Judges Announced for 2023 California Ethnic Media Awards

San Francisco, CA (July 31, 2023) – 26 distinguished writers, journalists, communication specialists and academics from across California will serve as judges in this year’s California Ethnic Media Awards, sponsored by Ethnic Media Services and California Black Media. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 31 at the Kimpton-Sawyer Hotel in downtown Sacramento concluding a day-long symposium on building inclusive communications across the state.
“We are honored to have such a diverse panel of judges with cultural and linguistic fluency play this very important role,” said co-chair Regina Brown Wilson, Executive Director of California Black Media. “Judging entries for outstanding reporting from over 100 in-language and English language news outlets is no small task — you’re reading breaking news, feature reports, commentaries, explanatory analyses, about issues and events largely missed in general market media but deeply relevant to local communities.”
“The opportunity to recognize outstanding journalism in the ethnic media sector generated such enthusiasm, it was inspiring,” added co-chair Sandy Close, Director of Ethnic Media Services. “The judges know we’re not just selecting winners, we’re recognizing all the dedicated reporters and content producers who are keeping their audiences informed against enormous odds impacting the media landscape.”
As of July 31, the deadline for entries, over 200 submissions had been received.
List of Judges by Alphabetical Order:
David Bacon  
Photojournalist, Author, Political Activist, and Union Organizer  
Jose Luis Benavides,
Professor at the Department of Journalism, Cal State Northridge
Maeve Elise Brown   
Executive Director and Founder, Housing and Economic Rights Advocates
Jon Christensen
Assistant Adjunct Professor at UCLA Institute of Environment and Sustainability, and Founder of Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS)
Anh Do
Community Engagement Editor, the Los Angeles Times, veteran reporter for Nguoi Viet
Allison Engel 
Author, Playwright, and Journalist      
Louis Freedberg
Journalist and former Executive Director of EdSource
Jon Funabiki
Professor of Journalism, San Francisco State University, Founder of Renaissance Journalism, and former Program Officer with the Ford Foundation
Tanu Henry    
Managing Editor of California Black Media, and veteran Communications Specialist
George Koo
Business Advisor, Cross-Cultural Communicator, and Writer for Asian Week
Lila LaHood   
Publisher for Public Press
Jongwon Lee 
Veteran Journalist and Editor with Korean News Media, member of the State Bar of Georgia, and Contributing Editor of Ethnic Media Services      
Nina Li           
Stanford Center for Asian Research and Education (CARE), Stanford University School of Medicine
Pilar Marrero
Veteran Author and Journalist, former Political Reporter for La Opinion, and Associate Editor for Ethnic Media Services
Ruben Martinez       
Journalist, author and musician, Professor of English, and Fletcher Jones Chair in Literature & Writing at Loyola Marymount University
Mary Jo McConahay 
Veteran Journalist for the National Catholic Reporter, and Author most recently of Playing God: American Catholic Bishops and the Far Right        
Amanda Mei Kim      
Author, former Communications Director for Blue Shield Foundation of California
Debra Nakatomi        
Founder and President for Nakatomi PR
Kayla Olvera Hilario  
Department of Labor, Division of Indian and Native American Programs, former Tribal Affairs Specialist with the California Census       
Manuel Ortiz Escámez
Sociologist and Audiovisual Journalist, Freelance and Reporter, Co-Founder, Peninsula 360 Press
Jaya Padmanabhan   
Veteran Journalist and Fiction Writer, Contributing Editor for Ethnic Media Services
David Pham   
Web Architect and Graphic Artist for Ethnic Media Services
Deepak Puri  
Silicon Valley Veteran and Co-Founder of Democracy Labs   
Richard Rodriguez     
Author and Essayist   
Peter Schurmann      
Journalist and former Communications Consultant for Earth Innovation, Web Editor for Ethnic Media Services   
Jacqueline Stenson   
Director of Projects at USC Center for Health Journal
The California Ethnic Media Symposium, Expo & Awards is a must-attend event for anyone interested in the diverse and vibrant ethnic media landscape of California.  Taking place on Thursday Aug. 31, 2023 at 11 am, this in-person event will be held at the Kimpton-Sawyer Hotel at 500 J St. in downtown Sacramento.