Ace Spectrum is about you — the ACE Learning Centers.
It’s a quick sharing of ideas, inspiration, opinions and best practices among our continuing education organizations.
Please join the conversation.
By Shereen Adel, Editorial Operations, KALW News
With ongoing support from the Association for Continuing Education, KALW is excited to introduce its 9th Audio Academy, the class of 2022! They just completed their first month in a nine-month program that covers everything they need to know to report and produce news stories using sound.
Here are the very first local news spots they produced for KALW:
- Nine Oakland Police Department Officers Disciplined For ‘Sexist’ and ‘Racist’ Social Media Posts — Elizabeth Aranda
- Albany City Council Considering Rematriation Resolution — Carolann Jane Duro
- California Schools Prepare For Afghan Refugee Students — Johanna Miyaki
- SFMTA Seeks Public Input In Transit Plans — Dorothy Tang
- Oakland Records 100th Homicide, Votes To Fund Additional Police Academy — Ryan Howzell
- San Francisco’s Bayview Residents Raise Concerns Over Proposed “Vehicle Triage Center” — D’Andre Ball
- California COVID-19 Death Toll Climbing — Jasmine Ramirez
- Landlords Challenge Back Rent Relief Law — Adoubou Traore
They also shared a little bit about who they are and how they came to KALW’s Audio Academy:
Elizabeth Aranda (she/her)
Hello everyone! My name is Elizabeth Aranda and I’m currently studying at City College of San Francisco with hopes to transfer to a four year university. I work at Home Coffee Roasters and at the restaurant Fiorella. I am also a cat mom to two fur babies, Alejandra and Charlie. On my free time I love reading, going to the beach, camping, and hanging out with friends and family.
D’Andre Ball (he/him)
I am an education professional and freelance writer based in Berkeley. I enjoy covering Bay Area hip-hop culture and writing about artists throughout the region for local and national media outlets. I started my career as an educator on the West Side of Chicago, and currently work in teacher recruitment and school staffing in San Francisco.
Follow him on Twitter @drejball
Carolann Jane Duro (she/her)
Hamiintamc! I am Maara’yam (Serrano), Kumeyaay, and white. I was born and raised in my ancestral territory that is now known as San Bernardino in Southern California. I am a recent graduate of Scripps College where I majored in Sociology and took many classes in Media Studies. I was first introduced to public radio, podcasting, and journalism in my first year of college when I worked for WERS 88.9 FM in Boston, MA. After transferring to Scripps, I found other academic studies like social justice, political economy, Indigenous history and resistance, and Indigenous language revitalization. Post grad I have decided to return my way back to the public radio and journalism world and I am most excited to cover stories about California Indigenous people, language revitalization, and Indigenous politics. I am grateful to now be hosted on the unceded ancestral territory of the Ohlone people in Yelamu (San Francisco). In my free time I enjoy collecting records, reading Indigenous novels and books, going on walks with my Siberian Husky, and drinking way too much coffee. Hakup a’ai ami’ pahi’kow tan hiiv!
Follow her on Twitter @carolannjaneee
Ryan Howzell (she/her)
I am a researcher and writer from Oakland, CA. I cut my teeth in radio at my college station and since graduating, I’ve worked as a paralegal, arts administrator, maritime historian, and most recently, a fellow at WorldAffairs, a global politics radio show and podcast co-produced with KQED. In my work, I am interested in the intersections of race, climate, and labor rights as well as place-based narratives of marginalization and the relationship between local history, public space, and identity formation. I am also passionate about drawing on the performing arts—particularly theater, music, and art therapy—to develop interview/storytelling practices grounded in mutual repair and community-building. Outside of work, you’ll find me listening to and singing choral music, trying to get outside, testing new recipes, and hanging out at my local library.
Follow her on Twitter @HowzellRyan
Johanna Miyaki (she/her)
I was born in Washington DC, grew up in Maryland and have lived in San Francisco longer than I haven’t now so it is technically home but the East Coast will always have a piece of my heart. I live in the OMI neighborhood with my husband, my daughter and our rescue, Rocco. I find most people aren’t familiar with this part of San Francisco, it’s on the west side of San Francisco, I hope to write a story or two about the OMI for Crosscurrents. I have worked in events, marketing and promotions for most of my professional life, successfully running my own small event marketing and services company for nearly 14 years until the pandemic hit. I found myself out of work, essentially overnight so I decided to make the most of this newly found time on my hands and set out to learn new skills and explore other passions and interests. I learned to make Japanese food, baked a lot, did more yoga and discovered the SF Crosstown trail which helped me rediscover my city and get involved in my community. I also took many classes at City College in the Broadcast Electronic Media Dept where I started writing and learning the craft of storytelling and multimedia content creation. Fast forward 18 months or so and I am joining the KALW Audio Academy. I am excited to work in the newsroom with many talented people and learn with the other fellows.
