Guest judges for the 2018 Distinguished Achievement Award are connected to Milwaukee 53206, winner of a 2017 Media for a Just Society Award in the film category.
Keith McQuirter is a producer and director with credits in TV documentary, new media, and commercials. He directed Milwaukee 53206, which received, among other awards, the Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature Documentary at the 2017 Urbanworld Film Festival. He also co-produced the five-part Sundance Channel docu-series, Brick City, which received a Peabody Award and an Emmy nomination. While studying film and television production at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, McQuirter was awarded the Martin Scorsese Young Filmmaker Award. He also studied directing at the National Theater Institute. McQuirter and his production company, Decoder Media, are based in New York City.
Melissa C. Potter is the head of social impact and communications for Odyssey Impact/Transform Films. Potter has many years of experience as a communications and public affairs expert, having led issue campaigns as associate director of strategic communications for the ACLU and manager of public relations and social media for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Potter has worked on issues of criminal justice, racial justice, immigrant rights, disability rights, voting rights, and refugees. She also spearheaded the ACLU’s Celebrity Engagement Initiative. Potter has an MS in public relations and corporate communication from New York University and a BS in sociology from Northeastern University. In addition, Potter serves as chair of the board of directors for Fostering Change for Children.
Beverly Walker is married to Baron Walker, who was recently released from prison after being incarcerated in Wisconsin for more than 20 years. Their family, including five children and five grandchildren, is featured in Milwaukee 53206. Beverly Walker is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, where she studied education and early childhood education. She currently works as a paralegal and a notary public and recently completed a business certificate program at Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation. Beverly is an advocate for prison sentencing reform, solitary confinement elimination, and old law parole issues. She works with WISDOM, a grassroots multi-faith organization working for justice.