Kelly Amis - Short Bio
After graduating from Georgetown University, Kelly Amis taught in South Central, Los Angeles as a Charter Corps member of Teach for America. This experience motivated her to earn a Master's degree in Education Policy from Stanford University and research the Australian education system as a Fulbright Scholar.
Kelly worked as a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein on Capitol Hill; served as Education Director of Fight for Children, where she devised and implemented a "three-sector strategy" that resulted in more than $800m for District of Columbia schools and low-income students; and helped design and launch Building Hope, which helps public charter schools obtain new, high tech school facilities.
In 2010, Kelly combined her passion for education equality with her belief in the power of film by founding Loudspeaker Films, an independent media production company. Loudspeaker's signature project, the TEACHED Short Film Series, has won numerous awards and screened across the nation and internationally. Kelly also produces and directs On the Loudspeaker as well as videos on-contract for select organizations. She is a frequent speaker on using film and digital media to promote social justice and a published writer.
Kelly Amis - Long Bio
Kelly Amis grew up outside a small town in Nebraska, but had the unique opportunity to attend Phillips Andover Academy starting at age 14. She went on to attend Georgetown University, where she graduated magna cum laude and served as the Editor-in-Chief of the women's journal, The New Press.
As Editor-in-Chief, Kelly successfully fought to bring The New Press under the jurisdiction of Georgetown's Media Board, becoming the first female student to participate in its long-standing traditional activities. During this time she also served as the first female intern for Congressman Hal Daub of Nebraska and volunteered as a tutor in Washington, DC schools through the After School Kids program.
Kelly was selected as one of five hundred recent college graduates nationwide to join the Charter Corps of Teach for America. She taught fourth and fifth grades in South Central, Los Angeles and served on her school's Shared Decision-Making Board as a teacher representative. This experience motivated her to earn a Master's degree in Education Policy from Stanford University and research the Australian education system as a Fulbright Scholar.
Kelly worked on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, handling education, labor and foreign policy issues; served as Education Director of Fight for Children, where she devised and implemented a "three-sector strategy" that resulted in more than $800m in new federal funding benefiting Washington, DC schools and low-income students; and helped design and launch Building Hope, which helps public charter schools acquire new and improved high-tech school facilities.
In 2010, Kelly founded Loudspeaker Films to combine her passion for social justice with her love of art and strong belief in the power of film to make a difference. "Film can reach people on a visceral level," she says, "Film transcends literacy and geography, and helps counter the concept of 'the other' by bringing people together through shared emotion and experience."
Loudspeaker's first project, a short film series called TEACHED, examines systemic racism in America particularly as it is experienced by African American boys. The series is dedicated to Kelly's beloved "little brother" Malik Smith, who tragically died of AIDS in 2004 just before his ninth birthday. This beautiful boy also inspired Loudspeaker's Malik D. Smith Intern Program, which provides young people of all backgrounds with filmmaking and professional career-building skills.
The TEACHED films have been featured in over 100 special events, festivals and conferences worldwide. They have won 18 international film awards including at the Harlem International, Amsterdam, Napa Valley, Houston, Los Angeles Independent and Williamsburg Festivals, and have been screened at high-profile venues including the U.S. Department of Education, Salesforce, LinkedIn, SXSW-Edu, the Museum of the Moving Image and The Atlantic's Inaugural Race and Justice Summit.
Kelly also produces and directs On the Loudspeaker, an online interview series, as well as videos on-contract for organizations that advocate for social justice and race equality. Some of her clients include the Emerson Collective, Oakland Public Education Fund, SEO Scholars, HealthCorps, UCSF Medical Center, Moriah Fund and STEM from Dance.
Kelly is a frequent speaker on the use of digital media to pursue social justice aims. She has presented at venues including the Salesforce Foundation, the Houston Chamber of Commerce, the ASU-GSV Education Innovation Summit, the Kapor Center for Social Justice, the Kauffman Foundation, Oakland City Hall and elsewhere. Her writing has been published in the Washington Post, Philanthropy magazine, 3 Quarks Daily and the Education Post.
Kelly recently finished her first short documentary filmed outside of the U.S.: Waiting Patient, which looks at the next frontier in global health equity through the work of a hospital in rural Haiti. She is currently in production on a feature-length documentary film and finishing her first narrative feature film screenplay.