Do you live in Oakland and have a story to tell? The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education is now accepting applications for Oakland Voices, a six-month program designed to empower Oakland residents through newswriting, photography, and community storytelling. The 2024 program is hybrid model, with both in-person meetings and virtual instruction via Zoom, plus a planned in-person graduation celebration. Correspondents will receive a $1,500 stipend for participation and completing assignments. No previous media experience required.

Applications are due by Sunday, April 14, at 11:59 PM PDT. Apply using this online form (Google account required). Select applicants will be invited for an interview. Interviews begin April 8.

Program Overview

  • Oakland Voices correspondents will be expected to attend virtual meetings throughout the six-month program, on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month.
  • Attend an in-person orientation at the beginning of the academy.
  • Attend at least three in-person Saturday trainings, May – October.
  • Complete six assignments and other activities and exercises.

Storytelling with a love for the Town

Many of our correspondents join Oakland Voices because they want to reshape common misperceptions of their communities, portraying them instead as dynamic places where real people struggle, succeed, and thrive. Our team members also join the program because they have a passion for telling stories — with the camera, and with the pen. Oakland Voices allows correspondents to explore both their sense of mission and their love for storytelling, while also acquiring skills they can take into their personal and professional lives.

Oakland Voices correspondents are trained in digital media storytelling — writing blogs and online pieces, taking photos, shooting video, and using social media to discuss issues that matter most in their communities. Correspondents also learn journalism ethics and editorial decision-making, interview basics, and story craft. They use those tools to report on a wide range of issues highlighting the triumphs and challenges of life in Oakland, including community heroes and heroines, health and wealth disparities, and more.

Application Requirements

Online applications must by submitted by Sunday, April 14, 2023, at 11:59 PM PDT. Applicants must be an Oakland resident over 18 years old with access to a stable internet connection via computer or mobile device in order to participate in virtual meetings. Students in their senior year of high school are eligible and unhoused residents, low-income, and community members of color are encouraged to apply. A Google account is necessary to access the online application form. Visit the Oakland Voices website to learn more about the program requirements and submit your application using this online form (Google account required).

Maynard Institute programs are open to all. The Institute is committed to addressing the under-representation of people of color and other historically disadvantaged groups in media-related professions. For questions about sponsoring an Oakland Voices correspondent or donating to the program, contact us to learn more.

2024 Program Dates


  • Friday, May 10 – Opening Dinner
  • Saturday, May 11 – Orientation and Training #1
  • Saturday, June 15 – Training #2
  • Saturday, July 13 – Training #3
  • Saturday, August 10 – Training #4*
  • Saturday, September 14 – Training #5
  • Saturday, October 12 – Training #6*

Bi-Weekly Learning Sessions

  • Thursday, May 9, 6-8 p.m.*
  • Thursday, May 23, 6-8 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 13, 6-8 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 27, 6-8 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 11, 6-8 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 25, 6-8 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 8, 6-8 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 22, 6-8 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 12, 6-8 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 26, 6-8 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 10, 6-8 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 24, 6-8 p.m.

Note: Attendance is optional May 9, August 10 and October 12.

History of Oakland Voices

Founded in 2010, Oakland Voices emerged from a partnership between the Oakland Tribune and The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Oakland Voices connects correspondents with more than a dozen media professionals to teach correspondents. Participants work individually and in teams, creating content for the Oakland Voices website. This content may also be published by program partners such as The Oaklandside or KALW Public Radio. The collaborative, applied learning approach means correspondents quickly become aware of their power and responsibility as storytellers, and as members of the media.

Staff and Alumni Correspondents

Rasheed Shabazz and Momo Chang serve as Co-directors of the Oakland Voices program. Martin Reynolds co-founded Oakland Voices and is co-executive director of the Maynard Institute. Evelyn Hsu is co-executive director of the Maynard Institute and contributes the training curriculum of the program.

Multiple cohorts of Oakland residents have completed the Oakland Voices program. Check out a summary listing of all the correspondents by project years since 2010.