THE MISSION OF MUSIC IN COMMON IS TO STRENGTHEN, EMPOWER, AND CONNECT COMMUNITIES THROUGH THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE OF MUSIC
What we do
Music In Common is a non-profit organization that repairs the fractures dividing communities worldwide. Our programs facilitate dialogue, collaborative songwriting, multimedia production, and performance, and bring diverse youth and their communities together, empowering them against hate. We cultivate compassion and empathy through social-emotional learning and sharpen leadership and peacebuilding skills through our unique peer-to-peer methodology. In any community, our programs transform apprehension into trust, fear into acceptance, powerlessness into action. Working together, participants discover their common ground, expand understanding of each other’s racial, religious, ethnic, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, build confidence, wage peace and — yes— change the world.
In October 2005, singer-songwriter and producer Todd Mack organized an informal backyard jam in honor of his friend and band mate Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter abducted and murdered by militants in Pakistan in 2002. Fueled by a resonating belief in the power of music to connect people, that backyard jam grew to become Music In Common, an international non-profit organization with innovative programs that serve as a call to action in communities around the world.
“As Danny traveled the world as a journalist, he’d take his fiddle and play at local jam sessions. It was his way of connecting with people in the places he visited and, then, connecting them with each other. Music In Common is the best way I know to honor his memory.” – Founder, Todd Mack
To date, MIC has directly served thousands of people in more than 300 communities across the US, Middle East, and Far East and operates multiple programs locally, nationally, and internationally.
Todd has made a 35-year career as a musician, songwriter, and producer based upon his unwavering belief in the power of music to change the world. He has toured extensively throughout the United States and Asia as a soloist, with his band, and with Music In Common. Todd has released 7 albums of his music and produced dozens of albums and other projects by other artists. Todd speaks locally, nationally, and internationally at universities and conferences on a wide variety of topics related to the music business, music production, songwriting, and the power of music to create social change.
Trey is a MIC youth alumnus who worked his way up through the ranks from program participant to peer leader, Senior Fellow, and now Program Coordinator. A 2020 Fulbright Award recipient, devoted artivist (artist + activist), and recent graduate from Soka University of America, Trey is passionate about advancing peace and social justice through music, dance, and filmmaking. Since 2016, Trey has served been involved with Music In Common and is a lead program facilitator trained in MIC's unique methodology. His widening leadership role within the organization has resulted in the development of new programs and initiatives such as the Bridge Sessions and The Black Legacy Project, of which he serves as co-director.
In her role as Marketing & Development Coordinator, singer-songwriter, musician, and dancer Simone Alyse is driven to bridge the relationship between music and social awareness. While being in the entertainment industry since a little girl and finding her voice in activism, Simone is dedicated to using any platform she is a part of to be a vessel for those who are silenced. Attending Berklee College of Music then transferring to Emory University receiving her degree in African American Studies, she is super excited to be a part of such a groundbreaking organization!
A former three-term member, Elizabeth Schroeder made the transition from Music in Common board member to staff in 2022. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Emory University as well as the Certified Financial Planning® designation. She and her husband Phil, a Methodist minister, have been married for 28 years and have three grown children. Elizabeth is passionate about helping foster conversations that deepen understanding between people of different backgrounds. As MIC''s Business & Admin Coordinator, she keeps the organization humming along in perfect harmony.
Board of Directors
Corey-Jan Albert - President: Corey-Jan is a marketing strategist, copywriter, playwright, songwriter and educator who firmly believes in the power of creative collaboration and communication to solve problems and turn "us vs. them" into simply "us." She joined the MIC Board in 2017 and has served as MIC’s Board President since 2020. John Van Vlack - Vice President: Following a successful corporate career, John’s main focus today is entrepreneurial ventures and Music In Common. Building on the organization’s work over its history, John sees MIC expanding its reach to meet the increasing need for peace. He has served MIC’s board since 2010, including four years as President. Monica Y. Manning - Treasurer: Monica brings a wealth of administrative expertise through her decades of leadership experience in the municipal, corporate, and nonprofit sectors. She is passionate about bringing about positive change in the world and believes in this organization’s ability to enact it. She has served on the MIC board since 2022. Adam Moussa - Communications Officer: Born in Syria, Adam is a recent graduate of the University of California, San Diego, where he studied biology in pursuit of becoming a physician. He has been actively involved with Music In Common ever since participating in his first JAMMS program in 2015. He believes that any group can come together and create something beautiful regardless of their differences. Adam served as a Fellow in the 2020-2021 MIC Youth Leadership Cohort and has served on the MIC Board since 2022. Todd Mack - Executive Director: Todd has built a 40-year career as a musician, songwriter, and producer. He founded Music In Common in 2005 based upon his unwavering belief that music can change the world. Todd speaks locally, nationally, and internationally at universities and conferences on a wide variety of topics related to the music business, music production, songwriting, and the power of music to create social change. Dr. Cedric Adderley – As an internationally renowned composer, conductor and educator, Cedric Adderley serves as the President of the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. He has brought his commitment to uniting social justice and integrity with organizational excellence through strategic planning, fundraising, and artistic program development to the MIC board since 2022 Ed Outlaw - Ed is a Tax Credit and Energy Efficiency Consultant, and believer in the idea that cross cultural connections can lead to a more peaceful world. A founding board member, he has brought his counsel and leadership to the organization since 2009, serving as Treasurer from 2009 - 2011. Dr. Ellen Shanahan - Ellen has taught music at Berkshire Community College since 1983 and works with area high schools and churches to bring the performing arts to life. She has served on the MIC Board since 2018 and is eager to expand the organization’s reach through its pursuit of justice, peace, human rights and collaboration. Dr. Ching Ching Yap – Having earned her MFA in piano performance in Germany and her PhD in music education and MBA in international business from the University of South Carolina, Ching Ching has performed as a soloist and accompanist throughout the world. She has brought her background as a lifelong musician, researcher, policy developer and advocate for intercultural communication to the MIC board since 2022.