About us

Since our founding in 2003 our diverse leadership teams have consulted with local communities across the region about how to reverse a southern legacy of racial violence, endemic conflict, and impaired civic relationships.

Principal Partners

Theophus Thee Smith

Rev. Dr. Theophus “Thee” Smith
Dr. Thee is a retired professor of Religion at Emory University, with academic and teaching specialties that include philosophy of religion, African American religious studies, liberation theology, and religion and violence. For his book Conjuring Culture: Biblical Formations of Black America, he received the American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence. Thee Smith is also the co-editor with Mark Wallace of the book, Curing Violence: Essays on René Girard. From 1991 to 1998 Rev. Thee Smith directed the Atlanta Chapter of the National Coalition Building Institute™, an international consulting and training organization based in Washington, D.C. that specializes in diversity training, prejudice reduction, and intergroup conflict resolution. His consulting practice includes LocalMotivators.com and Thurman Reconciliation Initiatives, a research and consulting partnership that provides faith-based resources for conflict transformation and social change. He is also a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta.

Andrew M. Sheldon

Andrew M. Sheldon
Dr. Andrew M. Sheldon retired as a principal partner of SheldonSinrich, LLC, from a trial consulting firm in Atlanta, Georgia. Andy holds a law degree and a doctorate in clinical psychology. He was actively involved in the retrials of civil right cases from the 1960s and selected the juries in eight of those cases, all of which resulted in convictions. A co-founder of Southern Truth and Reconciliation, he continues to serve on STAR’s Advisory Board. 

Trent Frank

Trent Frank, Executive Director
Rev. Trent Frank is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Regent University, a graduate of the Candler School of Theology (M.Div.) at Emory University, a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel, a certified community organizer, and a former pastor. Contact the Executive Director: Your phone call to our number at 404-931-5062 and your e-mail posted from our Contact Us page linked below, will reach Trent.


Blair Rothstein

Blair Rothstein
An Atlanta native, Blair is an investment advisor providing investment and financial planning advice to individuals, families, and nonprofit organizations. In addition to formerly serving as co-chair of STAR’s Board of Directors, Blair also serves on the Board for the Anti-Defamation League. His other community involvements include the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce™, the Black-Jewish Coalition, and L.E.A.D. Atlanta, Class of 2009. Rothstein earned his J.D. from Tulane University School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.

In addition to the principal partners profiled above, our current leadership team includes:

Sally_Cohen-AtkinsKwesi DeGraft-Hanson
Ms. Sally Cohen-Atkins, corporate management and development consultant.Dr. Kwesi DeGraft-Hanson, independent scholar of the transatlantic slave trade.

Additional Advisors:

Dr. Susan GlissonAtty. Seth KirschenbaumMr. Curtis Michelson
Prof. Oliver Nathan Greene Rev. Darryl RobertsMr. Earl A. Daniels

Former Partners Include:

Dr. Mark AuslanderDr. Natasha BarnesDr. Meridith GouldDr. Matthew Bersagel-BraleyMr. Rich RuskDr. Suzanne MinarcineMr. Dan DusterDr. Jody Usher
Dr. Robert FranklinMs. Cappy HarmonDr. Norman HarrisMs. Jesse Harris-BathrickThe Hon. Susan TateDr. Sherrylin IfillAtty. Charles LesterMs. Sheryl R. Wilson

Former Intern


Veronica Hart

Ms. Hart was a doctoral candidate working on her Psychology (Industrial-Organizational (IO) specialization) degree at Capella University. Facebook page (login req.)
In May, 2018, she interviewed Ms. Vonceia Robinson about her imprisoned son, Derius Robinson.