Meet the 2011 Participants
Prior to working at Al Jazeera, Laila was a writer and researcher for The Nation magazine in New York City. With journalist and writer Chris Hedges, Laila co-authored, "Collateral Damage: America's War Against Iraqi Civilians" (Nation Books, 2008) about war crimes and the U.S. occupation of Iraq. The book is based on their 2007 Nation magazine investigative piece "The Other War," which was selected as one of Project Censored's 25 most important undercovered news stories of 2008. Laila received an M.S. degree from Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism in 2006. Her work has appeared in Alternet, "The Independent," "The Guardian", "The Australian", United Press International, and the "Washington Report on Middle East Affairs," among other publications. She has also interned at "USA Today." Laila has spoken about journalism and civil liberties post 9/11 at conferences and universities across the United States, including UCLA, Yale, Stanford, Colby College, and Columbia University.
Javier Castaño is a Colombian-American journalist. Upon his arrival in New York City – 27 years ago – he immediately started working as a Spanish language journalist for a wide-variety of community-oriented newspapers. His print and photojournalism addresses such key issues as immigration, housing, education, crime, employment, and health concerns. He has also served as the Managing Editor of El Diario/La Prensa and Editor-in-Chief of Hoy Nueva York. Moreover, for more than a decade, Castaño was the Special International Correspondent for El Tiempo, the Colombian newspaper “of record.” In addition, he has written two well-received books: New York Colombiano (2004), and Luis Carlos Meyer (1998), the biography of an iconic Latin American musician.
Castaño has a Master’s degree (1994) in journalism from Columbia University. He studied photojournalism at the International Center of Photography and added the digital technologies of video production and Final Cut Pro Editing to his journalistic toolbox. In 1995, he won a major photo competition organized by the Fondo Cubano de la Imagen Fotográfica in Havana, Cuba. Currently, Castaño teaches journalism at Hofstra University and is writing a book chapter – on Latino immigrants in the neighborhood of Corona, Queens - for the second edition of Latinos in New York: Communities in Transition. As an expert on local media, he has written extensively on Spanish language media in the United States, and was recently portrayed on CUNY-TV for his professional contributions to the field.
Karina currently works at CNN en Español as a freelance correspondent reporting breaking news with emphasis on international affairs and US policy towards Latin America. She also collaborates as a correspondent for IDBtv (Inter-American Development Bank), producing social and economic development stories in Latin America and the Caribbean. Her previous affiliations include national and international organizations such as Voice of America, Reuters, and Univision.
In 2000 he began his career as a journalist in the Diario CoLatino, in his country, where he covered a number of high impact stories ranging from the devastation caused by earthquakes in El Salvador to many controversial political events.
In 2003, Mario graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Public Relations from the Universidad Cristiana. The same year, he began as a photojournalist in La Prensa Gráfica, one of the largest newspapers in El Salvador.
In April 2004, Mario immigrated to the United States seeking political asylum after being threatened by the Salvadorian armed groups affiliated to the guerrilla. Mario had previously published several articles where he exposed these groups’ illegal actions.
That same year Mario was hired by Atlanta Latino, a local bilingual newspaper. He worked there as a reporter covering stories of special interest to the Hispanic community in Georgia. In December of 2007, Mario was hired by Mundo Hispanico. In his capacity as a reporter, Mario covers police, immigration and politics. In the time Mario has lived in the US, he has received several awards and recognitions for his work.
Prior to CQ, he contributed to National Journal’s coverage of the 2008 Republican National Convention. For the magazine, he also crafted, among other stories, an examination of Canada’s role in NATO. In 2007, Eugene and his wife Sarah N. Lynch, a reporter for Thomson Reuters, wrote about a library in Gilbert, Ariz. that aimed to abandon the Dewey Decimal Classification for The New York Times. And that year, their coverage of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Columbia University appeared in The Los Angeles Times.
Eugene was a general assignment reporter with The Arizona Republic. In that role, he led the Republic’s online coverage of immigration. The site, azcentral.com, won numerous awards, including the Best of Gannett in 2006. Also, his profile in the Republic and USA Today of Olympic runner Lopez Lomong, who was adopted by a New York family through the Lost Boys of Sudan program, was the basis for a feature on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.”
Eugene also reported on New Jersey Gov. James McGreevy’s resignation for the Daily Record, and chronicled Hoboken’s arts and nightlife scene for The Hudson Reporter. As news editor of The Setonian, he led the coverage of a fatal fire at Seton Hall University. Eugene has offered legislative analysis on BBC radio, Nikkei television and C-SPAN. He earned a bachelor’s of arts from Seton Hall University and a master of science from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. At Columbia, he studied at the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. Eugene and Sarah live in Pentagon City. They love running, wine and the arts.
Tamarind has been with the San Antonio Business Journal since 2001. Prior to this, she worked for SABJ’s sister publication, the Dallas Business Journal. She is a graduate of the University of North Texas in Denton.
Sergio is a native of Sapello, New Mexico. He grew up in a bilingual community. He credits his language skills for steering him toward immigration reporting. As a staff reporter for KFWB News Radio in Los Angeles, he was often assigned to cover a wide range of stories concerning the Latino community. Immigration soon took on much of his focus. He continued his focus on immigration when he took a job at the NBC Station in Raleigh, North Carolina. As a freelancer in San Francisco, he's capitalized on his connections throughout the Southwest to continue on the immigration beat.
After obtaining a master’s degree in journalism from Florida International University, Mr. Resendiz moved to Dallas to work the city desk at Al Día, which originally had five staff reporters. Due to staff cuts, he’s now involved in all aspects of the daily news operation, from reporting to making assignments to copy editing. Mr. Resendiz comes from an immigrant family – his parents came to the United States in 1974 as farm workers – and was the first in his family to graduate from high school, college, etc. He’s seen the highs and lows of the profession, from being an international correspondent and covering the Super Bowl, the MLS Championship and the NBA Finals, to being laid off.
“My current assignment is probably one of the most important roles I’ve had in my career. I’m responsible for news coverage of a huge immigrant community in one of America’s largest and most conservative regions. Our publication for eight years has been a resource of knowledge for those newly arrived from Latin America, and in recent years has become a must-read for those who want to know the Latino position on issues like immigration, politics and pending legislation.”
Prior to hosting ‘The Conversation’ Ross was KUOW’s News Director, Program Director, and host of the weekly KCTS interview program ‘Upon Reflection’. He is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Communication Masters in Digital Media.
She currently anchors these two newscast and Hosts "Voz y Voto" the Only political program in Spanish that airs Statewide. Her most memorable coverage, is Katrina- where she was embedded with the California National Guard and the 2008 Presidential Elections. Johanna has been awarded with 5 Northern California Emmy's for stories in Health, the Environment, the Mortgage Crisis and a special program on Gangs. She's currently nominated in three categories: Documentary, Cultural, and Health. She enjoys writing, watching movies and travelling. During her trips overseas she has worked on stories about the Peruvian Amazon, Middle East (Jordan, Israel and Egypt,) Indonesia and Mexico. Johanna is married and has two kids Nicolás 5 years old and Simón 2 years old.