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 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.
Maye Primera has worked as a reporter and editor for more than 20 years, covering politics, immigration, borders, human rights, and violence in Latin America and the U.S. From 2015 to 2021 she worked as Content Producer with NBCUniversal Telemundo, and as Senior Editor for Latin America for Univision News Digital, before serving as manager of projects with the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism. Prior to that she was correspondent in the Caribbean and Venezuela for the Spanish newspaper El País, and editor-in-chief of the Venezuelan newspaper TalCual. She has published three books and a podcast about Venezuela’s recent history, and her narrative work has been featured in several non-fiction anthologies.
Director of Civic Partnerships and Operations
Deana, a daughter of Guatemalan immigrants, grew up in the East Bay, where she has spent the majority of her career helping underserved communities. She leads El Tímpano’s Community Outreach and Engagement Team and the organization’s partnerships with civic agencies, direct service providers, and community-based organizations. Prior to joining El Tímpano Deana served as the Northern California Manager for Self-Help Federal Credit Union, where she advanced their mission of creating and protecting economic opportunity for all. Deana is on the Board of Directors for Brighter Beginnings, an East Bay community health nonprofit. She is married to her partner of 20 years and has three children. In her free time, she coaches basketball at Antioch High School.
Director of Development & Communications
Lanita Pace-Hinton is a digital media and organizational leader with more than 20 years of experience that spans news reporting, journalism education, professional development, program development, operations management and fundraising. Prior to her current role with El Timpano, she was Director of Development and Institutional Partnerships at CalMatters, a nonprofit media organization that covers California state politics and policies. Before that, she served as Deputy Director of EdSource Inc., an online news and information site that produces in-depth, policy-focused reporting on California’s K-12 through university public education system. Lanita was also Founding Director of the Knight Digital Media Center, a new media leadership and multimedia skills training program at the University of California Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism. She has an MA in Education from UC Berkeley and a BA in Journalism from Howard University.
Community Outreach Coordinator
Community-building and organizing have always been at the heart of Etel Calles’ journey to citizenship. Etel immigrated to Los Angeles from El Salvador at the age of 10 as an unaccompanied minor. She moved to the Bay Area to attend San Francisco State University, and has spent her entire adult life in the region, living in Marin County, Berkeley, and for the past 18 years, Oakland. Her focus is to empower immigrant families by providing reliable information, resources, and support—a mission that inspired her to co-found the organization, Immigrant Family Defense Fund, in 2016, and one that she continues to pursue as El Tímpano’s East Bay Community Outreach Coordinator. In her spare time, Etel dances Zumba and Baile Folklórico.
Contra Costa Community Outreach Coordinator
As a daughter of Mexican immigrants, Mayra grew up in the San Gabriel Valley before moving to San Francisco, where she received her BA in Anthropology from San Francisco State University. She has dedicated her career to the nonprofit sector, working for affordable housing organizations, providing housing, employment and educational services to formerly incarcerated people, as well as recruiting for nonprofit organizations. Her upbringing has been filled with community support, which continues to be her foundation to connect communities to resources and services.
Engagement & Impact Manager
Katherine Nagasawa is a multimedia journalist who specializes in participatory storytelling rooted in community and place. She creates multimedia stories, tools and experiences that help people more deeply engage with the places they live and with each other — and she invites them to collaborate with her to shape the projects’ direction, content and presentation. Katherine was previously a digital and engagement producer at WBEZ public radio in Chicago, where she helped answer people’s questions about Chicago and the region for the show Curious City. She also led community engagement strategy for WBEZ’s newsroom to expand the reach, relevance, and impact of their journalism to racial communities historically underserved by the station. Most recently, Katherine produced several interactive web curriculums about Japanese American World War II incarceration and resettlement to Chicago and the Midwest Japanese American movement for redress and reparations.
