June 5, 2020: MHz Foundation Statement of Solidarity
Executive Director, MHz Foundation
Since its inception, MHz has been committed to bringing global content and perspectives to North American audiences.
Founded as MHz Networks in 2001, it originated as an American broadcaster and project of the Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corporation (CPBC), servicing the Washington, D.C. marketplace with international television programming, namely Chinese, Russian, French, South African and Turkish programs.
After twelve years of operation, CPBC formed MHz Networks in 2013 as a non-profit entity. MHz Networks existed to carry forward the broadcast operations to service their local American market with rich cultural content from around the world. Within the exit agreement, MHz Networks would continue to broadcast on CPBC’s spectrum with a stipulation that if ever CPBC were to sell off their spectrum rights, MHz Networks would receive a portion of the proceeds.
In 2015 MHz Networks changed its name to MHz Foundation. At the same time, a new independent for-profit entity was created under the name MHz Networks, LLC., which operates MHz Choice, a subscription-based streaming service that continued to offer access to international content. Divesting for-profit activities allowed MHz Foundation to focus on its non-profit mission to enrich and champion global content curation.
Also In 2015, CPBC began the process of auctioning off under-utilized spectrum licenses under an incentive option of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) who sought to reclaim traditional spectrum of under-utilized wavelengths, in order to foster innovation within the space. Under the agreement with CPBC, MHz Foundation shared a portion of their auction proceeds. This served as the seed revenue for MHz Foundation’s public interest activities moving forward.
Today, the MHz Foundation expands its reach beyond the Metro DC area to the world through the launch of MHz Curationist in early 2019. Curationist’s mission to make global arts and culture accessible to all.
The MHz Foundation is a Virginia-based 501(c)(3) corporation.
Benjamin Rees has fourteen years of experience in partnerships and business development in professional services, broadcast, and VOD industries. Benjamin is a global citizen, born in Australia, residing in the United States, and has traveled to over a dozen countries in Asia, Americas, and Europe, making his worldview wide and inclusive. Benjamin would like to bring that open worldview to everyone through the MHz Curationist.org and the MHz Foundation. He is currently an Assistant Director at a public company accounting firm, and his experience includes strategic account operations, revenue planning, business development and financial analysis. From 2005-2008, Benjamin was Director of Partnerships and Business Development at IMAKE Software and Services, which specialized in open source, highly scalable, content management and entitlement software. He was responsible for managing partnerships with OEMs and system integrators, and provided financial analysis and due diligence resources.
Kevin is an experienced senior program delivery Principal Consultant with expertise in leading business and technology impacting initiatives. He has worked with clients in multiple industries including Cable, Wireless and Media. Kevin excels in areas of large cross-functional program delivery, software development, application and device testing, requirements gathering and process design and execution.
Casey is the Director of Music Licensing at SiriusXM satellite radio, where he is responsible for licensing sound recordings for transmission to 35 million U.S. subscribers. Casey was previously CEO of the Future of Music Coalition, a Washington, DC-based education and advocacy organization for musicians and composers. He is also a musician, author and music / media professor at Georgetown University and Berklee College of Music, where he has authored Berklee's first comprehensive course on music policy for its graduate degree program. Casey regularly speaks on issues such as emerging business models, creators' rights, technology policy and intellectual property at worldwide conferences, universities, and in the media. He has testified before Congress on copyright and has written hundreds of articles on the impact of technology on the creative community in scholarly journals and other publications. Casey is an in-demand commentator in media outlets such as NPR, Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, Billboard, L.A. Times, CNBC and more. Casey also serves on board of the Alliance for Media Arts and Culture—an organization dedicated to expanding opportunity for media makers in all 50 states and around the world. His book William S. Burroughs & the Cult of Rock 'n' Roll will be published by University of Texas Press in 2019, followed by Music Copyright in Practice: an Authoritative Guide (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). Casey also runs the DC-based label Lux Eterna Records and is the proud dad to two highly musical daughters.
Ben is a chef/organizer/artist based in Detroit. Hall’s work revolves around the forms community takes particularly at the Russell Street Deli, a 30-year-old heritage restaurant in Detroit’s, Eastern Market, which Hall owns and operates as a long-term, sited project dealing with labor structures, how capital routes itself, and hierarchical power structures.
As a chef Hall produced the first fully integrated, serially repeated, chef-driven school meal in a major municipality producing a vegan, soy-free, gluten-free soup, at cost, for children at Detroit Public Schools where 55,000 students eat for free and 88% are financially eligible for school lunch. Hall is in the process of repeating this in Houston, Texas where 165,000 children will eat three different soups every two weeks under the federally mandated nutritional and financial guidelines. Hall worked specifically on those guidelines as an active grassroots lobbyist for the Child Nutrition Re-authorization Act. Additionally, he has been repeatedly active as a lobbyist primarily working on wage rights for low wage workers including giving congressional briefings and also lobbying on the Global Food Security Act with Oxfam.
