Aerial view of Antioch, CA. Source: Wikimedia.

Thanks to a network of local foundations, El Tímpano will expand its work to produce journalism with, for, and about Latino and Mayan immigrants to East Contra Costa County. 

The expansion is in response to the growth of the Latino immigrant population in the region. Over the course of the past 20 years, Contra Costa County has experienced the highest population growth of the Bay Area, with nearly half of that growth driven by immigrants. East Contra Costa County is home to the towns of Bay Point, where 56% of residents speak Spanish at home, Pittsburg, where 32% speak Spanish at home, and Antioch, where 22% of residents do. 

Despite these demographic changes, Latino immigrants face significant barriers to connect to the resources and information they need to make decisions, access resources, exert their rights, and have their voices heard by community leaders and the public at large. 

El Tímpano’s team will conduct an in-depth listening process to build relationships with community members and community-based organizations, and to hear from residents what they want to see in local Spanish-language media. This process will form the foundation for El Tímpano’s work in the region to provide channels for accessible information and participatory journalism with and for Latino and Mayan immigrants. 

Funding for El Tímpano’s work in East Contra Costa County comes from the San Francisco Foundation and East Contra Costa STRONG, a funding collaborative that aims to build racial equity and economic justice in East Contra Costa County. Together, the support amounts to $105,000 over two years. These grants are the first investments from local funders to support El Tímpano’s expansion to the wider Bay Area. 

El Tímpano was founded in 2018 in Oakland, where its information platform reaches 10% of the city’s Spanish-speaking households. As more immigrants turned to El Tímpano during the pandemic for its local, accessible, community-centered news and information, its audience has grown to include residents of Antioch, Vallejo, Richmond, San Jose, Hayward, and more than 30 other Bay Area cities and towns.

In response, at the start of 2022, El Tímpano’s Founding Director, Madeleine Bair, announced that the journalism and civic engagement organization would expand its mission from one focused on Oakland to one that serves Latino and Mayan immigrant communities across the Bay Area—home to 1 million Spanish-speaking immigrants. This expansion to East Contra Costa County is a reflection of that commitment.

For information on how you can partner with El Tímpano or support the organization’s growth, contact Madeleine Bair,

Madeleine Bair is an award-winning journalist and media developer, and the founder of El Tímpano. Madeleine has been carrying a microphone in her backpack since she belonged to the Oakland bureau of the Peabody Award-winning youth media organization, Children’s Express. As Senior Program Manager at the international nonprofit, WITNESS, she led a pioneering initiative dedicated to advancing the use of citizen video as a tool for human rights. Madeleine has taught radio production to young adults, worked on a morning show at Chicago Public Radio, and produced multimedia for Human Rights Watch. Her stories have appeared in the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, Colorlines, and Orion, and broadcast on PRI’s The World and Independent Lens. She lives with her partner and son in Oakland, where she spends her free time making mixtapes, dancing cumbia, and exploring the region on bike.