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2023 AIR New Voices

Announcing AIR's 2023 New Voices!

2023 New Voices

July 12, 2023—AIR (Association of Independents in Radio) is proud to announce its new 2023 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. 

Running from August to December 2023, the program brings together a cohort of emerging audio makers to engage in critical dialogue about their creative journeys and support them as they chart their own paths. Fellows will emerge with a toolkit of versatile skills to adapt to a changing media landscape, while reimagining more collaborative career paths.

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 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.

This year’s program is led by New Voices Captain & Alumni Ray Pang (‘21) and AIR’s New Voices Program Manager Lynn Casper with support from an Advisory Board made up of program alumni: Alicia Zuckerman (‘09), Kyle Norris (‘16), Keisha “TK” Dutes (‘16), and Liz Mak (‘15).  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 2023! #AIRNewVoices

2023 AIR New Voices
Illustration by Dan Carino NV '14

Meet the 2023 New Voices!

Adesuwa Agbonile

Adesuwa Agbonile (she/her) is a Nigerian-American podcast producer who loves stories that bend her perception of reality. She currently works for Wonder Media Network, where she's helped produce shows including Teaching Texas, As She Rises, and I Was Never There. When she's not producing, she likes to write fiction, play dress-up with the clothes from her own closet, and lie in the grass of Prospect Park.




Alia Taqieddin

Alia Taqieddin (she/her) is a Seattle-raised, Oakland-based cultural worker, DJ, and community archivist, inspired by and belonging to a lineage of Palestinian and Arab women storytellers. She is interested in documenting the histories and contributions of West Asian and North African immigrant communities in the Bay Area. Alia's past audio work can be found in the Arab American National Museum, which houses her multimedia oral history archive of Dearborn, Michigan. In her free time, Alia enjoys hosting her monthly online radio show, Kan Ya Makan, on Moonglow Radio, and DJing various SWANA (Southwest Asian/North African) dance parties in the Bay Area.

Briana Rice

Briana Rice (she/her) doesn’t dream of labor but if she had a dream job, it would be someday hosting a local weekly news show that centers Black voices. But for now, she’s a public radio reporter covering Detroit for Michigan Radio and that is pretty cool. She also writes plays, short films and fiction. Briana didn’t grow up reading, listening or watching much news, so she likes to prioritize covering communities who are underrepresented and underserved, much like the one she grew up in. In her spare time, Briana is an avid reader who also loves learning to cook and bake. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati and got her start in journalism as a breaking and trending reporter at her hometown newspaper The Cincinnati Enquirer and as an assignment editor and digital producer at Cincinnati’s FOX19. Briana was recently named 2022’s Young Journalist of the Year by Detroit’s Society of Professional Journalists.

Chantelle Bacigalupo

Chantelle Bacigalupo (she/her) is a Bolivian-American multimedia journalist whose work has been published in VICE, PRI The World, and Remezcla. She has reported on the ground in Bolivia during the 2019 presidential elections, from deep in Ecuador’s Amazon as Indigenous peoples fight against extractive threats, and from border town communities along the U.S./Mexico Border whose lives are impacted by the current political climate. As a fierce reproductive rights advocate and doula-in-training, her interests meet at the intersection of bodily autonomy, reproductive rights, and amplifying the nuanced Latino experience in the U.S.

Chris Walker

Chris Walker (they/them) is about creating space and leading with intention. Equipped with a unique blend of an artistic background plus business training, they uplift marginalized storytellers as Head of Marketing & Exhibition for intersectional media platform and artist incubator Open Television. Ask them about the #OTVApp and upcoming screenings. Off the clock, audio is their first love. They have played the saxophone for twenty years, guitar for five and are an emerging audio producer.






g'beda T. Lyles

g'beda T. Lyles (they/she) is a 2022 Texas Folklife Fellow, focused on life and culture on the borderland of Mexico, Texas, and New Mexico. "Becoming an Honorary Mariachi' was the creative force behind the audio project. g'beda is a freelance audio producer, script writer, sound designer, performing artist, guitarronist, blues guitarist, and world music percussionist. More info at or IG: gbeda.sound

Héctor Arzate

Héctor Arzate (he/him) is a first generation Mexican-American who was raised in Richmond, California. He studied criminology at Humboldt State University and started in journalism at his school's bilingual newspaper, El Leñador, and producing newscasts for the student radio station, KRFH 105.1 FM. Currently, he loves driving dozens of miles between D.C., Maryland, and Virginia to report and produce stories for immigrant communities that intersect with food, religion, health, politics, and the arts. His goal is to get more voices on public radio that speak a language other than English. When he’s not working, he enjoys fly-fishing, cumbia, magical realism, and cheese.

