Director and Screenwriter, Burden
As an actor, writer, director, and producer, Andrew Heckler has participated in all aspects of the entertainment business. Burden is his feature directorial debut, starring Forest Whitaker, Garrett Hedlund, Usher, Andrea Riseborough, and Tom Wilkinson, and it is based on a screenplay he wrote in 1999. Burden received the Audience Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival as well as the same award at the Nantucket Film Festival, where he was also presented with the Visionary Award for screenwriting.
Rev. David Kennedy
New Beginning Missionary Baptist Church in Laurens, South Carolina
Born in 1953, David Kennedy is part of a large, close-knit family that has lived in Laurens, South Carolina, and the surrounding rural areas for generations. He built the congregation of the New Beginning Missionary Baptist Church from the ground up, founded the Laurens County Soup Kitchen, and was active in local civil rights efforts. David graduated magna cum laude from Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, before marrying Janice Pressley and heading off to Divinity School at Vanderbilt University. Burden is based on actual events that took place in Laurens and Rev. Kennedy’s church in the mid-1990s.
Program Manager, Bright Futures Park City
Rebeca Gonzalez-Rocha is a Park City native and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree at the University of Utah as a first-generation college student. Her passion for social change has guided her work in youth and community development for the past four years. She is a graduate of Leadership Park City Class 23 and was awarded the MLK, Jr. Youth Leadership Award in recognition of her leadership in promoting the principles of social justice. She is also an active member of PC Unidos.
Emma E. Houston
Incoming Chair, Utah’s MLK, Jr. Human Rights Commission; Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Salt Lake County Office of the Mayor
Emma E. Houston is the former chairman of the Governor's Office of Ethnic Affairs and former secretary for the YWCA Board and UAA/SCANS Board. She serves on several community boards, including the Reverend France A. Davis Scholarship, You Got This! Women’s Interfaith, the Utah Diversity Connection, the Anne Stirba Cancer Foundation, and the Huntsman Cancer Foundation Community Advisory Committee. Emma is passionate about sharing her collaborative skills and community connections and enjoys working with all communities.
CEO and Co-Founder, Windrider Institute
A successful entrepreneur and Peabody Award–winning film producer, John Priddy is a leader in the creation and expansion of entrepreneurial companies and development of private and nonprofit enterprises. John has produced numerous web series and short-form content, and along with his brother Ed he is an executive producer of multiple award-winning feature documentaries. He is a co-founder of the Windrider Institute, a nonprofit established in 2004 as a vehicle to promote the presentation and exploration of the human narrative through film and interactive media.