Communiversity and Undergraduate Programs Manager
Senior Program Manager
Assistant Stone Center Librarian
Dr. Manigault-Bryant comes to the Stone Center from Williams College, where she was a professor of Africana Studies since 2011, served as Associate Dean of the Faculty, and held affiliations with the department of Religion and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.
After completing her undergraduate education at Duke University, Dr. Manigault-Bryant received a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University and a PhD in Religion from Emory’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. A proud native of Moncks Corner, South Carolina, she navigates the academy as a scholar-artist, where she merges her life as a musician and filmmaker with her interdisciplinary specializations in Religious Studies, Africana Studies, and Gender Studies, all with a focus on ethnographic methods.
Dr. Manigault-Bryant is the author of Talking to the Dead: Religion, Music, and Lived Memory among Gullah/Geechee Women (Duke University Press, 2014). She is also the co-author of Fat Religion: Protestant Christianity and the Construction of the Fat Body with Susan Hill and Lynne Gerber (Routledge, 2021), and Womanist and Black Feminist Responses to Tyler Perry’s Productions (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) with Tamura A. Lomax and Carol B. Duncan. She has authored and co-authored numerous works for academic and general audiences.
A recipient of the New Directions Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Dr. Manigault-Bryant is an accomplished filmmaker who studied filmmaking at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She founded ConjureGirlBlue Productions, which produced films including: “PRECIPICE: On the Black Maternal” (2021) and the acclaimed short film, “death. everything. nothing” (2020), an official selection to numerous film festivals.
Dr. Manigault-Bryant also has several works currently in progress including “Welcome to Toxic Tallevast,” a documentary on environmental contamination in an African-American community on Florida’s Gulf coast; Pushing Weight: Religion, Popular Culture, and the Implications of Image, which considers how popular culture and contemporary media forms simultaneously influence mass interpretations of the black female “religious” body; and a muti-media venture entitled “Black Crossroads: Mourning Rituals and Geographies of Sacred Space.” Whether investigating practices of specific communities, exploring cultural production at the popular level, considering the impact of new technologies, or creating documentary shorts, critical to Dr. Manigault-Bryant’s work are explorations of how Black women engage religion and spirituality to navigate the contours of life.
For her creative endeavors, Dr. Manigault-Bryant has been awarded independent and national grants from the Ford Foundation, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Forum for Theological Exploration, the Louisville Institute, the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Religion and Theology, Emory University, Wake Forest University, Williams College, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. She has also held visiting professorships at Brown University and Harvard University.
As the new director of the Stone Center, Dr. Manigault-Bryant brings an array of experience to bear rooted in her life as a Black southern-born womanist attentive to folkways; grounded by her deep, interdisciplinary scholarly profile in Africana religious studies; centered in scholarship, service, and teaching that foregrounds Black women’s experiences; undergirded by her work as an innovative documentary filmmaker; refined by her campus-wide level administrative expertise; seasoned by her role as a dynamic, creative, and inclusive leader; and inspired by the ethics of care and delight which underpin all of her endeavors.
Senior Program Manager
Sheriff Drammeh is the Senior Program Manager for Arts Culture and Community Programs at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center. Since joining the Center in 2014, Sheriff has led planning and organizing efforts for the Annual Stone Memorial and Diaspora Lectures, the Diaspora Festival of Black and Independent Film, numerous art exhibitions hosted in the Stone Center’s Brown Gallery, cultural performances — among them the one-woman play on the life of Big Mama Thornton entitled “Houn’ Dawg” featuring artist Azusa SHESHE Dance and the one-man show “POWER!” on the life of Stokely Carmichael by DC-based actor/playwright Meshaun Labrone. Sheriff also coordinated symposia — on Amiri Baraka and the Black arts movement, Black bookstores, the 1619 Project to name a few — and community workshops (including one on Bomba Dance) led by Stone Center guest artists.
Sheriff holds undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Communication (with a minor in journalism) from NC State University and graduate degrees in International Development and Conflict Management from Brandeis University.
Javier Jaimes-Ayala is the Facilities Manager at the Stone Center. Originally from Mexico city, Mexico, Javier first joined UNC in the Department of Public Safety as a security guard for 10 years. He also spent 5 years at UNC hospitals as a General Manager for Environmental Services, Patient Transportation and Guest Services. In addition to his work at the Stone Center, he also owns and operates a commercial/residential cleaning company.
Stone Center Assistant Librarian
Gregg Moore is a Rocky Point, NC native who studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has more than a decade of library experience as a former employee of the Wake County Public Libraries in Raleigh.