Kaitlin Armstrong

Kaitlin Armstrong (she/her) is a Honduran American audio producer who resides on Dena’ina Ełnena (Anchorage, Alaska). Her genre-bending audio work ranges from traditional documentary to experimental sound design. Kaitlin's audio work is grounded in themes of identity, memory, and the interplay between narrative and perception. She is the executive producer and host of "The Alaska Myth," a forthcoming audio documentary about the myths that shape how Alaskans view our history and ourselves.




Kimia Akbari

Kimia Akbari (she/her) is an Iranian-American radio producer and DJ. She is currently the Producer for UpFront on KPFA Radio in Berkeley, CA and hosts her monthly show "Taste of Cherry" on Oakland's Lower Grand Radio. She started working in audio as a host/producer of the podcast "Del beh Del" while a Graduate Fellow at San Francisco State University’s Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies. She’s also worked on KQED’s Forum as an intern, and trained through NPR’s Next Generation Radio apprenticeship.


Mandy Nguyen

Mandy Nguyen (she/her) is an audio journalist from the Bay Area. She's currently a producer at Unexplainable, Vox's award-winning science podcast. Prior to that, she worked in public radio at KQED and KTOO in Juneau, Alaska, where she got her start telling stories at the intersection of the environment, science, and history. When not working, you can find her dancing in her vegetable garden, foraging for mushrooms, or hopping on a plane. She is also the proud daughter of Vietnamese refugees.

Manola Secaira

Manola Secaira (she/her) worked at Crosscut/PBS in Seattle for 3 years, where she was an environmental justice reporter and an Indigenous affairs reporter. There, she focused on telling environmental stories that prioritized the voices of communities of color. Later, her beat changed to be more focused on Indigenous communities in the region as she realized that their voices were often left out of environmental coverage despite the fact that Tribes are an integral part of environmental work in the state. In August 2021, she moved to Sacramento and began working as an environment reporter for the local NPR station.

Mike Brown

Mike Brown (he/him) is an artist, educator, musician, public speaker, and author born in Houston, TX and living in Los Angeles, CA. He has been creating since childhood and started to pursue creating professionally with music during college. Receiving his bachelor's degree for Audio Production led to doing alot of freelance work in scoring, music production and editing. It also guided him to releasing the project he is most proud of, his podcast, The Art of Letting Go. It started as an alternative for therapy and became a resource for people on their own healing journeys.



Rainier Harris

Rainier Harris (he/him) is a writer and audio-maker from New York City. A junior at Columbia University, he is a longtime jazz saxophonist, a lover of theater, and a dedicated reader of Black playwrights like Jeremy O. Harris. He has work published in The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Business Insider, and more. He has reported for NPR's WNYC and for their national afternoon show, Here & Now. Rainier is super grateful to his Mom, Dad, and his siblings Roxanne and Richard for always encouraging helping him find his voice that you hear today.





Rasha Aridi

Rasha Aridi (she/her) is a producer for the weekly radio show Science Friday. She started out studying wildlife conservation, which included babysitting bear cubs, climbing trees to monitor macaws, and chasing lizards around a lab. Pretty quickly, Rasha realized that she had much more fun talking about science than actually doing it. Now a science journalist, Rasha spends her days nerding out with researchers and relaying that information to SciFri's listeners. She loves stories that weave science, identity, and social justice together to challenge people's perspectives of science and the world. And of course, she loves stories about strange animals.

Tanita Rahmani

Tanita Rahmani (she/her) is an audio producer and documentary filmmaker in New York with a penchant for stories with big ideas and big hearts, evoking wonder and empathy. She hailed from Indonesia and plunged into audio storytelling after practicing as a lawyer and teaching international law. She produced and hosted independent projects and worked on shows from Campside Media, The MET Museum, Foreign Policy and In-depth Creative. She’s a graduate from Cambridge law, but clearly she doesn’t use this degree. Among other things, she reads court decisions for fun and engages with her local Muslim community.

Taylar Stagner

Taylar Dawn Stagner (she/her) (Arapaho and Shoshone) is a writer and journalist from Wyoming focusing on Indigenous Affairs. She enjoys bad movies and has a dog named Tibbers.









New Voices Captain

Ray Pang

Ray Pang (he/him) is a Brooklyn-based freelance audio producer and sound designer, and he's the captain of AIR New Voices and a producer for Origin Stories, an award-winning podcast from the Leakey Foundation about how we became human. He's always interested in stories centered around a juicy mystery or place-based narratives exploring the messy and emotional intersections between community, food, and the environment.



New Voices Program Manager

lynn casper

Lynn Casper is the New Voices program manager at AIR. Casper has been an independent podcaster for over a decade and has been producing the queer music podcast, Homoground, since 2011 which has evolved into an incubator for queer creators. 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. Outside of the Internet, Casper enjoys kayaking, biking, screenprinting, and laughing with friends. 



New Voices Advisory Committee

Alicia Zuckerman (‘09), Kyle Norris (‘16), Keisha “TK” Dutes (‘16), and Liz Mak (‘15)