Lee Phenner had written a draft or two of the book and lyrics of A Pint of Understanding when she set about looking for collaborators to see the project through.
With a story sparked by real events and centering on racism and white supremacy in America, she wanted to gather a team with diverse life experiences and perspectives.
She had admired the work of SDC director Benny Sato Ambush. A mutual friend introduced them, and Benny agreed to join the project. They discussed an approach to the music, and as they explored the work of different composers, friends, faith, and fate led them to not one but two composers: Joel LaRue Smith and Joseph Smith.