Our Team

Day Al-Mohamed (Director, Executive Producer)

Day Al-Mohamed and Yellow Labrador VeniDay Al-Mohamed is an author of narrative fiction. Her most recent Young Adult novel, “Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn” and her co-edited anthology, “Trust & Treachery” were published by Dark Quest Books in September 2014. In addition to speculative fiction, Al-Mohamed has written several comics and short film scripts. She is an active member of the Cat Vacuuming Society of Northern Virginia Writing Group, of Women in Film and Video, a graduate of the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop, and most recently, a Documentary Fellow with Docs in Progress. Al-Mohamed currently works as a Senior Policy Advisor with the Federal government. Previously, Al-Mohamed worked as a lobbyist and political analyst for more than 15 years on national issues relating to disability. She loves public policy, history, and drinks far too much tea.

This is a lost piece of history. Not just disability history, or veteran’s history, or Washington DC history, these men’s stories belong to all of us.

Julia Marie Myers (Editor)

Julia Marie Myers (Editor) Julia Marie Myers graduated from Yale University in 2012 and currently works as a post-producer and editor at Discovery Communications. Julia actively writes, directs and edits narrative films in her free time. Her directorial and editorial work spans over fifty short films, numerous music videos, a web series, and two feature films. Her current film project, Union, features elements of the Invalid Corps story, and is also inspired by the life of Mary Walker, the first woman surgeon to be officially employed by the US Army.

Fear, discrimination, bravery, grace: no matter how different we may think we are from these men so long ago, there is a piece of each of us in their story. I want to make this film because it gives those that made a difference, a voice – one that if we keep telling and add to it our own, can only get louder.

N. Renee Brown (Researcher)

N Renee BrownN. Renee Brown is a Library Assistant at the University of Maryland and University College. She also serves as Archivist for the Lead On Network, a non-profit focused on disability issues and intersectionality. During weekends from 2011 to 2013, she also volunteered in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s Forensic Anthropology Lab for the Written in Bone Exhibit.

Disability has such a rich history…but we know so little about it! I feel like this project takes one step into history to pull back the curtain on how much people with disabilities can do when given the chance.

David Ackerman (Composer)

David Ackerman Bio Image David Ackerman is a composer, poet, and roustabout native to the middle-west of the United States. He presently resides in a modest college town in the approximate geographic center of Missouri, where he studied music composition and theory under Dr. Thomas McKenney. His music has been featured by organizations ranging from local orchestras to radio theatre companies. He has also spent much of his career working in theatre in one capacity or another. Whatever art he might attempt, he is generally most happy when crafting some kind of story with that medium; be it music, literature, photography, theatre, or things less long haired and respectable (or easily categorized, for that matter.)

I’m excited about this project. Very often we hear stories of triumph in adversity, but this is more than that. It’s a story of people that were left behind; people that were scorned, sometimes ridiculed, and often forgotten. While Grant was advancing with the Army of the Potomac on Lee near Petersburg, it was in large part the Invalid Reserve Corps that manned the defenses around Washington DC. Not surprisingly, given the fluid and bitter nature of the fighting, this was no mere ceremonial posting. Before Day asked me to help with this I knew nothing of the Invalids Corps. It turns out that theirs is a remarkably compelling story and it’s been a pleasure to learn it as we work on this project. I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I.


Jonathan van Harmelen (Researcher) 

Jon van HarmelenJonathan van Harmelen is currently studying American History at Pomona College, and has conducted research with Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. He also works at Pomona College as manager for the Orchestra and as assistant to the History Department. He enjoys collecting military antiques, playing drums, and attempting to learn French, German, and Dutch all at once.

The history of the Invalid Corps represents a crucial aspect of American history. As historians, understanding the narratives presented by the Invalid Corps helps us to understand both the disability and military history of the United States, and contribute a unique perspective to American history that should never go unnoticed.


Marissa Stalvey (Outreach and Social Media Coordinator)

Marissa is a disability advocate and public relations/communications professional in the DC area. She received her BA in History and her Master’s in Disability Studies. Marissa is especially passionate about disability history and making museums accessible to all. A total history nerd, Marissa loves visiting museums and historic sites with her husband on weekends. She also loves her lemon beagle, Butters, her cats, and eating more bacon than is probably healthy.

People with disabilities have played important, pivotal roles throughout history. Their stories deserve the world’s respect and attention.

Steven A. Rodriguez (Strategist, Crowdfunding Coordinator)

Steven A. Rodriguez is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Consultant working with small business and entrepreneurs to unleash their online marketing potential. He focuses on being a community builder who enjoys learning about other businesses, brainstorming, collaborating, and promoting the success of others.

The history of people with disabilities is something that often gets skewed in our society. I care about highlighting their abilities, especially when our very own Veterans played such a pivotal role in defending the U.S. Capitol.

Bret Schweinfurth (Invalid Corps Historian)

Bret C. Schweinfurth is a set decorator, actor, and historian. He is known for his work on Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998), Wild Wild West (1999) and The Day Lincoln Was Shot (1998) as well as providing historical expertise and archival information for many more Civil War films. He has been a Civil War reenactor for more than 30 years and has focused his historical research and presentations on the Invalid Corps for the past 20 years. He currently owns one of the largest private collections of original Invalid Corps documents and artifacts. Bret hosts the popular American Civil War – Invalid Corps group on Facebook.