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People

Making Contact is in the midst of a leadership transition – you can read a bit more about the process here. If you have any questions or concerns related to the transition, please feel free to connect with Board President Mickey Ellinger  at mickeye@igc.org.

Staff

Jessica Partnow, Interim Executive Director jessica@radioproject.org | +1 (662) 471-8456 text/voice

Jessica Partnow

Jessica is a nonprofit leader, educator, and former international public radio journalist. She was the founding executive director of The Seattle Globalist, a nonprofit media organization dedicated to elevating diverse voices through media. She earned her MBA with a focus on leadership, and now brings that education and nearly twenty years in the nonprofit sector to consulting work with small and growing organizations. She has worked with dozens of small nonprofits on corporate formation, organizational structure, board development, strategic planning, mission and vision development, program planning, operations, fundraising, and communications. Jessica specializes in interim leadership and leadership transitions for small nonprofit organizations.

As a co-founder of The Seattle Globalist, Jessica grew the organization to an annual budget of $350,000, and the Globalist published work by more than 600 freelance contributors – 67% people of color, 73% women, and 45% immigrants or first generation Americans. The Globalist, in operation from 2012-2020, was dedicated to elevating diverse voices through media, and it was during her tenure there that she began to develop her approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion and to building anti-racist nonprofit organizations. Find more about Jessica at jessicapartnow.com.

Salima Hamirani, Producer Salima@radioproject.org

Salima is an Oakland-based radio journalist who earned her chops as a producer at KPFA’s Apex Express and as the Friday host and producer of their morning drive-time show Up Front. after being an intern and freelancer with Making Contact. Salima says she’s “at heart a rabble rouser, and believes in the power of social movements, the power of people coming together to protect one another and fight back and she producers radio with that possibility always on her mind.”

She loves research and her deepest journalistic beats are prison and surveillance, war and its legacies, Islamophobia and the war on terror, climate justice and immigration. She’s also a struggling fiction and speculative fiction writer. “ I feel a deep love for women, and people of color and queer people writing what’s usually called “genre fiction” — there’s some similarity between the ways those writers have reclaimed the narrative form, and how radio producers might one day reclaim the airwaves.” Salima doesn’t like sweet things but she loves popsicles. And mochi ice cream. And boba. And mochi ice cream stuffed with boba with a side of popsicles.

Anita Johnson, Producer ajohnson@radioproject.organita

Starting her journalistic career at Youth Radio in 1994, she was the senior producer for YR’s weekly talk show on WILD 94.9. She served as senior producer for 106.1 KMEL’s Street Knowledge, hosted by Davey D. By 1997, she was submitting national segments as a reporter for Marketplace and NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition.  Anita senior produced the acclaimed CD project 175 Progress Drive, which brought attention to the case of death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal and Prisons on Fire: George Jackson, Attica and Black Liberation. In 2000, she co-founded KPFA’s Hard Knock Radio, a public affairs program, covering news, views and hip-hop.

In 2009, with the assistance of The Association of Independents in Radio, she founded Beyond The Odds, a multimedia arts project created to illuminate the impact of HIV and AIDS on low-income and minority young adults (under 25), through the use of the Web. In 2010, she co-produced the documentary film CoInTelPro 101. Aside from her many journalistic achievements, she also is a well respected Hip-Hop MC and has performed alongside Verve recording artist Ledisi and the legendary singer/guitarist Carlos Santana.

Over 40 freelancers file segments for Making Contact from around the country and across the globe. See our Submission Guidelines if you are interested in joining our network of freelancers.  See our Community Storytelling Fellows.

Stephanie Daniels and We Heart Finance provide financial services on contract for Making Contact

“At the age of 12, my single mom gave me the responsibility of balancing our checkbook and creating monthly budgets for our household. Over the last 10 years I have been the Finance Director of some amazing nonprofit organizations, balancing budgets up to $1.3million.  Now that I have obtained an MBA, I want to help businesses and nonprofit organizations surpass their financial goals.”


Board of Directors

Oriana Bolden, Secretary

Oriana Bolden is a documentary filmmaker, digital media producer and educator. Her work tackles social and economic injustices at both interpersonal and systemic levels. Bolden’s films have been screened nationally as well as internationally through broadcast, community and digital platforms.  As a facilitator of media production, Oriana has worked extensively with youth, interns and community based programs, teaching media production and digital literacy in schools and community centers across the country. She currently produces professional development modules for a national non-profit organization in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Mickey Ellinger, Presidentmickey Ellinger clip_image001

Mickey Ellinger is a writer committed to making complex information accessible.  As a print journalist she writes regularly for News from Native California and other California-based publications.  She also edits material in the fields of community health, public education and transportation to make the findings of experts accessible to advocates and community members.  She has served as treasurer of the Bay Area chapter of the National Writers Union and is a member of the board of the Bay Area Community Land Trust.

Susan Gleason, Treasurer

susan-li-photoSusan is the Media and Outreach Manager at YES! magazine. For twenty years she’s worked as  a media activist, media-maker, trainer, and community organizer, and she maintains an unyielding commitment to the importance of independent and community media.  She DJ’d and produced for several years at WMPG 90.9 FM, Portland, Maine, and as a Board OP she played Making Contact each week. She has produced independent features for KBCS 91.3 FM, Bellevue/Seattle and other radio and print outlets. Her work with the Seattle Independent Media Center, Reclaim the Media, Earth on the Air Radio Works and other groups has included community organizing and engagement, communications and marketing, independent book publishing, new media development, and organizational development.

Yuko Kodama, member 

Yuko is the News & Public Affairs Director  at KBCS in Bellevue WA.  She has over 27 years of experience in Audio News Production and has received a Walter Cronkite School of Journalism 2017 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability. She was also the Producer of Listen Up! Northwest, a syndicated weekly program that highlighted the work of community radio stations throughout the Pacific Northwest.  Yuko loves that radio is a medium which encourages the listener to use their imagination to participate in stories and art. She also loves the possibilities that radio has to offer in informing and connecting people. She enjoys mentoring people into audio storytelling.


Founders

Peggy Law, Founding Director and Development Advisor Activist, organizer, visionary. Peggy is a journalist with broad experience in non-profit management. She is an organizational consultant and a Board Member of the Institute for Public Accuracy and IF (a social change organization). Peggy is an Executive Committee member for the MediaWorks Initiative, and has also had a career as a mental health professional.

Norman Solomon Nationally syndicated author and columnist on media and politics; Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) associate; Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. A collection of Norman’s columns won the 1999 George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language. He has authored ten books, including “The Habits of Highly Deceptive Media and The Power of Babble,” “Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn’t Tell You” (co-authored with foreign correspondent Reese Erlich), and his latest book, “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.”

David Barsamian Author, lecturer, founder and director of Alternative Radio. David’s interviews and articles appear in The Progressive, The Nation, Z and other journals and magazines. David is author of numerous books with Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Eqbal Ahmad, and Edward Said. His series of books with Chomsky, America’s leading dissident, have sold in the hundreds of thousands and have been translated into many languages. David’s latest books are “Propaganda & the Public Mind: Conversations with Noam Chomsky” and “The Decline & Fall of Public Broadcasting.”

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