Valerie Williams, Executive Director

Valerie Williams came on board as Executive Director of Center for Emerging Media in September 2010, after serving several years on the CEM Board of Directors. Valerie brought with her some 22 years’ experience in fund-raising and management of non-profit organizations. She served as Managing Producer on CEM’s 2006 series Shared Weight. She also functions as Project Manager for the Sound Bites series. In 2011 Valerie completed a graduate certificate program in Ecotherapy, with a focus on Sustainability. She loves gardening, reading, walking/running through country roads, and conversing with nature.



Calvin Perry, Lead Producer

Calvin Perry is the lead producer at the Center for Emerging Media, where he produces the Marc Steiner Show, edits podcasts, and assists with show development.


Ali Post, Editing Producer

Ali Post is the editing producer at the Center for Emerging Media, where she edits pre-recorded segments of the Marc Steiner Show and assists with the general producing.

To contact the producers with comments, questions or ideas, call (443) 475-0554.

The organization also consists of:

Lester Spence, PhD, CEM Scholar in Residence

Lester Spence is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University. His specialties include black politics, racial politics, urban politics, public opinion, and American political thought. His work has appeared in a variety of academic journals (including the American Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly, Political Analysis, the WEB Dubois Review, and the National Political Science Review) and mainstream media (Urbanite, the Washington, and can regularly be heard on National Public Radio. Recipient of the 2009 Hopkins Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award, his book Stare in the Darkness: The Limits of Hip-hop and Black Politics (which received the 2013 National Conference of Black Political Scientists Best Book Award) was the first book to empirically examine the political effect of hip-hop on black communities. In 2012 he founded the Baltimore Mixtape Project as a vehicle to infuse hip-hop into local progressive politics.

Lea Gilmore, CEM Cultural Director

Voted by Essence Magazine as one of the “25 Women Shaping the World”, Baltimore’s own Lea Gilmore is one of the world’s most respected and in-demand Gospel, Blues, Jazz and Inspirational singers. A “Keeping the Blues Alive” award winner for her work in Women and the Blues, Lea is still committed to telling the story. Recognized for her social activism and advocacy for the underserved around the world, the founder and director of “Umoja Musica” has toured across Europe, Africa and Siberia using music as a vehicle for non-violence, peace and tolerance. She was one of the first recipients of the James Baldwin Medal for Civil Rights for her music and social advocacy work in Maryland and around the world.