Suma Karaman Rosen
Dynamic classroom teacher turned nonprofit leader, Suma’s experience in corporate, nonprofit and educational settings has brought depth to her leadership of InsideOut since 2017. Suma is inspired by the resilient and empowered InsideOut students, and brings this passion to all corners of our work, from managing finances and fundraising, to amplifying students’ voices far and wide.
Lia brings masterful organization to her work as Operations Coordinator, where she focuses on capacity building, marketing, and office-wide systems. Serving as the hub where program and administration meet, Lia is equally skilled in supporting the InsideOut team and providing high quality customer service to external stakeholders. A poet and essayist, her writing has appeared in the Kenyon Review, the Missouri Review, and elsewhere.
With a deep commitment for finding the perfect intersection between donor passion and organizational need, John coordinates InsideOut’s individual and corporate giving, as well as fundraising campaigns. John previously served as a Campaign Manager at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields and a Vista Volunteer with Hunger Solutions Minnesota. He experienced the transformational power of writing as a teen and is thrilled to support InsideOut in sharing that power with students throughout Metro Detroit.
Director of School & Community Partnerships
Alise has grown with InsideOut from the ground up. As a former Writer-in-Residence at Cody and Cass Tech High Schools, Alise learned first-hand how to cultivate and empower student voice. She brings this on-the-ground knowledge and many years of non-profit youth program experience to her work as Program Director, which she held from 2009-2019, and in her new role as Director of School & Community Partnerships. Alise is a talented poet whose work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, and is a recipient of a Knight Arts Challenge Detroit award.
A native Detroiter, experienced educator, and lifelong Diversity and Inclusion advocate, Michelle is dedicated to closing the opportunity gap for students and communities. As a classroom teacher, corporate educational consultant, and start-up nonprofit director, she has worked to improve educational equity and expand access to resources. With her passion for youth development and community empowerment, Michelle leads the InsideOut program and directs our program vision.
With a passion for literacy and pedagogy, Shawntai works with Writers-in-Residence and classroom teachers to cultivate impactful and meaningful learning. In addition to attending InsideOut programs as a student and working in the classroom as a Writer-in-Residence, Shawntai has a Master of Arts in Literacy Learning and has worked as an educator with students of all ages as well as adults. Shawntai is a playwright with the Extra Mile Playwrights and poet whose work has appeared in Kaleidoscope, Cactus Heart, and Synaesthesia Magazine.
Pete found his calling as a Writer-in-Residence with InsideOut and has been with the organization since it was founded 1995. In addition to inspiring students in the classroom, Pete partners with schools to create programs that fit their needs. Pete has published widely about the transformative power of writing, co-editing To Light a Fire: 20 Years with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project, and most recently a memoir, Inside My Pencil: Teaching Poetry in the Detroit Public Schools. A Kresge Arts in Detroit Fellow, Pete is the author of the novel Bob, or Man on Boat as well as five other books of short fiction.
Lead Teaching Artist
A dedicated educator who excels at creating safe spaces for youth, Jassmine joined InsideOut as Leading Teaching Artist after serving in teaching roles across our programs. Jassmine believes in the power of language to reflect on past experiences, build agency, and create a future in which we exist as our best selves. A Detroit slam poetry champion who has performed internationally, Jassmine’s work has been published through SlamFind, All Def Poetry and Wusgood? Magazine.
Citywide Poets Coordinator
Justin’s journey with InsideOut began first as a student at Cody High School where a Writer-in-Residence encouraged his writing and recruited him to join Citywide Poets. Since then, Justin has performed for international audiences and published his writing widely. Justin now coordinates our Citywide Poets program, elevating youth voice through weekly sessions around the city, guest writer workshops, performances, and open mic opportunities for youth.
Tony DeGenaro has an MFA in poetry from the University of San Francisco, and is currently a Ph.D. student in rhetoric & composition at Wayne State University.
Tarik Dobbs is an Arab American, queer writer born in Dearborn, Michigan. Dobbs’s poems appear in American Poetry Review, Poetry Magazine, & The Poetry Review.
Nathan Kweku John is a second-year MFA poet at the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program. He is of Gambian, Ghanaian, and Sierra Leonean descent.
Mahogany Jones is a lyrical force, hailed internationally for her work, as a recording and performance artist, arts educator, and US musical ambassador who’s served 18 countries to date.
Former Writer in Residence of the Hub City Writing Project, her work has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Kenyon Review, New Ohio Review, and elsewhere.
Board of Directors
Teresa McAlpine, President
Director of Marketing Operations
Plante Moran (retired)
Kevin Rashid, Vice-President
Honors College Academic Service Officer
Wayne State University
Laura Stevens, Treasurer
Director of Budgeting and Forecasting
Handelman Corporation (former)
Cindy Myers, Secretary
Executive Vice President
Chief Human Resources Officer
Flagstar Bank (retired)
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA (retired)
Executive Vice President
Van Dyke Horn Public Relations
Assistant Corporation Counsel
City of Detroit
Director of Automotive Relations
Detroit Public Schools (retired)
John Deere Financial