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2020 New Voices Scholars

Announcing AIR’s 2020 New Voices Scholars!

July 2020—We’re thrilled to announce AIR’s 2020 New Voices Scholars. Coming into a network of over 200+ alumni, this year’s New Voices cohort comprises artists, musicians, writers, station-based reporters, freelancers, educators, documentarians, and justice organizers. Please join AIR in welcoming the dynamic 2020 New Voices cohort! #AIRNewVoices

We also would like to thank our sponsors for their support: Allied Media Conference, Ford Foundation, Hindenburg, MacArthur Foundation, Wyncote Foundation.

Review Committee

Doug Mitchell, Devin Katayama, Elena Rivera NV '17, Tran Vu, Jeanette Woods, Afi Yellow-Duke NV '16.

2020 New Voices Fellowship Program

The 2020 New Voices Fellowship Program will take shape independently and digitally to best support the needs of our underrepresented scholars throughout the US and due to the on-going impact of COVID-19. With the support of the New Voices Captain’s Elena Rivera ‘17, AIR’s Director of New Voices Tran Vu will spearhead the 5-month program beginning in July to December 2020. The New Voices retreat will bring together the invited cohort of underrepresented mediamakers to build, reflect, and engage digitally in critical dialogue on their journey as current mediamakers. The theme of this year is “Mapping One’s Power and Allies Amidst Adversity” and the central question is: How do we use and sustain our power in turbulent times? 

Through online discussions, roundtable interactive and engagement activities led by New Voices alums, AIRsters, and distinguished industry speakers, New Voices will gain a better understanding of their role as mission-driven storytellers and build a sustainable community. Selected scholars receive a stipend and resources and gain national exposure as they work with mentors, build their capacity as media change-makers and demonstrate how audio and media can catalyze positive and lasting narrative change.


Illustration by Dan Carino NV '14

Meet the 2020 New Voices Scholars!

Jade Abdul-MalikJade Abdul-Malik (she/her) is a people enthusiast first, versatile storyteller at Georgia Public Broadcasting second. She's reported on social services, disabilities, education and culture in her home state of Georgia. It may be the ENFP in her, but she's invested in the human connection and constantly on the hunt for what makes us who we are. With a dash of investigative work, podcasting and multimedia reporting under her belt, she's always down to learn and makes a point to meet others with kindness, joy and eager excitement to talk about why Michael Scott is, in fact, the world's best boss. Twitter: @jadeabdulmalik


Sojourner Ahebee A recent graduate of Stanford University, Sojourner Ahebee (she/her) is a Philadelphia-based reporter and audio producer. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, WHYY (NPR Member Station), The Philadelphia Tribune, Rewire and elsewhere. She is a 2019 MacDowell Colony Fellowship recipient in creative writing. Sojourner believes not in the boat that floated her here, but what she will do with the water. Twitter: @SojournerAhebee

Pablo ArauzPablo Arauz (he/they) is a digital-savvy journalist with concrete working experience in media. As a graduate at the University of Texas at Arlington, Pablo’s repertoire includes print, broadcast and digital storytelling. Pablo has written and produced content for The Associated Press and National Public Radio affiliates in Dallas (KERA) and Los Angeles (KCRW.) Currently, Pablo is a reporter and host with NPR affiliate KTOO Public Media in Juneau, Alaska and also speaks fluent español and basic français. Twitter: @pabloaarauz

Derek ArthurDerek Arthur (he/his) was born in Ghana and raised in the Midwest. He is a polyglot who has spent many years abroad. Most recently, he spent nearly three years in Beijing, China, where he completed a master’s degree in multimedia journalism in 2019. He is currently a producer for NPR’s Rough Translation podcast, his first job in public radio and audio storytelling. Twitter: @DArthur2123

Laura Marina BoriaLaura Marina Boria (she/her) edits audio for independent projects and writes about podcasting. She enjoys producing stories about individuals or groups seeking autonomy in how they relate to place, sound or gender. Laura also researches contemporary Caribbean literature and performance as a PhD candidate at The University of Texas at Austin. She is a UT School of Journalism and Public Radio Exchange alumna, and was a Los Angeles Review of Books fellow. Laura moves between Texas and Puerto Rico, and wants to add more environment reporting to her audio practice. Twitter: @lauramboria

Hafsa FathimaHafsa Fathima (she/her) is a Canadian writer and multimedia journalist. She enjoys producing stories on culture, religion, immigration and popular culture for different multimedia platforms. Her work has been featured by NPR, The LA Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Hindu, The Red Elephant Foundation and Annenberg Media. Raised between Canada and India, Fathima’s multicultural perspective informs her work immensely. She is most interested in documenting stories on the periphery and of issues untold. She has a Bachelor's and Master's in English Literature from Stella Maris College and a Masters of Science in Journalism from the University of Southern California. Twitter: @hafsabadsha

Brian FreelandBrian Freeland (he/his) is a queer Asian-American. Brian was adopted from Korea when he was 5 months old. Brian is 22 years old, with a passion for storytelling, people, and life.



