February, 2022:
We are temporarily pausing voice and media trainings while we work to review and update our media program. 
If you would like to be notified when trainings are available again, please contact [email protected]


Auburn’s Media and Messaging workshop provides the skills you need to identify and adhere to a core message, framed by compelling values and anchored by story, and to deliver it effectively in a range of interview contexts. This training, focused on what you want to say and how you say it most compellingly, is core to your success in any communication work you do — social media, the opinion page, podcasts, video, radio, books – you name it.


  • The ability to find your voice
  • Messaging strategy
  • Methods to answer the toughest interview questions
  • A way to harness the power of story


Our trainers travel anywhere in the U.S. and around the world. We also have a state-of-the-art meeting space in Manhattan. Trainings are offered for a fee, and occasionally Auburn can assist groups in fundraising to cover the training costs.

Contact our Director of Program Operations, Courtney Weber Hoover at [email protected], or call 212-870-3187.


Alston, Macky.  “All I Have is a Voice,” Huffington Post, 11/10/2016.

Alston, Macky. “You Have Something to Say That We Need to Hear,” Huffington Post, 7/31/2015.

Alston, Macky. “Leaders Like MLK Are Not a Thing of the Past, But We Must Shape the Moral Frame of Our Day,” Huffington Post, 1/12/1014.



Macky Alston is a Senior Vice President at Auburn Seminary, where he works to equip faith leaders to stand for justice. An award-winning documentary filmmaker, Macky founded Auburn Media in 2002 and since then has served as its director, innovating a range of programs related to media and religion and media training over 6,000 leaders on a wide range of justice issues, including many of the most influential faith leaders of our day. Macky’s films include Love Free or Die – PBS 2012; Hard Road Home – PBS ’08, The Killer Within – Discovery Films ’06, Questioning Faith – HBO ‘02, and Family Name – PBS ’98. He has won at Sundance twice and received the Gotham Open Palm Award, three Emmy nominations, and appeared widely in the press, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show and The New York Times. A graduate of Union Theological Seminary, he comes from a long line of ministers in the American South and grew up exposed to the power of religion, politics and the media, as charismatic leaders on the Left and Right shaped society and history for generations to come.

Tameka Bell

Tameka Bell is a nationally recognized communications professional who leverages skills in storytelling, training, journalism and strategic narrative to help organizations tell better stories and win campaigns. Tameka is the producer of the Prophetic Resistance podcast and as an experienced communicator, she has coached spokespersons to testify on Capitol Hill and appear in local and national media – including MSNBC, The Washington Post and The New York Times. She was the national communications director for the March for Black Women and led communications for Let My People Vote, a community organizing campaign that successfully lobbied to restore voting rights to 1.4 million Floridians.

Tameka has led trainings with more than 1,000 grassroots leaders – from first-generation immigrants and those returning from incarceration to clergy leaders and nonprofit executives. In 2014, she designed and led a communications and media seminar at Harris-Stowe State University for youth activists in Ferguson, Missouri. Her training portfolio includes active bystander intervention workshops that help to empower communities to combat situations of identity-based violence and “She Speaks: A Restorative Narrative Workshop for Black Women,” which centers the experiences of Black women who are often pushed to the margins of the margins.

Tameka holds a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.


Rev. Jennifer D. Crumpton is the author of Femmevangelical: The Modern Girl’s Guide to the Good News. After more than a decade as an advertising executive for Fortune 500 companies, she left the corporate world to earn a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary and was ordained at Park Avenue Christian Church in New York City. A public speaker and media commentator at the intersection of politics, social justice, religion and popular culture, she has contributed to FOX News, FOX & Friends, The Kelly File, The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, CNN HLN, MSNBC/Shift, Newsmax, One America News, The Blaze, Variety and The Hill. She organized Faith Not Fear ’16, a campaign of multi-religious leaders speaking out against dangerous presidential election rhetoric. Jennifer lives in New York City with her husband Dave and her daughter Skylar. You can follow her @JenniDCrumpton or


Kimberly Freeman Brown is an organizational and leadership development consultant and communications strategist who specializes in racial and gender equity. She is the author of I Dream Detroit: The Voice and Vision of Women of Color on Detroit’s Future (2017) and And Still I Rise: Black Women Labor Leaders’ Voices, Power and Promise (2015), both released by Institute of Policy Studies. An outspoken advocate on labor rights and gender and racial justice, Brown has published has been quoted or published editorials in national news outlets including The New York TimesUSA TodayPolitico and The Hill, and on the websites of Ebony, NBC News, Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post. She has also appeared on TV One’s NewsOne, Fox Business, and CNBC. Kimberly also is Programming Co-Director for ReFrame Mentorship, a strategic communications mentorship program supporting economic, racial and climate justice organizations and campaigns. She and her husband serve as deacons in their church, River of Life Worship Center, in Odenton, Maryland.