Follow her on Twitter @jlomiyaki
Jasmine Ramirez (she/ her)
I grew up somewhat isolated in the small town of Aromas, California. I wouldn’t get out much and would turn to books for a sense of adventure. As a child, I had been fascinated by the power that words can hold. I enjoyed writing pieces that had an emotional pull but never sought a career out of writing. Eager to make a difference, I set aside my own personal interests and pursued a degree in sociology. I was four years into social work when I began to notice I could do more than lending a listening ear to those I was serving. Story after story, I realized a lot of people go through hardships due to structural factors that are out of their control. Despite the fact that I may not have any professional experience in the journalism world, I do have a lot of experience with people. My goal would be to bring light to real stories, from real people, who have gone through real hardships in order to apply pressure for substantial change. I cannot put into words how excited I am to be a part of this year’s Audio Academy and to train alongside others with a similar passion.
Dorothy Tang (they/them)
I’m an audio content creator interested in people-powered media and making knowledge accessible to and engaging for all. I believe in a queer of color approach to knowledge production and storytelling. I got my start in broadcast journalism at KCSB 91.9 in Santa Barbara and spent the past year working with API (Asian Pacific Islander) Equality–Northern California on a podcast documenting intergenerational queer and trans API connection. My favorite things to listen to are This American Life, Jour 1 by Hildegard, my friends’ hot takes, and the round tapping sounds of a mechanical keyboard.
Adoubou Traore (he/him)
I am a native of the Ivory Coast, where I spent most of my life. I have a Master’s degree in English with a concentration in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Currently, I am the executive director of the African Advocacy Network (AAN), a nonprofit providing immigration legal services to African and Afro-Caribbean immigrants. I communicate a lot with my community and its leadership. I am passionate about racial equity and social justice.
Visiting the ACE Learning Centers at the beginning of each school year is a favorite experience for me. Not only do I learn what each ACE Learning Center is doing, but there is a great sense of how they really make a difference to individual students, teachers, parents and their communities. This year it is even more so about the individual.
With school back in the classroom (for the most part) this year after the pandemic’s virtual instruction year, educators noticed there was a learning gap. Many students were behind on learning English, math and other topics. Some of this was because learning virtually can be a challenge for students, but added challenges were not having a good place to participate in a class when in a crowded home, no useful desk, or bad or no internet access. Many students also worked to help add to the family income which made paying attention to school a challenge.
The response? Move on. Focus on each individual needs today. Value each student and their individual qualities. Fight to solve the educational (and social-economic) problems created or exacerbated by the pandemic. With this attitude, the educators believe students will catch up on what counts for them. Here’s what each ACE Learning Center is doing to meet these goals:
Oakland International High School
Parents will continue to have access to English classes taught by Refugee Transitions, and students will still have literacy and math support, but an Internship Class will be added to help support students wanting to expand job talents. KDOL television has been a long-time internship partner as has Parks and Rec, but more will be added. Wellness Ambassadors will be an important part of this program and will provide student vision and voice to creating school programming that is genuinely responsive to student needs. There will be 10th and 11th grade career support classes and career exploration classes. There will also be a pilot program for night students and a Saturday school for students to earn credits and receive socio-emotional services in hours better suited to the demands of their life/work schedules.
San Francisco International High School
Literacy Classes are even more important and use self-directed and teacher directed curriculum allowing students to learn at their own pace. Student classes I recently visited had groups of students matching pictures with the English phrase which helps memory and learning of English. There is a lot of oral practice, and the teachers make it fun by using rhythmic chants such as, “California is my state. San Francisco is my city” or “How was your weekend? My weekend was great.” Coding classes continue too. The Span program will be expanded to better assist students who have worked full time while trying to finish graduation requirements. There’s an Advisory Class that helps with skills necessary for graduation and entry to college or vocational training post-high school. Additional counseling/mentoring support will also be available through one-on-one and group programs. Plus there will be programs that work to connect and engage the families. Community meetings will be held several times each semester along with cultural nights to bring families together.
