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2022 New Voices

Announcing AIR's 2022 New Voices!

2022 New Voices

July 6, 2022—AIR (Association of Independents in Radio) is proud to announce its new 2022 class of 16 New Voices. Since 2009, the New Voices program has paired industry leaders with underrepresented and early-career media makers to connect, reflect and engage on their creative journeys.

At AIR, we envision a future where all media makers—particularly those whose lived experiences are challenged by structural inequity—have the resources, support and access to opportunity needed to stay the course of their respective creative paths.

The 5-month program runs from August to December 2022 and will be led by New Voices Captain & Alumni Elena Rivera (‘17) and AIR’s Communications and New Voices Program Manager Lynn Casper with support from our Advisory Board made up of program alumni: Afi Yellow-Duke (‘16), Alicia Zuckerman (‘09), Luis Perez (NV ‘11) and Siona Peterous (‘20).

In addition to working with a dedicated mentor, each New Voices will receive a $1000 stipend, along with ongoing support, AIR member resources, Hindenburg licenses,  mentorship and networking opportunities. Through online discussions, interactive roundtables and workshops led by New Voices alums, AIR members and distinguished industry speakers, this year’s scholars will emerge from the program with a clearer picture of how they can catalyze change within the rapidly evolving audio industry.

AIR is supported by our members, and by the Ford Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation. 

Please join AIR in welcoming the dynamic New Voices of 2022! #AIRNewVoices

2022 New Voices
Illustration by Dan Carino NV '14

Meet the 2022 New Voices!

Danya AbdelHameid

Danya AbdelHameid (she/they) is a podcast producer from the DMV, by way of Sudan. She almost became a scientist and loves telling stories about the messy ways science intersects with society, culture, and history, among other things. They strive to create work that does too much, is carefree, and produced for, with, and in community. Danya has freelanced as an associate producer and fact checker on a handful of shows, and in 2021 completed the Made in NY podcast certificate program. 

Kassidy Arena

Kassidy Arena (she/her) is originally from Berkeley, California, but grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. As a person who is hard-of-hearing, she initially thought audio storytelling was out of her league, but through incredible mentors, she quickly realized her circumstances provide a unique and necessary perspective. Kassidy is of Cuban and Sicilian heritage and enjoys focusing most of her reporting and producing work on underrepresented voices such as Spanish-speakers, immigrants and young people. In her free time, she enjoys reading, figure skating and taking her rescued dog Reggie for a walk.

Zahra Crim

Zahra Crim (they/them) is a podcast producer that finds audio a love letter to their passions: oral history and folklore. With roots in Florida and Georgia, they’re interested in taking the history that has excluded marginalized communities across the South & rural areas and reconfiguring them by ways of memoir and myth. Zahra is currently the Associate Producer for Getting Curious and has previously spent time with StoryCorps and Asian American Writers’ Workshop.

Veena Hampapur

Veena Hampapur (she/her) is the Communications Director at the UCLA Labor Center, and also leads its storytelling podcast, Re:Work. She earned a PhD in Anthropology from UCLA. Her research focused on working class immigrant communities, and examined how race, immigration, education, and policing shape one another post-9/11. Veena is a filmmaker and 2012 Visual Communications Armed with a Camera Fellow; her films include advocacy and education films for community organizations and documentaries that have been showcased in film festivals, classrooms, and by the Smithsonian. Veena also produces Memos from Motherhood, a podcast unpacking stepping into parenthood during a global pandemic.

Anisa Khalifa

Anisa Khalifa (she/her) is a podcast producer working in both indie podcasting and public radio, and freelances as a culture writer. A lifelong nomad, Anisa is passionate about using writing, audio, and visual media to interrogate and explore the world. She has an Honors B.A. from the University of Toronto in English and Diaspora and Transnational Studies, and an M.A. from Duke University in Critical Asian Humanities. She nerds out over culture of all kinds, and is always willing to dig deeper to figure what it says about who we all are under the skin.  Twitter: @anisakhalifa_

Yohance Lacour

Yohance Lacour (he/him) is a writer from the Southside who's committed to telling stories of Black Chicago from the ground. He's always had feet in multiple worlds, and has been a playwright, a journalist, and an entrepreneur. These varied experiences have served to provide a unique perspective around topics that generally prove to be polarizing and divisive in today's society. After serving a decade-long sentence in federal prison, he returned home in 2017 to resume his tradition of Black storytelling. He currently runs the luxury leather label YJL and was recently featured in Smithsonian Magazine. He's also an Invisible Institute fellow.

Marissanne Lewis-Thompson

Marissanne Lewis-Thompson (she/her)  is an award-winning audio reporter, producer, and newscaster based in St. Louis. Her work has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition, Code Switch, and Side Effects. She is currently a general assignment reporter and afternoon newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio where she’s covered stories on history, religion, social justice, and education. In May 2015, she graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. As a proud Kansas City, MO native, she knows good BBQ when she sees it. In her free time, she enjoys reading a good webtoon and binge watching documentaries and anime.

