America’s Wire, a key proponent of the Maynard Media Center on Structural Racism (MMCSR), is funded under a grant awarded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. Our goal is to provide to our subscribers comprehensive stories on the impact of structural racism in America. We hope this content will better inform Americans about communities of color and the many challenges that they continue to face from structural racism.
Michael K. Frisby is President of America’s Wire. Mr. Frisby is an award-winning journalist, who spent 22 years as newspaper reporter, including seven years as the White House Correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. In 1998, Mr. Frisby was awarded the Aldo Beckman Memorial Award from the White House Correspondents Association for outstanding coverage of the Clinton presidency. Previous to joining the Wall Street Journal in 1992, he spent 10 years as a political reporter with the Boston Globe. He also worked as a reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Dayton Daily News. Currently, Mr. Frisby is President of Frisby & Associates, a public relations firm based in Washington, DC.
Marjorie Valbrun, an award-winning reporter, is a writer for America’s Wire. Ms. Valbrun writes about politics, immigration and race. Her areas of expertise also include Latin America and the Caribbean. She is a contributing writer for TheRoot.com and her opinion articles have also appeared in the Washington Post, Newsweek, The Baltimore Sun and Newsday, among others. She has worked as a national reporter for The Wall Street Journal, an editorial writer for the Baltimore Sun, an urban affairs reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer and as a general assignment reporter and foreign correspondent for The Miami Herald. She has also done political commentary on National Public Radio, the British Broadcasting Corporation, MSNBC, Fox News Channel, Black Entertainment Television News, and the Al Arabiya News Channel. She also teaches journalism at Howard University.
Nadra Kareem Nittle has written for a wide range of print and online publications since 2000. A graduate of Occidental College, she has reported on health care, education, race relations and more for publications such as the Los Angeles Times' Inland Valley edition, the El Paso Times, the Santa Fe Reporter and the L.A. Watts Times. Her writing has been featured on websites such as TheLoop21.com, Change.org and Racialicious.com.. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles.
Kimberly N. Alleyne is a veteran journalist and communications professional who writes about public health, religion and social justice issues.Her writing has appeared in America’s Wire, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Living and Being Magazine, Portsmouth Herald and Poughkeepsie Journal. Kimberly also has extensive experience in public relations, media relations and marketing communications. She has served in leadership roles for national nonprofits and international service corporations in functions of marketing and communications. In her most recent leadership role, she led the Marketing and Communications department of a national nonprofit to create and implement integrated marketingstrategies, develop strategic communications to increase brand recognition and audience engagement, solidify online positioning, and raise the organization’s profile across national mediums. She oversaw reputation management through proactive public relations and media relations campaigns. She has done extensive work creating media strategies and tactics for advocacy campaigns: Prison Rape Elimination Act (2011), Angel Tree Christmas (2010), “Conviction” Movie Screening/panel discussion (2010), Bike to Work Day D.C. (2006-2009), Car Free Day D.C. (2008, 2009), US EPA National Estuary Program 20th Anniversary (2008), New York Regional Commuter Choice Awards (2006-2009), and the Federal Highway Work Administration’s “It All Adds Up to Cleaner Air” campaign. Kimberly is a graduate of The University of Memphis. She resides in Northern Virginia.
Evelyn Hsu is a past president of the Asian American Journalists Association and was a vice president of UNITY. She is program director of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and worked at The Poynter Institute as a member of the reporting, writing and editing faculty. She was also an associate director at the American Press Institute, where she directed seminars on management, writing and editing. Evelyn began her journalism career at the San Francisco Chronicle where she was a City Hall reporter and a member of the investigative team. She then moved to The Washington Post where she was a metro reporter covering politics and government. She has a bachelor's degree in history from the University of California at Berkeley.
Mark Trahant is an independent journalist, teacher and a "Twitter poet." He was a 2009-2010 Kaiser Media Fellow. Trahant recently completed "The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars: Henry Jackson, Forrest Gerard and the campaign for self-determination for America’s tribes." Trahant has been a visiting lecturer for a course he developed called "Twitter & Democracy" at the University of Colorado at Boulder and at the University of Idaho. He is a former columnist at The Seattle Times and has been publisher of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News in Moscow, Idaho; executive news editor of The Salt Lake Tribune; a reporter at the Arizona Republic in Phoenix; and has worked at several tribal newspapers. Trahant has won numerous journalism awards and was a finalist for the 1989 Pulitzer Prize in national reporting as co-author of a series on federal-Indian policy.
