A message from new Globalist Executive Director Travis Quezon

Post graduation ceremony at the 2017 Youth Apprentice Showcase. From left to right: Damme Getachew, Globalist apprentice alumnus and program coordinator; current Globalist apprentices Aaron Jin, Zubeyda Ahmed, Sumaya Dirie, Robiel Bahta, Gavin Amos-Lopez and Karen Maniraho; and Esmy Jimenez, Globalist board member, Northwest Public Radio reporter and apprentice alumnus. (Photo by Jama Abdirahman)

Happy holidays to you and all of the supporters of The Seattle Globalist. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to carry out our mission of elevating diverse voices through media.

My name is Travis Quezon, and I am thrilled to be the new executive director of The Seattle Globalist. Having spent the last 15 years as a journalist and the last five building the voice of local community media, it is an honor to be continuing the great work of our founders Alex Stonehill, Sarah Stuteville, and Jessica Partnow. I look forward to joining Editorial Director Venice Buhain and Education Director Christina Twu in leading the Globalist in this new era.

Last week on December 12, The Seattle Globalist held its 2017 Youth Apprentice Showcase at our new Northwest Film Forum headquarters to celebrate the graduation of six talented young storytellers who spent the last eight weeks training to be news reporters and media makers as part of The Seattle Globalist Apprenticeship Program.

Travis Quezon shares a few inspiring words near the end of the 2017 Youth Apprentice Showcase last Tuesday night. (Photo by Jama Abdirahman)

During the reception, I had the wonderful opportunity to connect with the apprentices and their parents. We talked about the new skills the apprentices were able to learn and apply, what their plans are as media makers, and how essential positive stories are in uplifting underrepresented communities.

During the showcase, I talked about my time as a journalist and how I’ve been able to see how news media can empower communities — that underrepresented communities don’t need to wait for mainstream media to tell them what is important. We all have the potential to tell our own stories and report on the issues that affect us. While working in community media as the Editor-in-Chief at International Examiner, I learned that even within specific communities, there are still disparities in the voices that are heard. As editors and publishers, we need to actively reach out to those voices. We also need to provide opportunities and maintain a pipeline for journalists from marginalized communities to enter our newsrooms.

By sharing stories that truly represents our diversity, we create an opportunity for the broader population to relate to and better understand communities who are either misrepresented in mainstream media or are otherwise not heard at all. In order to engage with civility in public discourse, there must be compassion and respect for all people. If we can see ourselves in the stories of others, we connect on a fundamental level that is empathic and meaningful.

I’d like to propose a challenge over the holidays. Reach out to someone who sees the world from a different cultural context from you and approach them with genuine interest and civility. Have a conversation and learn their story.

These divisions that we face today in society  are the product of underrepresentation, misinformation, and a whole lot of misunderstanding. We, on all sides of our divisions, need to find a greater sense of empathy for each others’ experiences, cultures, and issues. We can do this by sharing our stories, and embracing and celebrating our diversity.

It’s essential in today’s volatile political climate that diverse voices are brought to the forefront and are heard in a way that is mindful and generous. We’re hoping to raise $28,000 by December 31st — and we’re two-thirds of the way there! All individual gifts will be matched dollar for dollar thanks to the generosity of News Match. Make a gift to the Globalist to train the next generation and elevate diverse voices through media by December 31st, and double your impact.

I look forward to what the future holds for The Seattle Globalist and helping to build it with all of you.

Sincerely,

Travis Quezon

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