We lead youth documentary film workshops. We create films that build an inclusive community story. We inspire. 

Team

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Marie Acemah
Founder / Director
she / her
Lives on Dena'ina land

Marie is a mama, educator and dreamer who is obsessed with blueberry picking, impromptu living-room dance parties, and the light in a young person's eyes when they feel seen and heard. With a desire to become an educator outside of traditional settings, she applied the skills she had gained delving into her Alaskan, Midwestern and Scandinavian story to support youth in exploring their own stories through film. That initiative has now grown into See Stories.   

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Alicia Sharp
Communications Coordinator
she / her
Lives on Sugpiaq land

Alicia is an educator and creative who is passionate about her faith, family, nature, education, and dark chocolate. She is curious, compassionate, and creative, and has worked in Alaska and internationally sharing stories through photography and writing. As Communications Coordinator, Alicia manages See Stories' social media, website, and newsletter and finds ways to ground See Stories programs in nature. 

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Lauren Scantlebury
Story Coordinator
she / her
Lives on Dena'ina land

Lauren is a writer, musician, and community artist who loves to nurture her own creativity and the creativity of others. She can be found listening, dreaming, and learning, and has been writing and performing music for a decade. Lauren is an amazing dog-mom to two rescue dachshunds, and grew up in South Naknek. As Story Coordinator, Lauren helps share our organizational story through grant writing and reporting, and supports Alaskans to explore their own stories.

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Rafael Bitanga
Diversity & Inclusion Educator
he / him
Lives on Susquehanna land

Rafael is a video strategist, entrepreneur, photographer, chef, and Renaissance man who launched the first ever Kodiak Crab Festival youth run food booth and who once received a compliment from Michelle Obama on his Barong Tagolog. Rafael is passionate about justice, incredibly self-driven, and inspires others with his unrelenting vision for a better world. He is a student at Cornell who also leads diversity and inclusion film workshops for See Stories. 

Board of Directors

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Miranda Petruska
Board President
she / her
Lives on Quileute land

Miranda is Dichinanek' Hwt'ana from Nikolai, and comes from a long line of amazing women who belly laugh and serve as vital culture bearers. She is funny, hard-working, and thoughtful, and can be found rethinking Indigenous healthcare systems, creating beautiful earrings, and enjoying life with her partner and two children. 

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Synclaire Butler
she / they
Lives on Muscogee land

Synclaire is a black feminist artivist and entrepeneur who is an amazing sister, daughter, and friend full of fierce wisdom, truth-telling, and warmth. They are a bee-keeper, body-builder, renaissance woman, and currently working on a magazine that uplifts and explores the pleasure of black women.

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Adam Mackie
he / him
Lives on Dena'ina Elnena

Adam is an English / Language Arts educator at West High School who lives for love, poetry, family, and laughter. He is philosophical, contemplative, and kind, and in addition to teaching he publishes his writing and plays the banjo. He is universally loved by his students, kids, and colleagues.

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Jim Labelle Sr.
he / him
Lives on Dena'ina land

Jim is Iñupiaq from Kotzebue, an out-spoken boarding school survivor, a retired and un-retired professor at UAA, a former board member of the Alaska Federation of Natives, and an all-around wonderful husband, father, and leader. He is fierce about addressing historical trauma, and has an amazing sense of humor.

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Jacquii Lambert
she / they
Lives on Dena'ina Athabascan land

Jacquii is Iñupiaq from Kotzebue and is a creator, entrepreneur, and influencer who has 11 siblings, loves astrology and won the 2010 most valuable cheerleader award. She is the creator and publisher of the Qargazine and gets annoyed when people refer to the sub-Arctic as the Arctic. Jacquii is 1/3 of Native Time, where she seeks to celebrate and uplift Indigenous voices and stories.

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Derek Pitka
board treasurer

he / him
Lives on Dena'ina Land

Derek in Iñupiaq and Athabascan and is one of the only Indigenous New York Life insurance agents in Alaska. He has four children and hundreds in his extended family throughout the state. Derek  loves to empower his family and communities with their finances, bringing Indigenous values together with financial best-practices. 

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Jacob Tatum
he / him
Lives on Dena'ina land

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Ian Murakami
he / him
Lives on Dena'ina Elnena

Ian grew up in Hawaii immersed in his Mom's stories, and now loves to connect the power of storytelling to social justice and advocacy. He is passionate, eager, and curious, and recently finished his undergraduate studies at Georgetown University, and currently serves as Social Justice Coordinator at the YWCA where he hosts conversations on the intersection of race, land and culture.

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Aud Pleas
they / them
Lives on Dena'ina land

Aud is the Alaska Humanities Forum' Workshop Coordinator by day, and DJ by night, and spends their time connecting people and advocating for BIPOC communities and DEI in general. Aud procrastinated on getting their driver's license until their late 20s, but that didn't stop them from serving as station manager at KRUA, serving on UAA's Media Board, and being a mover and shaker in the community.

Jacob is a former legislative aide, a current teacher, a future lawyer, and renaissance man who is "steadfastly forward thinking." He overcame many challenges, or as he puts it, "took the scenic route," to complete his undergraduate degree, and is now working with his Alma Mater UAA to establish a scholarship program for non-traditional students and promote intergenerational equity. He is also dabbling in the world of stand-up comedy.