The Middle Project

Staff & Board

Staff & Board


Jacqueline Lewis, president

Jacqueline Lewis is Senior Minister at Middle Collegiate Church in New York City. Lewis is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and earned her Ph.D. in Religion and Society/Psychology and Religion at Drew University. Lewis, ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), serves on the Multiracial Congregation Task Force of the Reformed Church in America. Lewis has been Adjunct Professor at The Graduate Theological Union and Union Theological Seminary, and is currently on the Doctor of Ministry faculty at Wesley Theological Seminary. She is a nationally recognized speaker and preacher on the topics of racial justice and reconciliation, and has been interviewed on NPR’s Weekend Edition, in Forbes Magazine, and has been a featured speaker on 30 Good Minutes. She blogs for the Huffington Post and is the author of The Power of Stories: A Guide for Leaders in Multi-Racial and Multi Cultural Congregations.


John Janka, interim executive Director

John Janka is a consultant to congregations and non-profits, and is an experienced trainer and coach with a focus on systems intervention, educational design, training models, staff supervision, coaching and evaluation. He has trained, coached and led teams in diverse settings and across racial/ethnic, generational, gender and socio-economic lines. Janka’s experience includes strategic planning and visioning, managing change and resistance, dealing with difference, cultural diversity, human relations training and conflict management. He is currently on the Doctor of Ministry faculty at Wesley Theological Seminary. Janka is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.


Christina Fleming, Director of Communications

Christina Fleming is an editor, producer, and community organizer. She has served on the production teams of Frontline, The Center for Investigative Reporting, and public radio’s New Dimensions. She independently produced a public radio documentary, Kenya: Taking It Personally which featured Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai. Kenya: Taking It Personally aired nationally and was honored by the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Fleming earned her master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and her bachelor’s degree from Kalamazoo College.

She is a Certified Lay Speaker in the United Methodist Church. She guest preaches and leads classes on prayer and spiritual growth. She organizes recruiting and communications for The Middle Project.


Rob Stephens, Liaison to Middle Collegiate Church Staff

Rob Stephens became the Associate Minister for Justice and Organizing at Middle Collegiate Church in 2016 after graduating from Union Theological Seminary in New York with a Master of Divinity. Before arriving at seminary, Stephens served for three years as a Field Secretary for the North Carolina NAACP, and was one of the organizers of North Carolina’s Forward Together-Moral Monday Movement. Stephens serves on the Advisory Board for the Jackson Center for Saving and Making History in Chapel Hill, NC, an organization he helped co-found in 2008 that focuses on combating gentrification through oral history, community organizing and affordable housing advocacy.


Susan Davis is a civil society thought leader on social entrepreneurship and sustainable development. She is currently a senior adviser to the Reynolds Program for Social Entrepreneurship and adjunct professor at New York University. Susan serves on multiple boards and advisory councils including the United Nations Fund for International Partnership, the Segal Family Foundation, Focus for Health Foundation, Solutions Journalism Network, Center for Social Innovation, Be More America and AshokaU. Susan Davis holds a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an MPA from Harvard University. She is married to Claudia Slacik and resides in New York City.

Achebe Powell is an educator, consultant and social change activist whose work focuses on racial justice, diversity, and multiracial/multicultural organizational development. As director of Betty Powell Associates she has assisted a broad range of organizations across the country to become more inclusive and highly functioning diverse institutions, including universities and schools, hospitals and other health service providers, law firms, community agencies and faith-based groups.  A proud lesbian-feminist, Achebe has served as co-chairperson of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and was board member of the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays. Achebe holds a master’s degree in French language & literature from Fordham University and a bachelor’s degree from St. Catherine University.