Who We Are

  • Naomi Sturm-Wijesinghe leads PFP’s day-to-day operations and works collaboratively with the board and staff to advance the organization’s social justice mission and impact through innovative programming. A folklorist and ethnomusicologist by training, Naomi specializes in themes of urban and immigrant folklife, indigenous and mestizo traditions of the Americas, Sri Lankan folk arts and waterlore. Her deeply held belief that local knowledge both sustains communities and advances the quality of urban life, is central to PFP’s approach to folklife in service of social change. 

    Contact: naomi [at] folkloreproject.org 

  • As PFP’s inaugural Folk Art & Social Change Fellow, Eric César Morales, Ph.D., oversees the organization’s Folk Arts and Social Change Residency program and supports the Folklore Project’s educational partnerships.

    Contact: eric [at] folkloreproject.org


Debora Kodish was the founder of the Philadelphia Folklore Project, and it’s Director from 1987 through June 2014. Some of her publications on activist approaches to public interest folklore work can be found here, including "Cultivating Folk Arts and Social Change" (Journal of American Folklore, 2013), "Imagining Public Folklore" (Companion to Folklore, 2012), and "Envisioning Folklore Activism" (Journal of American Folklore, 2011). She can be reached at debora.kodish@gmail.com

Current Board Members

  • Rechelle McJett Beatty
  • Carole Boughter
  • David Eldridge 
  • Sharon Friedler
  • Saundra Gilliard
  • Dr. Fariha Khan
  • Jeannine Osayande