Alpha Public Schools
The Alpha Parent Center will continue to offer English classes to parents at the school. The parents will also have Leadership classes where they learn to manage their children’s education better and maneuver positively through school and work organizations, while Career Programming will help parents and students understand available career paths. Students are supported with the Dream Club that provides events and conferences where students learn how to become better citizens and support their community. This year Alpha will provide mentorship and career skills classes and will develop a mentor program to support students pursuing and persisting in higher education.
KALW Audio Academy
The 2021/2022 Audio Academy class has been chosen and already has had their first lesson on learning about audio tools for recording interviews. The Audio Academy news team will continue to report on the amazing diversity, equity and inclusion stories of the Bay Area as they learn the skills of community reporting.
Stay tuned for the many great stories about the ACE Learning Centers as they share best practices, tell personal stories and connect with the resources for having a successful 2021/2022 school year.
By Shereen Adel, Editorial Operations & Training Manager, KALW Radio and Katherine Monahan, Intern, Summer Journalism Training Program
First, we have a couple pieces of exciting news to share from our Audio Academy alumnus! Christine Nguyen (‘18) shared that she recently completed a health impact journalism program through the University of Toronto. When they went over how to produce for podcasts and radio, she said she “kept thinking back to what a kick ass education KALW provided.” We were so happy to hear it!
Also, this month Audio Academy alumn Precious Green (‘20) was hired as Director of Programming for Manny’s, a community space in San Francisco that curates events for residents who want to engage in civil and political conversations. Over the summer, KALW partnered with Manny’s to broadcast Welcome to Manny’s talks for our audiences.
Plus, we’re weeks away from the end of our summer journalism training program and the start of a new academic year. Seven outstanding beginning journalists have been working with us throughout the summer reporting news from around the Bay.
- Lorenzo Alexander
- Christopher J. Beale
- Ellen Finn
- Katherine Monahan
- Isabella Nguyen Tilley
- Bryanna Paz
- Katherine Simpson
They are all also wrapping up feature stories for our ongoing series @WORK about how the jobs people do have changed. So far, we’ve Katherine Simpson introduced us to a florist, Isabella Nguyen Tilly talked to a teacher who directed a musical about Nobel prize-winner Jennifer Doudna, and, Katherine Monahan took us to the river to meet modern-day gold miners.
I asked Katherine Monahan to share what it was like getting out into the world, and onto the water(!) to do her reporting. Here’s what she said.
It has been very strange not to travel much for a year and a half, during the pandemic. But reporting gives me a way to enter a different world without going far.
To make the gold miner piece, I went to the Sierra foothills. My editor had coached me: find a miner, make an appointment, meet them at the chosen time to get the sounds of the water and of the work, and then do an interview later, in a quiet place. That way the audio will be cleaner and easier to balance. I thought, oh that’s smart, that makes sense. I had planned to just show up on my inner tube and try to talk to them in the middle of the river. But this sounded more professional.
I did make one appointment, after several people looked at me funny and said no. A few guys were working into the darkness, splashing around with headlamps, and one of them said sure, come back at 9am. But he didn’t show. And I thought, how can I expect a gold miner to snap to my clock? Isn’t that part of why people are attracted to mining, so they can be free of clocks?
So I put my mic in a waterproof bottle, took my innertube upriver a ways and rode the rapids down to chat with miners midstream. It worked! Suddenly, I was not an outsider, but a river person. And we could relate.
I was touched by what people wanted to talk about. They answered my questions about gold, but then went on to what was really important to them. One woman talked about walking the Camino de Santiago and waking up one morning to the sound of bells, and seeing Basque ponies emerge from the morning mist. Another man told how he volunteered at a big Thanksgiving charity dinner in his army uniform and the families wanted to thank him for his service. Another talked – carefully! He didn’t want me to spill any secrets – about the handwritten letters he’d pored over in the local library between the original gold miners and their wives.
Everyone has their own world. It’s like journalism gives us a kaleidoscope to look through, with each person one of the gems inside, that casts a particular shine and color. It was an honor to hear what was important to these people and to come to understand that all of us that day, no matter how different, loved the river. Pardon my sentimentality. But it’s true.
As I keep reporting, I hope to focus more on what people want to communicate and a little less on what I’m looking for. I think that’s the way we learn.