Our Board

Our Board

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Kate Reuther (Ex Officio) is the founder and director of Uptown Stories with the mission of providing young writers the chance to discover and develop their inner voices. Over the past ten years, Uptown Stories has offered over 200 writing workshops, and championed the voices of more than 1,700 kids in Manhattan’s uptown neighborhoods. Before Uptown Stories, Kate taught middle and high school Humanities for over 25 years, in both public and private schools, including the Tompkins Square Middle School, Calhoun, Fieldston, and Bank Street. Her own fiction has appeared in The Madison Review, Brain Child, Salamander, and The Ledge. Kate is a life-long New Yorker and has been living in Washington Heights since 2003 with her husband and two kids. (she/her/hers)


HK Dunston is an expert in digital product design and product management. She started working at a web design agency in the early days in 1995. Over the course of a 13-year consulting career she continued to focus on trends in online user experience, collaboration and communities. During this period she built and led the Experience Design team for Katzenback Partners.

HK then spent several years at Thomson Reuters as VP for Digital Communications, leading product stragy and operations for the company’s intranet, websites and social media. She’s currently consulting and supporting other mission-based organizations and recently earned a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning at Columbia. (she/her/hers)


Johanna Garcia is the Executive Director of the City College Partnership. With a streak for social justice and equality, she has long been involved in the community and political landscape of Washington Heights.

Johanna was recently appointed by the Manhattan Borough President to serve on the Community Education Council and was elected by her peers to serve as its President. While in her previous position as Chief of Staff at the City Council of New York, she enjoyed making sure that government worked for the people instead of the other way around. Hoping to give the community a bigger voice in government, Johanna co-founded and currently serves as President of the Uptown Community Democrats.

Johanna Garcia is a native of Washington Heights and daughter of Cuban immigrants. She is proud to be raising her children in the same neighborhood she grew up in. She is committed to helping public education give every child the opportunity to thrive. All three of her kids are alums of Uptown Stories. (she/her/hers)

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Joshua Luke Johnson is an editorial and content strategy professional living in New York City. His writing and design work has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Scholastic Press Association, and the Associated Collegiate Press.

With a BA in Journalism and a Master of Professional Studies in Print and Digital Media Publishing, Joshua currently works for Creatd, Inc, a Manhattan-based Nasdaq technology company. At Creatd, Joshua serves as Head of Content for Vocal, a multimedia digital publishing platform dedicated to supporting independent storytellers and the broader Creator Economy through industry-leading content creation tools, resources, and community engagement. In addition to his work at Creatd, Joshua serves as a committee chairman for the George Washington University Journal of Ethics in Publishing, where he oversees operations and strategic best practices for the quarterly execution of GW’s newest academic journal.


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