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. Our 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 efforts to curb violence.

During the pandemic, the community journalism program postponed recruiting a new class of correspondents. But Co-Directors Rasheed Shabazz and Momo Chang called on the 60+ alumni to help fill the gap in COVID-19 coverage and other stories relevant to the Oakland community. The coronavirus stories by alumni published at OaklandVoices.us garnered over 100,000 views in a few months as well as acclaim from many East Bay figures.

Accepting applications again in 2024

The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education is not accepting applications at this time, but will continue next year. The 2024 program will be a hybrid model of both in-person meetings and virtual instruction via Zoom. Correspondents will receive a $1,000 stipend for participation and completing assignments. **Subscribe to the Maynard Institute newsletter for the latest program updates.

2019 Oakland Voices cohort. From right, Rasheed Shabazz, Co-Director; correspondents Amelah El-Amin, Yadira Cervantes, Dishonne Muhammad; guest speaker Joe Lambert, Story Center; correspondents Brandy Collins, Ayodele Nzinga, and Iris M. Crawford.


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 OV correspondents. Participants work individually and in teams, creating content for OaklandVoices.us, which can also be published elsewhere. The collaborative, applied learning approach means correspondents quickly become aware of their power and responsibility as storytellers, and as members of the media.

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 OV 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 and correspondents have been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists and other news organizations. The Oakland Voices website redesign in 2022 received local news coverage.

Donate Support Oakland Voices community correspondents

Maynard Institute programs are open to all. We are committed to addressing the under-representation of people of color and other historically disadvantaged groups in media-related professions, and so we make special efforts to recruit individuals from these groups for our programs. For questions about sponsoring an Oakland Voices correspondent or donating to Oakland Voices, please contact Maynard Institute co-executive director, Martin Reynolds at mreynolds@mije.org.