Community Media Outlets

7 09 2010

First Voice Media’s mission is to engage communities in media education and activism through development and creative empowerment.  First Voice Media is committed to providing audio, video, technical and administrative skills training, a collaborative work environment, and methods of adapting multi-media and information technology for community expression.

Other Grassroots Media outlets:

Media Alliance- Media Alliance is a media resource and advocacy center for media workers, non-profit organizations, and social justice activists. Our mission is excellence, ethics, diversity, and accountability in all aspects of the media in the interests of peace, justice, and social responsibility.

KPFA Apprenticeship Program- A radio broadcast training program coming out of KPFA radio 94.1 FM.

Center for Media Justice- is a movement-building communications strategy and organizing center for grassroots leaders, organizations, and alliances based in historically disenfranchised communities. Our mission is to create media conditions that advance racial justice, economic equity, and human rights.

Youth Movement Records: is a non-profit, youth-directed recording company and youth development project based in Oakland, California.  YMR engages youth through music, mentoring, and entrepreneurship in order to reduce violence, develop skills and create community change.


Help us get to Detroit!!!

5 04 2010

Oakland to Detroit:  Media Makers for Social Justice

We are a group of Bay Area Media Makers who are going to Detroit to attend the Allied Media Conference 6/18-20,  and the US Social Forum 6/22-26.

We need to raise $5,000 to send seven of our folks representing diverse Bay Area organizations to Detroit!


Ssee our blog postings from last years AMC in Detroit below…

Eloise Lee, Puck Lo, Laura Hadden, Angie D, Miss Renee

The Allied Media Conference brings together media makers and social justice activists and organizers from around the country.  The AMC is great way to meet other folks who are doing great work.  Representing a diverse range of talents, there’s something here for everyone.  From Guerilla Theater, to pirate radio, from zines, to Mural Art, this conference cultivates leaders from the ground up.  Detroit Organizations are so welcoming to everyone.   Grace Lee Boggs, Invincible, Detroit Summer to name a few.

Graduate Work

2 03 2010

Imogene Tondre graduated from the First Voice Apprenticeship program in 2006. She later participated in the KPFA news internship program. Here is one of her stories about the controversy surrounding an anti-bias curriculum in Alameda schools.

Listen Here

Rest in Power: Gina Hotta

30 09 2009

TO OUR COMRADE, G ” by Renee Geesler

On Thursday Oct 1 we paid tribute to G on Apex Express.  Listen to the show here:

You can also listen here on KPFA’s website


A public celebration of the life of Gina Hotta will be held on Sunday, October 25 from 5-7pm, with a reception following.  We will gather at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 9th street 2nd floor, in the Pacific Renaissance Plaza.

If you are interested in sharing your memories or music, please contact us by Friday, October 16.

You can contribute photos or other small items to the Community Altar, or an appetizer for the reception.

We also encourage you to bring a cranes to add to our 1,000 cranes installation in honor of Gina’s legacy.

510-848-6767 x 464
To send condolences via snail mail:
Michael Yoshida
811 York Street Unit #103 Oakland, CA 94610

Gina Hotta
Gina Hotta, Photo taken By Derek Chung

Words can’t express the shock and sadness that I felt after hearing the news that Gina Hotta passed away on Monday night.  Gina was a true movement leader and truth soulja.

She was an award winning documentary producer, and hosted KPFA’s weekly API show, Apex Express, which airs Thursdays at 7pm.  She was also a graduate of First Voice, Group 3, NOVA.  Now we are at Group 34!

I met Gina after I graduated from First Voice in 2001, she approached me and asked if I would be interested in helping her start another API radio show.  She produced INSIDE/EASTSIDE which was onKPFA in the 90’s.  So we started APEX Express, in 2001.  It was Gina, me, Pratap, Eric and Nishat.

Years later, after many of us moved on to do other political work, she kept that radio show GOING!  And really worked to bring in hip young voices like Kiwi, Maya, Wayie, Ariel, Phatric…  “G”, her on air name, was cool, dedicated to the struggle and an inspiration to so many people through the years.

Much love to Gina’s family and Gina’s husband, KPFA Operations Director Michael Yoshida.

Feel free to post comments and memories

APEX contact information

Phone:  510-848-6767×464 or
past program list:

Berkeley Language Center Tribute:

Bay Area Community and Media Groups

12 09 2009
“Keep it Movin”- Renee Geesler

On tonight’s Full Circle, 9/11/09, we brought together Bay Area community & media groups that attended the Allied Media Conference in Detroit.  We wanted to bring on these groups  to continue the great work that took place in Detroit in July.

