Andrew Nixon / CapRadio

“I feel shame and sorrow that I did not understand the depth of white supremacy in this country. When I see white hate used to leverage power, I feel sorrow. I commit to being anti-racist in words and deeds.”

The other day, my close friend posted this to Facebook. I kept re-reading it, each time feeling more sick to my stomach. Her words cracked me open somehow, naming something that I hadn’t been able to put into words.

I feel shame and sorrow that I did not fully see or hear what my friends have gone through while navigating race…

I am on a mission: I want evaluation to be a newsroom norm, not something that would be nice to have. Weaving evaluation into my projects has been a game changer, giving me the data I need to understand the impact of my work and communicate it’s value to funders.

That’s why I want to share a case study of how I activated Capital Public Radio leaders to support a robust assessment of a recent cross-platform documentary project. This is not a treatise on the value of evaluation, or a how-to guide. …

jesikah maria ross, Capital Public Radio
Olivia Henry, USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism

Olivia Henry holds a microphone for Amador resident Ashley Moore, a key source in CapRadio’s reporting. Vanessa Nelson / Capital Public Radio

Climbing the western slope of the central Sierra Nevada mountains, California’s Amador County is known for its wild beauty, Gold Rush history and small-town quality of life. It’s also home to a darker landscape — one of the highest suicide rates in the state. Last year, Capital Public Radio’s Sammy Caiola was awarded a USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism California Fellowship to explore why that rate is so high — the third-highest in California — and how journalism could play a role in suicide prevention.

There’s an alchemy when people get together face-to-face to ponder a tough issue and what to do about it. Good conversations are game changers. They help us connect with the topic, see issues in a new light, and shift how we relate to people different from us. All that impacts our willingness to work together to solve wicked problems.

Democracy is not a spectator sport and if we want our world to be a better place then a diverse array of people need to participate in community problem-solving. Creatively designed public conversation events invite the kind of participation through which…

Participating in a Capital Public Radio Story Circle, Harold Garcia describes how he survived on the streets. He now lives in an affordable housing community. Vanessa Nelson/Capital Public Radio

Like many cities across the country, Sacramento, California, is grappling with an affordable-housing crisis. We’ve had the fastest rising rents in the nation for two years in a row. We have record-high home prices, a skyrocketing homeless population and intensifying gentrification and displacement. We also have many neighborhoods of color that for years have been overlooked due to historic housing policies and a lack of economic opportunity.

In other words, residents from all walks of life in Sacramento are affected by the shortage of affordable housing, just in different ways. …

Community members share stories and solutions to hunger in Sacramento, California. Photo: Steve Fisch

Civic aspiration is a powerful thing — it gives moral imagination someplace to go. — Krista Tippett, Journalist

When you begin to imagine and act as if you live in the world you want to live in, you will have company. — Bernice Johnson Regan, Singer/Civil Rights Activist

These quotes that have been rolling around in my head a lot lately.

I’m the Senior Community Engagement Strategist at an National Public Radio affiliate, pioneering new ways to bring together journalists, community members and powerbrokers to explore issues and propose solutions for the places we live.

If there is any institution…

jesikah maria ross

Participatory media wrangler, civic storyteller and documentary artist. Building bridges for change. Community Engagement Strategist at Capital Public Radio.

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