Erika Simon has a B.A. (with honors) in English from Earlham College in Indiana, an M.A. in communication studies from UNC – Chapel Hill, and significant experience as an archivist, instructor, oral historian, and filmmaker.
She received her Certificate in Documentary Arts from the Center for Documentary Studies in 2006. For her final project, she produced a short film, “Gemini World,” which won the Audience Award at the Carrboro Film Festival in 2006.
Erika has served as editor on numerous film projects, including Green Jobs Revolution; Looking Back: Brown Versus the Board of Education; Levante: Theater for Social Change; A New Kind of Listening; Hearts & Mines, and many others. She contributed to the radio series North Carolina Voices: Understanding Poverty. She has taught video production and editing at Duke, Wofford College (South Carolina), University of Wisconsin-Madison, the North Carolina Folklife Institute, and other places. Erika was awarded the Martha Nell Hardy Award for Outstanding Teaching by UNC. She regularly receives among the highest reviews among instructors at the Center for Documentary Studies.
Erika came to documentary studies after seeing her own experience reflected in a documentary project that shattered stereotypes. “Having a lesbian mom was always something that made me feel like an outsider, even in the gay community. I knew ‘my story’ wasn’t the only one like it, and seeing a whole traveling photo-text exhibit about families like mine was empowering and provided an occasion for community dialogue.”
Erika is working with The City School in Boston. Founded in 1987, the City School works with more than 800 youths from across the region each year to provide the skills and challenging experiences needed to foster the next generation of leaders.