We invited Eloise S. Lee Program Director from Media Alliance, Malkia Cyril Executive Director at the Center for Media Justice, Eden Jequinto and Elijah Smith from Eastside Arts Alliance, Khan Pham the Associate Director at Making Contact produced by the National Radio Project, Shanina Shumate who is the Program Director at TEMPO, the Technological Media Project of Oakland at the Women of Color Resource Center.

We spoke with all of the participants about the mission of their organizations, and what they like about their work.  We also spoke about why the Allied Media Conference is so unique and what Media Justice is.  

Here are some audio highlights from the evening.


Members of First Voice, Tempo, EastSide, Media Alliance, Making Contact, (not pictured CMJ)

Members of First Voice, Tempo, EastSide, Media Alliance, Making Contact, (not pictured CMJ)


The crew at KPFA after the Full Circle show.

Audio Excerpt here:

Allied Media Conference

15 08 2009

DETROIT LOVE- by Renee Yang Geesler

Detroit based Grace Lee Boggs is a Chinese American Activist, writer and freedom fighter.  Her more than 60 years of political involvement encompass many of the major social movements in the US.  We were honored to celebrate Grace’s 94th Birthday celebration in July.

Grace Lee Boggs at her 94th birthday party

Grace Lee Boggs with Eloise Lee Program Director of Media Alliance, Khanh Pham Associate Director at National Radio Project, Renee Geesler Co-Director of First Voice

Listen to audio from our interview with Grace Lee Boggs here

In July we traveled to Detroit to attend the Allied Media Conference.  For the past 11 years the AMC has brought together media innovators from very diverse backgrounds and walks of life.  This conference really is a great way to network with other grassroots activists and evolve the definition of media and the role it plays in our lives.

Eloise S Lee the Program Director from Media Alliance, a media advocacy organization in Oakland, invited a few of us to Detroit to be on a panel titled White Spaces What?  How to create media policy from the ground up.  Below is the program description.

Presenters: Eloise S. Lee, Media Alliance; Renee Yang-Geesler, First Voice Media Action Program; Shanina Shumate, Women of Color Resource Center; Laura Hadden, Center for Digital Storytelling

In this workshop, we talked about strategies to broaden the ways in which we talk about communication policy, whether it be personal, local, national or global.  We also talked about the processes involved in the creation of culturally relevant learning tools and the importance of community partnerships in organizing around media justice issues. We gave examples of Media Alliance’s Raising Our Voices Media Training Program, First Voice Media Action Project at KPFA-Pacifica, Women of Color Resource Center’s Technology Empowerment & Media Project of Oakland and the Center for Digital Storytelling to illustrate the critical role of grassroots media and first-voice content creation in reshaping communications policy.

8/14 Full Circle Radio Reportback

Angie D, Laura Hadden, and myself, Renee Geesler, produced a Full Circle show on KPFA 94.1 FM.  We highlighted interviews and sound from the conference.   For more information about Allied Media check out

Diana Nucera, AMC organizer with Renee Geesler

Diana Nucera Allied Media Conference Organizer with Renee Yang Geesler

I also had the opportunity to sit down with one of the AMC organizers and hear how they put this conference together.  Diana Nucera has been a media maker for the last ten years, and has been helping to organize the AMC for the last four years.

Live Oak High School Broadcast

3 06 2009
Members of the Antioch High School Drum Line

Members of the Antioch High School Drum Line

LIVE FROM ANTIOCH- by Freewillin Franklin

On May 29, 2009 the Full Circle Crew brought live radio to Antioch.  Our first live remote broadcast happened at Live Oak High School, which is a continuation school for students in need of help to graduate on time.

Our broadcast featured student hosts interviewing teachers, college counselors and other students.  We also featured commentaries from the students who talked about their struggles in graduating.  This broadcast was executive produced by me, Full Circle Technical Director Freewillin Franklin, who was a graduate of Live Oak, Class of 1989.

I thought is was great to put together this program and go back to my highschool and be able to give back to my community.   It was cool to finally realize that teaching kids about radio is hella fun and was a good experience in putting together a remote production.



It was amazing to hear the students commentaries and their struggles as they were so similar to my own.  Here are the three commentaries that were produced for the show.

This is Kayla who graduated from Live Oak High in 2009.