During this year’s ivoh Restorative Narrative Summit, we recognized seven media and arts professionals whose work shows a commitment to constructive change, amplifies hope, and creates a sense of possibility about the future of humanity. Here are this year’s winners:
TARA BRACCO is a writer, producer, and multimedia reporter, focusing on social change, economics and the arts. Her work has appeared in local and national publications including The Huffington Post, Condé Nast Traveler, Cosmopolitan, American Theatre, BUST, Brooklyn Based and Clamor. As the founder of Poetic People Power, a project she created in 2003, she has commissioned new poems and produced political poetry shows in venues throughout New York City. She has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine,Time Out New York, and The Huffington Post for her visionary leadership of Poetic People Power and the unique way it combines poetry and social change. In 2009, Tara cofounded The Project Solution with long-time friend Joe Gonzalez in an effort to fund infrastructure projects, like water taps and toilet facilities, in developing countries. In six years, The Project Solution has funded 22 projects in 11 countries, serving 12,000 people worldwide.
LISA DE BODE is a digital reporter at Al Jazeera America based in New York City. Her writing has centered on disenfranchised communities and their rights in the United States and abroad, focusing on the homeless, immigrants, veterans, and women. Prior to joining Al Jazeera, she worked at islawmix.com, a project of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, that aimed to improve coverage of Islam in American media. From there, she has spoken on media literacy and international reporting at various places, including The New School, TEDx and Journalismfund.eu, a European investigative journalism network. In 2011, she was a freelance journalist for Belgian and Dutch publications. Her reporting from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on women’s rights was awarded the 2011 Dutch foreign reporting prize Dick Scherpenzeel for young journalists. She’s fluent in four languages and worked and lived in nine countries. She holds a MA in international relations from The Fletcher School at Tufts University and a MA in economics from the University of Leuven, Belgium.
ADAM HOROWITZ is the Chief Instigator of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC). An artist, organizer, and “projectician,” with a passion for cultural exchange and creative hootenanny, Adam has worked with numerous organizations at the intersection of arts, education, and social justice — Ashoka, Bowery Arts + Science, The Future Project, among others—and traveled the world as a performer, musician, and researcher of intercultural barter. Adam was a Fulbright scholar in Colombia and is an Artist in Residence with the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at NYU and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
JOANNA KAO is a multimedia reporter and interactive developer who covers veterans issues, immigration and homelessness at Al Jazeera America. She also creates immersive longform story templates for the newsroom, experiments with audio storytelling, and explores theater-related data in her spare time. She has a bachelors degree in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
JESSE ROESLER is an Emmy-awarded filmmaker whose motion pictures have been broadcast and screened in more than a dozen countries in festivals such as South by Southwest and Hot Docs. His debut feature film “The Starfish Throwers” was named the most heartwarming film of 2014 by The Huffington Post. He has also created short films for passion-driven organizations and brands including Trek, GE, Saucony & Feeding America as a co-founder of Bolster. Jesse believes storytelling has the power to inspire immense positive change and speaks frequently on the subject to organizations like Best Buy & United Way. Originally from Wausau, Wisconsin, he now resides in Minneapolis with his wife and curmudgeonly Boston Terrier, JB.
ASHA SIAD is a Somali-Canadian multimedia journalist and documentary filmmaker who has reported for CBC News, the Calgary Journal and Frontiere News. Asha’s passion for storytelling has allowed her to work on multiple platforms, locally and internationally, to deliver original and under-reported stories. She completed a web documentary that captured the plight of African migrants and refugees in Italy called Living at the Border. The project won the Amnesty International Canada Media Award for Best Online Journalism in 2014. Asha co-directed Beyond the Silence, a documentary that explores the silences around breast cancer in several ethnic communities in Alberta. The film was screened at two film festivals in Toronto and throughout Alberta. She presented and produced New Beginnings, a documentary series that follows the lives of everyday Canadians on Shaw TV. She participated in the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Storytelling Somalia retreat and competed in the Al Jazeera Innovation and Research 2014 Canvas Hackathon for innovative journalists in Doha, Qatar. She recently produced Reserving Identities, a special report that examines issues relating to Aboriginal communities through the lens of its young people. Asha is currently working on a documentary for the National Film Board of Canada.
NICOLE TUNG is an American citizen born and raised in Hong Kong. She graduated from New York University in 2009 after studying journalism and history and freelances for many international publications and NGOs, covering the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. After covering the conflicts in Libya and Syria extensively, focusing on the plight of civilians, she spent 2014 documenting the lives of Native American war veterans in the US, as well as former child soldiers in the DR Congo, and the protests in Hong Kong. She has received multiple awards for her work and has her images included in various exhibitions. She is based in Istanbul.
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