Liam McBain

Liam McBain (he/him) is a radio producer and oral historian based in Brooklyn. He's interested in stories at the margins of culture and is always looking for book recommendations.



zoe mix

Zoe Mix (she/her) is a Metis multi-disciplinary artist from Tacoma, WA. In 2018 she graduated from University of British Columbia with a bachelors in Creative Writing and Opera Performance. She's currently completing the Master of Publishing program at Simon Fraser University. Her thesis is a SSHRC funded podcast project, and she will be working at Portland State University on a Border-Crossing Book project in Fall 2022. Zoe is an apprentice for the Witch, Please podcast, where she runs social media and transcribes episodes. She's currently learning how to produce podcasts from co-hosts Hannah McGregor and Marcelle Kosman, and audio producer, Hannah Rehak.

Alaa "Amy" Mostafa

Alaa "Amy" Mostafa (she/they) is a queer Egyptian-American audio producer based in the east bay by way of Santa Ana, CA and Cairo, Egypt. She currently manages production and produces for Reveal with CIR. Previously, she reported for Alaska Public Media, KQED, and NPR. Amy got her start in radio as a host and producer for KALX’s Women Hold Up Half the Sky, where she interviewed Bay Area BIPOC artists. Amy is an alum of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. When she’s not working, she’s likely biking or watching a huge amount of both very good and very terrible TV.

Trisha Mukherjee

Trisha Mukherjee (she/her) is a podcast producer and freelance writer who creates global stories on immigration, women’s rights, decolonization, language, and the environment. She currently works at iHeartMedia and previously produced People • Place • Power, a podcast about how ordinary people around the world create extraordinary change in their communities. She lives in New York City, where she spends her days cycling along the Hudson, practicing different languages with food vendors, and eating dollar slice pizza.

Christine Nguyen

Christine Nguyen (she/her) became a writer and audio-maker after two decades as a physician. She received journalism training at KALW and at the University of Toronto. She has bylines in radio and digital publications including KQED, KALW, and The Washington Post. Her work has earned awards from the San Francisco Press Club, The Society of Professional Journalists NorCal, and the AAJA. She’s obsessed with native gardening, which translates as cultivating plants otherwise known as weeds.



D. Orxata

D. Orxata (they/them) is a non-binary Latinx podcast producer, consultant, and musician hailing from the border cities of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Based in the Greater Boston area, they are currently working on a four-part series about Queer Joy with the Homoground podcast. D. is also the mix-tape coordinator, live event host, moderator, and an interviewer for Homoground.



Megan Schellong

Megan Schellong (she/her) is a radio journalist. She was adopted during the One-Child Policy era in China. She’s currently the Morning Edition host and producer for Michigan’s Capital Region, WKAR-FM. Her work has been featured by BBC, NPR, and USA Today. Megan is in the process of launching a podcast for transracial adoptees, which explores the history and politics of transracial adoption. Megan was previously a digital producer for the Lansing CBS affiliate and fill-in producer for KPCC’s Take Two with A. Martinez. Megan got her start in audio with NPR's TED Radio Hour internship.

Janelle Salanga

Janelle Salanga (they/them) is a Visayan and Chinese writer raised in California’s central valley. A former science & technology studies major, they’re invested in stories that crack the world open to reveal possibility and expand imagination. Currently, they’re the Sacramento Communities reporter at CapRadio and an editor at The Objective. They see journalism as a tool for record-keeping and nuancing “stereotypical” or “sensational” narratives and hope to see a media landscape focused on community-building rather than transactions and reactions. For them, narratives about intergenerational solidarity and hope as a practice are a means to conversations about building a better world.

Boen Wang

Boen Wang (he/him) is a writer, audio producer, and graduate of the University of Pittsburgh’s MFA program in creative writing. His written work appeared in The Sunday Long Read, The Fourth River, Inheritance, and elsewhere; his audio work won the “Best New Artist” award at the 2020 Third Coast International Audio Festival, was selected as one of The Bello Collective’s “100 Outstanding Podcasts of 2020,” and was shortlisted for the 2021 HearSay Audio Festival Prize. 




New Voices Captain

Elena Rivera Elena Rivera will be returning as our 2021 New Voices Captain. Elena comes to us as a reporter for 91.5 KRCC in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Previously, she worked for Blue Ridge Public Radio in Asheville, North Carolina; Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta, Georgia; and KBIA in Columbia, Missouri. She has won awards from the Missouri Broadcast Association, Kansas City Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists (Region 7) for her work as a morning newscast host, an arts reporter and a podcast producer. She was an AIR New Voices fellow in 2017. Elena is originally from Rochester, New York, and graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

New Voices Program Manager

Lynn Casper Lynn Casper is the communications & program manager at AIR and, for the first time, will be coordinating the New Voices program for 2021. Casper has been an independent podcaster for over a decade and has been producing the queer music podcast, Homoground, since 2011. Casper has done voice narration, music sourcing and coproduction on various other shows. Coming from a background in community organizing, Casper speaks frequently on the impact of intentional podcasting and DIY audience engagement strategies.

New Voices Advisory Committee

Siona Peterous (NV '20), Luis Perez (NV ‘11), Alicia Zuckerman (NV ‘09 ), Afi Yellow-Duke (NV ‘16)