Christopher Johnson is a freelance journalist who spent seven years with National Public Radio as a producer, reporter, editor, commentator, and manager. He has worked on four NPR programs, including Morning Edition, and helped launch the shows Day To Day and News & Notes With Ed Gordon. As a reporter, Christopher covers popular culture, music, and technology. He has taught writing and production with Next Generation Radio’s NABJ training program, and was a project leader with the Brooks Institute’s Visual Journalism Multimedia Workshop. He has been a fellow with the Loyola Journalism Law School, The Knight Digital Media Center at the University of California – Berkeley, and The Maynard Institute’s Multimedia Editing Program. He was recently co-creator of a radio documentary on climate change in central Africa for PRI’s Living on Earth. He is also helping with the launch of Go Ask Dad, a new radio program all about fatherhood. But all that just about pales in comparison to Christopher's love for the African-Brazilian martial art capoeira angola.
Bill Celis is an associate professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and holds a courtesy appointment at the USC Rossier School of Education. He is an author and a former education correspondent for The New York Times and a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal. His work has appeared in theBoston Globe, Education Week, USA Today and academic journals such as Columbia University’s Teachers College Record and Voices in Urban Education, a quarterly produced by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. At USC Annenberg, he has taught media history and education and urban affairs reporting, with an emphasis on class and race issues, and reporting and writing classes for undergraduate and graduate students. He holds a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Beatrice Y. Motamedi is a teacher, writer and youth media advocate based in Oakland, California. She has worked as a public school teacher; a staff writer for United Press International, the San Francisco Chronicle and WebMD; and a freelance journalist specializing in stories about cancer, diabetes, children’s health and healthcare for people of color. Beatrice is a graduate of Northwestern University and the Creative Writing Program at Stanford University. She is currently a Fellow in the California Endowment Health Journalism program at the Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism at the University of Southern California. She also received a Kaiser/National Press Foundation Media Fellowship in Health in 2001 for reporting on racial disparities in healthcare. Beatrice’s work has been published in the Oakland Tribune, The International Herald-Tribune, Parenting, Health, Salon, AlterNet, Newsweek, Wired and Hippocrates as well as in two literary anthologies. She served as associate editor for 24 Hours In Cyberspace (Macmillan: 1996), the landmark book on one day in the life of the Internet, and also was senior editor for The Healing Power of SuperFoods: The Essential Guide to Losing Weight, Boosting Energy and Fighting Disease (Time Inc. Health: 1999). Currently, Beatrice teaches journalism at The Urban School of San Francisco, where her students’ newspaper was nominated for the Pacemaker, also known as the high school Pulitzer. She also serves as co-managing editor of the Oaktown Teen Times, a newspaper by, for and about Oakland youth.
Dori J. Maynard is the president of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, the oldest organization dedicated to helping the nation's news media accurately and fairly portray all segments of our society. In its 33 year history, the Institute has trained thousands of journalists of color. Prior to joining the Institute in 1994, Maynard spent a decade working as a reporter at the Bakersfield Californian, The Patriot Ledger, in Quincy, Mass. and the Detroit Free Press. In 1993 she became the first daughter to follow her father to Harvard as a Nieman Fellow. In 2001, The Society of Professional Journalists named her a Fellow of the Society, in 2003, she was named one of the 10 Most Influential African Americans in the Bay Area and in 2008 she received the Asian American Journalists Association’s Leadership in Diversity Award.
Keith Kamisugi is the Director of Communications at the Equal Justice Society, a San Francisco-based national strategy group fighting to restore the 14th Amendment, which provides Constitutional protections against discrimination. He was previously a communications consultant, an account manager at a tech PR agency, a regional spokesman for Verizon and served on the executive staffs of two Hawai'i governors. Keith sits on the boards of numerous nonprofits, including the Nichi Bei Foundation, which publishes the Nichi Bei Weekly, one of the first ethnic media outlets in the country to transition from a for-profit operation into a nonprofit model. He’s also a member of the Netroots Nation advisory board. His efforts involving journalists of color include managing communications for several AAJA national conventions and serving as communications director for the UNITY 2004 convention. Keith received AAJA’s national award for Member of the Year in 2004, the first non-journalist/media professional to receive that recognition. He attended the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, where he served as undergraduate student body president.