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daniel johnson,

artist facilitator for

The Art of Governance

daniel johnson is a creator and explorer working in the fields of relational aesthetics and social practice. johnson engages communities in explorations of collective identity through projects which emerge from facilitated dialog. These projects take form in the visual and performance mediums best suited to the task.


daniel johnson is currently the Director of Engagement and Learning at the Mississippi Museum of Art, a Board Member for Purple Word Book and Paper Arts Center and the Business Association of Midtown, a father and husband and a proud member of Alternate ROOTS. 


Explore his work at


Kevin Perez,

documentarian for

The Art of Governance

Kevin Perez is a local videographer/producer from Miami, FL and currently residing in Jackson, MS. A recent graduate of Jackson State University, he now works at a local news station as a field photographer (cameraman) and is also involved in commercial film productions throughout the metro area with RedSquared Productions, LLC. A highlight of his work with Jackson youth has been as a producer mentor with Mississippi Public Broadcasting's “Can I Kick It?”: Youth Movement Through Media Institute, a summer program for local high school students that encourages leadership development through digital literacy and the creation of a script and short film. 


Explore his work at

Bridget Young-Townsend,

Director of Youth Initiatives

City of Jackson

Bridget Townsend is the Director of Youth Initiatives with the City of Jackson. In her role as director, Townsend manages youth and educational programs within the city, developing collaborative relationships with other governmental agencies, non-profits and faith-based agencies. The Jackson, Mississippi native has also worked as a recruiter for the Department of Homeland Security (TSA) and program manager for Junior Achievement. Townsend received her bachelor’s degree from Mississippi College and Master's degree from Troy State University. One of her most significant professional accomplishments is coordinating Jackson's Annual Back to School event, which serves over 5,000 Jackson Public Schools students. A board member of the Boys and Girls Club and Alignment Jackson, Townsend also serves on the high school committee, career fair planning committee and often volunteers on special projects within the city. She is very proud to be part of the development of Mayor Yarber’s “I Need You To Make It” Youth Initiative platform. The Initiative offers comprehensive programming for the mind, body, and soul. The INYTMI is a collaboration in partnership with city departments, Jackson Public Schools, Alignment Jackson and other community and private organizations in support of youth in the City of Jackson.

Alternate ROOTS supports the creation and presentation of original art that is rooted in communities of place, tradition or spirit. We are a group of artists and cultural organizers based in the South creating a better world together. As Alternate ROOTS, we call for social and economic justice and are working to dismantle all forms of oppression - everywhere. 

Learn more at

Alternate ROOTS

41-year artist organization

servicing SouthEast United States

Zehari Nickelson,

Ward 1 Representative

The Art of Governance

Zehari Ya'el Nickelson is a 17-year-old artist born, raised, and residing in Jackson, MS. She spends her weekdays at Murrah High School and her afternoons in Theater at Power APAC. When she isn't working with Murrah's Speech and Debate team, Zehari loves to make music as much as she loves to listen to it - her ukulele is basically her best friend. 

Danielle Bailey

Ward 2 Representative,

The Art of Governance

Danielle Bailey is a sixteen-year-old student at Murrah High School. She is a member of the Jackson Archonettes, National Honor Society, DECA, and the newspaper staff. Also, she is the 11th grade Student Council Vice President. Her focus on community collaboration has led her to a number of volunteer opportunities and community roles. She is an A student and works on making her future as bright as it can be.

Tiffany Thomas,

Ward 3 Representative

The Art of Governance

Tiffany Thomas is a seventeen-year-old senior at Lanier High School. In her free time she loves to read and sing. She also likes to write and work on computers. At school, she is the President of her Student Government. She is well respected and respectful of others and when it comes to accomplishing things, she is very determined and willing to do whatever for the team.

David Clanton,

Ward 4 Representative,

The Art of Governance

David Clanton was born in Jackson. He is a First Sergeant in the Murrah High School JROTC and is on the speech and debate team. JROTC prepares him for the future - an optimistic future.  Fortitude is key. He credits instructors Major Mortan and Sergeant McCray for his optimistic outlook and commends his debate teacher, Mr. Everson for allowing him to venture off and experience new things. The meaning of life is not to be discovered only after death in some hidden, mysterious realm; on the contrary, it can be found by eating the succulent fruit of the Tree of Life and by living in the here and now as fully and creatively as we can.

Rahzizi Ishakarah,

Ward 5 Representative

The Art of Governance

Starting at a young age, Rahzizi was greatly influenced by the arts that surrounded him. His dad drew realistically as well as his brothers which influenced him to follow in their footsteps. He lived in a household where everyone had at least one talent, so one could say he was born to be an artist. He is from Jackson, MS and has been enrolled in Power APAC Performing Arts Program since the fourth grade. He credits Power APAC with developing and shaping his artistic voice and making him confident enough to display it for the world to see. He is motivated by the expression, "A picture is worth a thousand words."

Nytaya Babbittt

Ward 6 Representative,

The Art of Governance

Nytaya Babbitt is an 11th grade AP student at Murrah High School. She is the Vice President of the Art Club, a member of the student council, and a member of Pleiades, the schools literary magazine. She serves at the Youth President for Greer Chapel and is a member of the CWUY, Communities Working Together to Unite Youth. In her spare time she enjoys reading, perfecting her artwork, and spending time with her friends and family.

no longer accepting 

The Art of Governance

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