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OUR STORIES | LaDonna Redmond: 'A different kind of voice in the media'
Ladonna Redmond moved to Minnesota from Chicago in 2010, and has been very active in food, environmental, and social justice groups in the Twin Cities, ranging from Neighborhoods Organizing for Change to Homegrown Minneapolis to urban farm projects. She also hosts a radio show — "It's Your Health" — on KMOJ.
The fall cohort of Media Skills Fellows, funded by the Bush Foundation, completed ten weeks of intensive learning on November 14, with the ripple effects already spreading out into various Twin Cities communities. The fellowship program focused on improving media skills with the specific goal of using these skills for better communication in/about/on behalf of each participant's community. This article is one of several articles introducing the fall cohort of Media Skills Fellows and what they learned and accomplished.
A single mother of two teens, Ladonna works at Seward Co-op as Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Friendship site in the Bryant neighborhood. As her major project for the Media Skills Fellows program, she wrote a widely-read four-part series about African Americans and co-ops in the Twin Cities.
Reflecting on the Media Skills Fellows project, Ladonna said that she is "especially proud of my writing project — it caused me to stretch and tell other peoples stories." She also noted that she "learned the difference between journalism and writing."
Becoming more comfortable with social media, especially Facebook, and bringing her blog up to date and up to speed were major accomplishments that will make her work in the community more effective.
"I decided, based on what I learned here - I really do like Facebook! That's my niche - I post really good articles. I'm very picky about what I let on my timeline. What I learned was - it's power, in terms of what I post and how those posts attract other quality posts. I enjoy even learning the mechanics of it."
For Ladonna, her practice of community journalism serves the community:
"I like the fact that I can see myself, a little bit of myself, as a journalist and not being afraid to have a different kind of voice in the media. This really pushed me to take a different look at how I write, how I craft a story, and to join that community journalism world. I like it. I like it a lot. I like how people are interacting with the stories, how they feel close to them. I'm asking people questions, I'm talking to people who don't get talked to, people whose views and stories don't generally get heard or told."
Reporting for this article supported in part by Bush Foundation.
© 2013 Mary Turck