As an artist Hall most recently presented a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and performed at the Moers Jazz Festival as a core member of Nate Wooley’s Seven Storey Mountain orchestra project. As a music producer and organizer he produced over 300 performances in Detroit for visiting artists at Entropy Studios a performance project for experimental sound artists. Using the recording studio there he also produced 60 recordings for numerous artists and performers on the brokenresearch record label. Hall also founded and organizes Bap-tizum.com, the largest Black/AfAm spiritual music archive in the world. He is a member of the American Folklore Society.
Dr. Chalas has over a decade of experience working in the arts and culture sector both in Canada and the United States where she was responsible for educational and public program development and delivery, exhibition curation, as well as conducting and using research and evaluation information to improve teaching and learning. She is an Assistant Professor in the Museum Studies program within the Faculty of Information (iSchool) at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Chander is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University-Newark. He holds an MFA from the University of Michigan and a PhD from Brown University. His first monograph, Brown Romantics: Poetry and Nationalism in the Global Nineteenth Century, examined the appropriation of British Romantic tropes by colonial poets throughout the nineteenth century. He has also edited a collection of short fiction by the nineteenth-century Guyanese author, Egbert Martin, and co-edited, with Tricia A. Matthew, a special issue of European Romantic Review on generic experimentation in Romantic abolitionist literature. Professor Chander is currently working on The Collected Works of Egbert Martin, with the support of a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant, and developing a second monograph, Art Fights: Aesthetic Controversy and the Lessons of Modernity, which traces a trajectory from the controversial poems of Wordsworth and Coleridge to the films of Griffith and Kubrick and the novels of Nabokov and Rushdie.
Christian Dawson is Executive Director of MHz Foundation, where he works to use the Internet as a tool to bring us closer together as a global society. Dawson is also Co-founder of Open-i Advisors Inc., as well as the Internet Infrastructure Coalition. Before that, Dawson spent nearly two decades leading web hosting provider ServInt. He is a staunch advocate for Internet freedom as a tool for social and economic growth.
Hilary Osborne is Sponsorship Director of MHz Foundation. Osborne serves as MHz Foundation's central coordinator for engaging and recruiting new sponsors, and is the chief driver of growth for the organization. Osborne has 10 years of experience working in nonprofit communities. Osborne graduated from George Brown College with a degree in editing.
Virginia Poundstone is the Content Curation Director at the MHz Foundation, leading the emergent vision for MHz Curationist. Based in New York City, she is a visual artist educator, she taught core classes, as well as courses she designed: Publishing as Form was a course that critically examined publishing, or making ideas public and disseminated; Objects of Networks, considered the functional purpose of connection, and how objects in networks shape our world and thinking. As a part-time lecturer from 2009-2013 at Parsons The New School of Design, she taught across the School of Design Strategies and the School of Art History and Design History and Theory. In addition to core courses like Critical Reading and Writing, and 3D Studio courses, she also proposed and designed NYC: Fooda class that explored the food systems of the city. In 2011 she was a visiting professor at Columbia University’s School of the Arts in the visual arts program where, in 2009, she earned her MFA. She is a founding board member and current Co-Executive Director of the Bed Stuy Parents Committee, a volunteer grassroots non-profit advocating for school equity. She is also a member of Brooklyn’s Community Board 3 Youth & Education Committee and Community School District 16’s Diversity Alliance. She was awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, Agnes Varis Fellowship, Howard Foundation Fellowship, and has had numerous residencies at fantastic places like, Pioneer Works, the Banff Center for Arts, and the MacDowell Colony.
Bree Dodd brings extensive experience and expertise in the field of technical and operational project management for many notable organizations across multiple industries. When not guiding projects towards successful completion, Bree operates a yoga studio in Richmond, VA.
Ms. Davis earned her BA (Management) and her MBA (Finance) from Baker College. Professionally, she spent 15 years as the Controller for a $14 million service company before starting her own business in 2009. She has nearly 25 years of experience working with companies in many different business sectors.
Brandon J. Roy brings to Open-i Advisors his rich experience in luxury brand management in the consumer goods industry, advertising account management in the health sector and fund development in the not-for-profit sector.
The majority of his career to date has been spent at the L’Oréal Group where he held the title of Marketing Manager for a portfolio of luxury cosmetics brands in the Canadian market, developing a breadth of expertise in 360-strategy development and deployment alongside digital and marketing executions within a fast-paced, dynamic industry.