Rev. Ashley Harness is a communications strategist with almost a decade of experience in non-profit media work and is also ordained in the United Church of Christ. When she is not enjoying leading worship, standing for justice or listening deeply in pastoral care at Lyndale United Church of Christ, she consults with the Center for Progressive Renewal to help progressive churches across the country grow. Ashley also consults through Auburn Seminary’s digital organizing and media teams, providing confidential training and counsel to religious leaders seeking to use social and traditional media as a pulpit. You can follow her writing on the Huffington Post. Ashley received her Masters of Divinity at Union Theological Seminary in 2012 and her Bachelor of Arts at Brown University in 2005.


Hussein Rashid, PhDis founder of islamicate, L3C, a consultancy focusing on religious literacy and cultural competency. Hussein earned his PhD at Harvard University in Near Eastern Studies and Languages and serves as a contingent faculty member at several New York-area universities. Hussein’s research focuses on Muslims and American popular culture. He is a fellow with The Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship in Social Entrepreneurship, the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute, and the Truman National Security Project. Hussein is on the editorial boards of Religion Dispatches, The Islamic Monthly, and Cyber Orient. He regularly appears on mainstream media, including CNN, Channel 4 (UK),  Al-Jazeera America, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and has published at On Faith (Washington Post), Belief Blog (CNN), On Being (NPR), The Revealer, and as a contributor to Religion News Service.


Susan Reed is a nationally recognized media consultant, focusing on media strategy and training, strategic planning and positioning, as well as editing and writing. From 2011 to 2013, Reed was Director of Media Strategy & Innovation at Auburn. Reed’s career has included positions as Editor-in-Chief of O, The Oprah Magazine, Editor-in-Chief of Conde Nast’s Golf for Women Magazine, Senior Literary Agent at IMG; Reed has also held senior editorial positions at Conde Nast’s Women’s Sports & Fitness, People Magazine, and Saturday Review. Reed has consulted for Simon & Schuster on new media strategy and marketing, and has been a consultant for the Ford Foundation’s Religion in the Public Square program. Reed serves on the Board of Directors of New York Theological Seminary and The Francis Asbury Palmer Fund. She is a former Director of Friendfactor, a social media-based LGBT advocacy organization. She is a graduate of Vassar College and The Sidwell Friends School.


Raquel Willis is a Black queer transgender activist, writer and media maven dedicated to inspiring and elevating marginalized individuals, particularly transgender women of color. She is a National Organizer for Transgender Law Center, the largest organization in the U.S. advocating on behalf of transgender and gender nonconforming people. She is also a part of Echoing Ida, a national Black women’s writing collective and a thought leader on gender, race and intersectionality.

In 2017, she was a speaker at the National Women’s March in Washington, D.C. and was named to ESSENCE’s Woke 100 Women and  The Root 100 annual list of the most influential African Americans. She was also in the pilot cohort of Channel Black, a media organizing and training arm of the Movement for Black Lives. She was also the final host of Black Girl Dangerous Media’s BGD Podcast, discussing pop culture and current events from an intersectional lens. She was also a member of the 2017 Sojourner Truth Leadership Circle through Auburn Seminary.

Raquel commands a major social media presence for her analysis on identity, current events and politics. Raquel is experienced in many fields including online publications, organizing marginalized communities for social change, non-profit media strategy and public speaking while using digital activism as a major tool of resistance and liberation.


The training was outstanding – both the spirit in which we dove into the work (I loved how many times our trainer said the word “love”), the methodology we were introduced to, the technical expertise you shared, the real practice you helped facilitate, the community you built in such a short amount of time and the overarching support of your team- all of it was just beautiful.

I am going to be such a better, more compelling, and effective leader because of all of you. One of my mentors tells me “you have such a bright nashama (soul) – it radiates”- I want to learn how to tap into my nashama with our message and it’s obvious that you all are the best folks to do that work with…. You all are doing something significant and gorgeous. You are giving me hope in a deep way.

– Stosh Cotler, Jewish social justice leader


THANK YOU! This was the BEST TRAINING EVER!! These young leaders were thrilled to the bottom of their toes and hearts. You are doing critical work, and you are bringing clear strong voices to the public forum from Portland to Tucson to Chicago to Philadelphia to Brooklyn. The network is building, and we are gaining reason to call it a movement.

– Anne Howard, Executive Director of a Christian Social Justice fellowship


All week I’ve been hearing glowing feedback from students as I’ve run into them on campus. One student told me it was “the best thing I’ve done since I’ve been in seminary” and several students have told me that everyone should have this training (or that their pastors need it!). All of the comments I’ve heard have reflected that general enthusiasm, though. I was deeply moved by the passion that students brought to the training, and by the chance to watch them finding their voices, and honing their messages. What a great gift.

– Dr. Letitia Campbell, Candler School of Theology-Emory

Start typing and press Enter to search