Staff

Malkia Cyril, Executive Director

Malkia CyrilMalkia Amala Cyril is the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Media Justice (CMJ), launched in 2008 to strengthen the media activism and communications capacity of grassroots social justice movements.  For the past 15 years, Malkia’s award-winning work has empowered local social justice leaders and organizations with the skills and strategies they need to navigate the complex media environment of the 21st century.  Appearances include News for All the People: the Epic Story of Race and the American Media, the New York Times, Politico, Huffington Post, Media Matters, Democracy Now, Essence Magazine, Village Voice, the Advocate, the SF Chronicle and documentaries including Outfoxed, Broadcast Blues, and MissRepresentation.

For fun, Malkia spends an inordinate amount of time writing short stories, poetry, and blogs when she should be sleeping. Mentored by world renowned writers Audre Lorde and Barbara Smith, Malkia’s creative work has been published in In the Tradition: An Anthology of Young Black WritersAloudVoices from the Nuyorican Poet’s Café, and Afrekete: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Writing.

Malkia Cyril can be reached at malkia@mediajustice.org, 510-698-3800, x401; on Twitter @culturejedi, and on Facebook.

Kristi Black Solwazi, Deputy Director

Kristi provides internal leadership, supervision, and direction for CMJ staff and consultants as well as serving as a liaison to CMJ funders. With over 15 years of nonprofit management and financial experience, she contributes a unique blend of community capacity building, financial acumen, funding and development skills, and heart and passion for what she does.

An Oakland native, Kristi has experienced firsthand the power and challenges of community building and movements for social change.  Her work as a producer of artistic events for communities of color and nonprofit leadership brings to CMJ a far-reaching vision of social progress that involves local and global activism, especially when art is used as media activism to elicit change.

Kristi’s B.A. studies included Speech Communications, with an emphasis on Intercultural Communication, at San Francisco State University, and a strong interest in African history, sociology, and the healing arts.

She believes her education and work will always be engaged in cultural knowledge, debunking myths and lies, and creating alternate realities through art and media to combat racism and greed. Her husband, children and CMJ make it possible and gratifying for her to try to save the world, and still make it to football practice on time.

Kristi can be reached at kristi@mediajustice.org, and 510-698-3800 x408.

amalia deloney, Associate Director

amalia coordinates the media policy initiatives of the Center for Media Justice and the Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net).  She has over 15 years of experience in community and cultural organizing, with a specific interest in human rights, cultural rights and traditional knowledge.  At CMJ, amalia uses her extensive experience for field-building, community-building, and policy advocacy.

Born in Guatemala, she worked for many years at the Main Street Project–a MAG-Net anchor–in her hometown of Minneapolis.  While there, she co-directed a nationally recognized four-state rural Latino capacity-buliding initiative called The Raíces Project.  Nationally, amalia is a board member of the Indigenous Women’s Network, and the Latino Public Radio Consortium.

amalia earned her B.A. in Urban Studies and History from Macalester College and her J.D. with a focus on Social Justice from Hamline University School of Law – as a result, she has huge student loans, which she likes to complain about.

When she is not working, amalia likes to travel, read, watch pretty much anything on TNT, work on her personal blog—or Tweet from the borderlands where she lives, works and plays!

amalia can be reached at amalia@mediajustice.org, 510-698-3800 x403, and on Twitter: @guatemalia.

Betty Yu, Membership Organizer

Betty YuBetty coordinates the Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net) where she manages our national media justice network of over 100 grassroots community organizations, coordinates nine regional chapters and curates the media justice learning community. She has over 15 years of community organizing, media activist, and filmmaking experience.

Betty has additionally worked as a labor organizer for the Chinese Staff and Workers’ Association, an immigrant rights workers center in New York City’s Chinatown. She is also co-founder of National Mobilization Against Sweatshops (NMASS), a 15 year-old multi-racial workers center. Betty is a board member for Deep Dish TV and Third World Newsreel, two media organizations that nationally distributes radical videos and films.

Betty has appeared on several local and national news outlets, and has been featured in such publications as the New York Daily News, the Financial TimesStress magazine, Brooklyn Bridge, and City Limits.

When she is not working Betty can usually be found talking about her love of Brooklyn (born and raised), working on her creative projects, or finishing her MFA in Integrated Media Arts.

Betty can be reached at betty@mediajustice.org, and 510-698-3800 x404.

Brandi Collins, Communications Manager

Brandi is responsible for driving organizational identity, branding, communications, and marketing for CMJ.  She has over five years experience in nonprofit strategic communications, branding, public policy advocacy, and project management.

Formerly Public Policy Associate for Safer Foundation in Illinois, Brandi has crafted state and national recommendations and statements on workforce development, community capacity building, and prisoner reentry.  These were included in reports and publications for the American Correctional Association, the Obama-Biden transition team, the Illinois Poverty Commission and Illinois Human Services Commission, among others.

Brandi earned her B.A. in History (with an emphasis on 20th century US immigration and migration) from Agnes Scott College, and her J.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School.

In her spare time, Brandi likes nerding it up- she can be found watching documentaries, reading non-fiction books, tweeting indignantly, and blogging her feelings.

Brandi can be reached at brandi@mediajustice.org, 510-698-3800 x409, and on Brandi Sink or Swim.

Steven Renderos, National Organizer

Steven RenderosSteven came to CMJ from the Main Street Project, a MAG-Net anchor organization, where Steven lead Main Street Project’s media justice and community building efforts, including the Minnesota Digital Justice Coalition and the collaborative work with MAG-Net. He brings more than seven years of community organizing and training experience, and more than ten years of filmmaking and media production experience to our organization.

Prior to joining Main Street Project, Steven served as Project Coordinator of the Minnesotano Media Empowerment Project, an initiative of the Department of Chicano Studies at the University of Minnesota focused on improving the quality and quantity of media coverage and representation of Latinos in Minnesota. He currently serves on the boards of Organizing Apprenticeship Project, La Asamblea de Derechos Civiles, and Center for Media Justice. Steven (aka DJ Ren) also hosts a show called Radio Pocho at a community radio station in Minneapolis and spins at various venues in town.

Steven can be reached at steven@mediajustice.org, 510-698-3800 x411.

 

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