Who We Are

ESA Staff

Nikki Toyama-Szeto, Executive Director

Nikki brings over 15 years of nonprofit leadership experience to ESA, having previously served both International Justice Mission and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, where she worked for many years as the program director for Urbana Missions Conference. She is the author of several books, including Partnering with the Global Church (Urbana Onward) and More Than Serving Tea: Asian American Women on Expectations, Relationships, Leadership and Faith.

Darren Calhoun, Associate Fellow for Racial Justice

Darren is a community activist, photographer, and worship leader based out of Chicago. Compassion and justice have been core to Darren’s community engagement for 16+ years. Darren is Worship Leader at Urban Village Church and previously served for 9 years as a volunteer worship leader at the downtown campus of Willow Creek Community Church.  He also contributed to the development of The Marin Foundation‘s “I’m Sorry” campaign at gay pride parades and now #MakeLoveLouder with the Center for Inclusivity.

Elrena Evans, Editor and Content Strategist

Elrena curates articles dedicated to the intersection of faith and social justice. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Penn State, and has written for Red Letter Christians, Christianity Today, Plough, Books & Culture, The Mudroom, Episcopal Life, In Touch Magazine, Princeton Theological Seminary’s The Thread, and elsewhere. She is the author of a short story collection, This Crowded Night, and co-author of the essay collection Mama, PhD: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life. She enjoys spending time with her family, dancing, and making spreadsheets.

Andre Henry, Social Media Manager

Andre holds a B.A. in Practical Theology and an M.A. in Theology with an emphasis in Biblical Languages. He’s passionate about music, faith, racial justice, and social change. Follow him on Twitter @andrehenry.

Kristyn KomarnickiProgram Director, Dialogue and Convening

Kristyn is director of dialogue and convening at ESA/Sider Center. The creator of our Oriented to Love dialogues about sexual/gender diversity in the church, Kristyn facilitates these two-day, intimate retreats that help Christians of different sexual orientations, gender identities, and theological convictions come together to get to know, understand, and love each other, unified by the love of Christ (a “unity that is deeper than agreement”). Fascinated and encouraged by what happens when we approach our“other” in the posture of learner—with vulnerability, bravery, curiosity and humility—Kristyn enjoys helping people of all kinds have more generative conversations, reframing conflict not as something to be feared or avoided but as an opportunity for maturing in Christ.

Micky ScottBey Jones, Racial Justice Fellow

Micky is a perpetual learner, “justice doula”, consultant, facilitator, mama/sister/friend, nonviolence practitioner and contemplative activist living just south of Nashville, TN. After 10 plus years as a mother-baby specialist, trainer and author, she decided to shift back to earlier interests: theology and community development. She is a member of the co-learning community of NAIITS (North American Institute of Indigenous Theological Studies) and graduated with a Masters of Arts in Intercultural Studies.

John Seel, Research Fellow

John is a consultant, writer, cultural analyst, and cultural renewal entrepreneur. He is the former director of cultural engagement at the John Templeton Foundation, and author of The New Copernicans: Understanding the Millennial Contribution to the Church. He has an M.Div. from Covenant Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Maryland (College Park). He and his wife, Kathryn, live in Lafayette Hill, PA.

Alyssa Sickle, Administrative Coordinator

Alyssa joined the ESA staff after more than 10 years of working with faith-based volunteer and mission programs, focusing on fundraising, event planning, and membership support. After graduating from the University of Maryland, she served as a collegiate missions assistant in France with Greater Europe Mission, and she has participated in and led a variety of short-term service trips. She is thrilled to support ESA’s initiatives that promote God’s love and justice.
Sarah Withrow KingCo-Director, CreatureKind

Wanting to combine her strong faith with her passion for advocacy on behalf of the oppressed and marginalized, Sarah enrolled in Palmer Seminary and obtained a Masters of Theological Studies with a concentration in Christian Faith and Public Policy. She is the author of Animals Are Not Ours (No Really, They’re Not): An Evangelical Animal Liberation Theology and Vegangelical: How Caring for Animals Can Shape Our Faith. Sarah is an Associate Fellow of the Oxford Center for Animal Ethics.