Special Projects Manager
Mayra Sierra is a first generation Mexican American born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles. Mayra has devoted her career to creating opportunities and uplifting marginalized communities. In her recent role as the Community Partnerships and Inclusion Manager for Tipping Point Community’s Chronic Homelessness Initiative, she brought the expertise of individuals with lived experience by creating a community advisory board. Prior to her work at Tipping Point Community, Mayra was the Community Engagement Coordinator for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, she forged strong relationships with the Latinx communities in Connecticut to ensure safe spaces for women to access reproductive rights. While working for StoryCorps, Mayra traveled the country recording oral histories of everyday individuals. Mayra holds a MA in Museum Studies from John F. Kennedy University, specializing in community-driven exhibitions through oral history, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego in Art History. In her free time, Mayra enjoys hiking in the East Bay with her dog, dancing zumba, and creating floral arrangements.
Jasmine Aguilera is a journalist from El Paso, Texas. She most recently covered Congress and immigration for TIME Magazine, working from New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. Prior to TIME, she worked as a producer at social video news outlets Brut and NowThis. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, Yes! Magazine, Latino Rebels, and others.
Vanessa Flores is a Bay Area-based journalist and video producer. She recently graduated from UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. At UC Berkeley, her reporting varied from extremism, police misconduct, education, and immigration. During her time at Cal, she also worked as a data researcher for KQED and as a podcast producer for the Latinx Research Center. Through her work, she hopes to elevate the different experiences of the communities she serves.
East Contra Costa Reporter
Ximena Loeza is a Latine journalist, born and raised in San Francisco, California. She comes from a family of Mexican immigrants, which is where her passion for reporting on immigrant communities stemmed from. In her free time, she enjoys pottery, creative writing, and exploring the arts, culture, and food scene of the San Francisco Bay Area. She graduated in May 2023 from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a minor in Criminal Justice. Ximena hopes to be a voice for underserved communities and help bring light to issues directly affecting those communities.
Hiram Alejandro Durán is an award-winning photojournalist from the El Paso-Ciudad Juárez border region. Durán is a fourth-generation Mexican-American and the first person in his family to be raised and educated in the United States. Before moving to NYC in 2018, he worked as a shoe salesman while studying Media Advertising and Marketing at the University of Texas at El Paso. Durán joined the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism with the intention of becoming a print reporter. But, after auditing an intro to photojournalism course, he discovered the power of photography as a storytelling tool. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Marshall Project, The Pulitzer Center, The Imprint News, Bklyner and The Mail & Guardian in Johannesburg, South Africa. He comes to El Tímpano as CatchLight Local Fellow.
Martha Calmo Ramirez
Tumil El Tímpano Host
Martha Calmo Ramirez is the host of Tumil El Tímpano, El Tímpano’s Mam-language video series that shares relevant news and resources with the Mayan community in the Bay Area. Ever since Martha immigrated to Oakland from Guatemala as a toddler, she’s served as a translator for her mother – helping navigate systems spanning everything from Medi-Cal to the Green Card application process. She’s excited to contribute her language skills to Tumil to help other members of the Mam community navigate social services and connect with local resources. Martha is a proud first-generation college graduate and recently received her degree in political science from San Francisco State University. In addition to hosting Tumil, she’s also part of a community social workers program through which she supports translation needs for members of the Mam community.
José Luis Caicedo
Born and raised in Ecuador, José Luis spent most of his adult life in New York City before moving to Oakland. Fluent in Spanish and English and passable in Portuguese and Japanese, his love of languages has introduced him to worlds of cinema, music, and literature. He is a full-time medical interpreter, and a proud translator for El Tímpano and other nonprofit organizations.
Community leader & Co-founder, Radio B’alam
Journalist, professor, University of Arizona
Artist & educator
Journalist, educator, founder of Listening Post Collective
Sophie Lan Hou
Incubation Design Lead, Movement Strategy Center
Digital Director, Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation
VP, Philanthropic Partnerships, The New York Times
East Oakland community educator & volunteer