campaigns, working with diverse coalitions, and bringing about positive policy change. Ashley firmly believes that housing policy must prioritize the voices of those most affected to achieve true equity, dismantle systemic injustices, and construct an inclusive and just society. By valuing these perspectives, policymakers can develop innovative, sustainable, and community-driven solutions to address housing disparities.
As the Executive Director of Baltimore Renters United, Ashley will oversee the organization’s programmatic implementation to flourish as an influential force in the fight for housing justice. She believes the grassroots approach will inspire others to join the cause and work towards a housing landscape in Baltimore that is more equitable and stable. She firmly believes in the power of community and is wholeheartedly committed to creating a city where every resident can thrive.
Ashley is a steering committee member within Local Progress. She is also an Ashé Leadership Fellow and re:power Data Fellow. During her free time, Ashley loves creating art, immersing herself in local arts and culture, and cherishing precious moments with her loved ones.
Taya Graham is an award-winning investigative reporter who has covered U.S. politics, local government, and the criminal justice system. She is the host of TRNN’s “Police Accountability Report,” and producer and co-creator of the award-winning podcast “Truth and Reconciliation” on Baltimore’s NPR affiliate WYPR. She has written extensively for a variety of publications including the Afro American Newspaper, the oldest black-owned publication in the country, and was a frequent contributor to Morgan State Radio at a historic HBCU. She has also produced two documentaries, including the feature-length film “The Friendliest Town.” Although her reporting focuses on the criminal justice system and government accountability, she has provided on the ground coverage of presidential primaries and elections as well as local and state campaigns.
Stephen Janis is an award winning investigative reporter turned documentary filmmaker. His first feature film, The Friendliest Town was distributed by Gravitas Ventures and won an award of distinction from The Impact Doc Film Festival, and a humanitarian award from The Indie Film Fest. He is the co-host and creator of The Police Accountability Report on The Real News Network, which has received more than 10,000,000 views on YouTube. His work as a reporter has been featured on a variety of national shows including the Netflix reboot of Unsolved Mysteries, Dead of Night on Investigation Discovery Channel, Relentless on NBC, and Sins of the City on TV One.
He has co-authored several books on policing, corruption, and the root causes of violence including Why Do We Kill: The Pathology of Murder in Baltimore and You Can’t Stop Murder: Truths about Policing in Baltimore and Beyond. He is also the co-host of the true crime podcast Land of the Unsolved. Prior to joining The Real News, Janis won three Capital Emmys for investigative series working as an investigative producer for WBFF.
Jayne Miller is the former Chief Investigative Reporter for WBAL-TV in Baltimore. She was a broadcast journalist for more than 45 years before her retirement in 2022. Her reporting led to changes in legislation, public policy and private industry practices and standards. Jayne is a Penn State Alumni Fellow. Her work earned a duPont-Columbia award, an Edward R. Murrow award, and a National Headliner award. She was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement award by the Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF) in 2022. Jayne lives in Baltimore and is active in civic affairs, serving on the boards of several nonprofits, including Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, Leadership Baltimore County, the Canton Community Association, and Citizens Planning and Housing Association. She is now working on podcasting and documentary production.