Dominique FrenchDominique Serendipity French (she/her) is a Black/femme/disabled Northwestern graduate with a dual degree in theatre and anthropology. Over the years, she has studied drama at the Yale Summer Conservatory for Actors, as well as collaborated with the Smithsonian on the 67th Annual Folklife festival, the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and written for the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap. She now independently produces podcasts that explore race and gender through well-informed comedy that blends the awfully personal with the universally tragic. Because, as she likes to say, “life as a Black woman is a situational comedy. And I just stumbled on set.” Twitter: @introtofrench

Elizabeth GabrielElizabeth Gabriel (she/her) is the second KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She covers stories related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Elizabeth is a 2019 graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, where she earned degrees in rhetoric and writing, as well as radio, television, and film. Her radio experience includes participating in NPR’s Next Generation Radio project in 2018. She also has interned with the news department at KUT in Austin, TX, and completed an internship last summer with KRBD in Ketchikan, AK, where she worked as a news reporter and interim Morning Edition host. Twitter: @_elizabethgabs

Ameeta GanatraAmeeta Ganatra (she/her) is a freelance audio engineer and sound designer. She is a second-generation Indian-American. Her audio journey started at a very young age, when she learned how to play the keyboard by ear. She was finally able to transform her passion for audio into a career in her late-20s, finishing her creative technology degree at Illinois State University. Her love for music and sound design manifested into the medium of audio storytelling through podcasts after she interned at NPR. She was selected to be part of the Audio Engineering Practicum at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, where she recorded, edited, and mixed live concerts. She has been working with independent podcasters and is dedicated to amplifying underrepresented voices in media. Twitter: @AmeetaG

Tara GatewoodTara Gatewood (Isleta Pueblo/ Diné and she/her) is an award-winning host and producer of the nationally-syndicated radio call-in show, Native America Calling. Each weekday she leads thought-provoking conversations on issues specific to Indigenous nations. Beyond radio broadcasting, her palette of story-sharing also includes working in South Dakota, Minnesota and Massachusetts. She reported and photographed for several news organizations and her past works can be found in the Boston Globe, Aberdeen American News, St. Paul Pioneer Press and Native Peoples Magazine. She also hosts and produces Santa Fe New Mexico’s KSFR 101.1 FM Indigenous Foundation radio program. Twitter: @taran8v

Thomas LuThomas Lu (he/his) is a producer for Hidden Brain. He started at NPR in 2017 as an intern for the TED Radio Hour. He has produced for It’s Been A Minute With Sam Sanders, How I Built This, All Things ConsideredWeekend Edition and Pop Culture Happy Hour. Before NPR, he was a production intern for StoryCorps. Twitter: @ThomasUYLU

Manolo MoralesManolo Morales (he/his) is a graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Before receiving his master’s degree in journalism, he majored in English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He has previously interned for NPR’s Latino USA. He has also interned for Reforma, a Mexican newspaper in Mexico City. Last year he was a summer fellow at KALW in San Francisco, California. He was born and raised in Queens, Jackson Heights. Twitter: @MMora991

Ajani MurrayAjani “AJ” Murray (he/his) is a professional disabled actor. His documentary Becoming Bulletproof opened several doors. Bardo Blues, Take a Look at This Heart, and Best Summer Ever. His television debut role on Drunk History (Comedy Central) has brought notoriety to his passion as an advocate. His role on the ABC show Speechless was a childhood dream. Ajani enjoys working on film projects. From a story consultant on the film Dealt (2017) to a current script consultant on the film My Hilarious Life (2020), he loves all aspects of filmmaking and audio production and aspires to direct and produce in the future. Twitter: @gotnextaj

Diana Opong-Parry Originally from Ghana, West Africa, and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Diana Opong-Parry (she/her) is a busy mom of three dynamic children. Diana recently started creating her own audio stories, but her love for storytelling began at the age of sixteen when she was given the opportunity to host a series of episodes of a community AM radio show called Teen Talk. When she is not brainstorming or editing, Diana is homeschooling her young kids and watching the wildlife outside of her home. Diana is a proud graduate of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. Twitter: @DOTellMedia 

Miguel PerezMiguel Perez (he/his) is an arts and culture reporter and producer for KERA in Dallas. Miguel is also featured regularly on NPR, where he reviews new music from contemporary artists like Kaytranada and Lido Pimienta. He got his start in public radio in 2017 as an intern for KERA. He’s also interned for NPR’s All Things Considered and The Dallas Morning News. His love affair with journalism began at the University of Texas at Dallas, where he was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. Twitter: @quillindie

Siona PeterousSiona Peterous (she/her) is a multimedia-based storyteller who is passionate about exploring issues at the intersection of the political and the personal. She’s often questioning the validity of traditional ideas of objectivity in how stories are told and has experience researching race, gentrification and migration stateside and abroad. She's usually reading, chopping it up with folks or ranting about how music is the best way to understand the socio-politics of a time period. Twitter: @sionapeterous


Courtney Wise RandolphCourtney Wise Randolph (she/her), host of “WDET's COVID Diaries,” is a native Detroiter with a heart for people and their stories. She is a writer and podcaster who got her start as an inaugural WDET Storymakers Fellow. When she's not producing audio stories, Courtney writes for nonprofits and individuals through her small business Keen Composition. Twitter: @shes_cwise


Noah TabordaNoah Taborda (he/his) is a reporter for the Kansas Reflector of States Newsroom covering politics and government, as well as editing their podcast. Being from a multi-racial home and as an avid traveler, Noah gravitates toward new experiences and ideas, often using them to inform the stories he tells. Most recently, Noah was an intern at KCUR Kansas City, working in their newsroom and on the talk show Central Standard. He cut his teeth as a student journalist at KBIA while earning his degree in radio broadcasting from the Missouri School of Journalism. Twitter: @NoahTaborda

Victor YvellezVictor Yvellez (he/his) is a San Diego native, but currently calls Montana home. He is inspired by innovative and creative storytellers who are pushing the boundaries within the audio space. He enjoys working on complex narratives in storytelling, especially stories relating to environmental topics. In his free time, you can probably find him riding his road or mountain bike, as he ponders on how the sounds of a bike could make a good story. Twitter: @vicellez