Meet the judges

Meet our Youth Story judges!


Film

Thomas Chengxi Zou

Thomas Chengxi Zou

Thomas Chengxi Zou is a digital storyteller who advocates for underrepresented communities. He worked as a visual journalist and documentary producer in China. He is now a master’s student at the Communication Leadership program at the University of Washington, and works with local non-profits to address the homelessness issue. 

Amy E. Ryken

Amy Ryken

Amy E. Ryken, Dean and Professor, School of Education at the University of Puget Sound studies teacher learning, how to create equitable classroom spaces, and partnerships that foster connections between schools and community resources. She has researched industrial sites transformed into public landscapes on Tacoma’s Ruston Way waterfront to understand visitor perceptions and to inform development plans.

Jamika Scott

Jamika Scott

Jamika Scott, Tacoma native, is a children’s advocate, activist, and writer. Her passion for writing has been burning since childhood, but she was drawn to film writing by a mentor in college and has been at it ever since. As a co-founder of the Tacoma Action Collective, she works toward building an equitable city as a community organizer, and often incorporates her love of film into her social justice work.

Damico Clark

Damico Clark

After college, Damico had ideas to move back to Seattle. After that turned out to be a very expensive idea, these days he expresses his gratitude by saying “Tacoma chose me”. This didn’t slow down his passion for art and environmental science. Director of shorts “SNOW ‘12”, “Story To Tell” and “NWYB”. Co-founder of Diggers, a platform for the music visuals they commissioned. His roots in artist development and in music show that he documents what he believes in. “MONKS GALLERY” will showcase his passions for music and local artists this summer via the Historic Hilltop neighborhood.

Poetry

C. Rosalind Bell

Rosalind Bell

Rosalind Bell is a Tacoma playwright, theater director and writer whose works have been staged and screened along the West Coast. A member of Macondo, The Conversation, The Black Collective and American Leadership Foundation, Bell grew up around water and loves it. Her hometown of Lake Charles, Louisiana sits on Lake Charles, near the Calcasieu River and the Gulf of Mexico. She also spent six years hosting a Comcast TV cooking show.

Erin Tail

Erin Tail

Erin Tail is a young Lakota and Northern Cheyenne writer living on the Puyallup tribal reservation. She is currently a student at the Evergreen State College, and is majoring in Native Studies and Psychology. Erin makes her own poetry chapbooks and mostly focuses on themes that both challenge and yet comfort readers, regarding Native lives, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and dreamscapes. A lot of her spare time is filled with writing, drawing, going to traditional ceremonies, and reading books. She hopes in the future to have a collective of Native writers, and wants to deeply encourage young writers to keep processing their world in a humble way.

Josh Rizeberg

Josh Rizeberg

Josh Rizeberg is a spoken-word poet, slam-champion, emcee, journalist, educator, and community advocate. He has been active in the music, literary, and activist scenes since the 1990’s. Rizeberg has toured North America as a performer and has written for the The Facts, the Weekly Volcano, and the Tacoma Weekly.

Tashawn DeVille

Tashawn Deville headshot

Tashawn DeVille is a Seattle-born poet, former poetry slam coach, and Tacoma Community College alumni living and working in Tacoma with non-profit organizations like Peace Community Center and Write 253. She currently attends the Evergreen State College at the Tacoma Campus and is pursuing her bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in social justice and sociology. She’s been writing poetry since high school and is influenced by Rod Wave, Langston Hughes, J-Cole, James Baldwin, and Tupac Shakur. She believes that poetry is how she found her voice and wants to inspire others to do the same.  

Graph

Kendra Feinstein

Kendra Feinstein

Kendra Feinstein, Department Chair and Mathematics Professor at Tacoma Community College, teaches courses in statistics, college algebra, and developmental mathematics. She has a B.A. in mathematics from the University of Colorado and a M.S. in mathematics from Texas A&M University. As an avid SCUBA diver of more than 20 years, she is concerned about the impact that humans have on marine ecosystems and is interested in efforts to restore the health and integrity of our oceans.

Sandy Salivaras-Bodner

Sandy Salivaras

Sandy Salivaras-Bodner is a passionate public health professional with over 15 years of experience in analyzing and communicating public health surveillance data. She currently works for the Washington State Department of Health performing statistical analysis, program evaluation, GIS mapping, spatial analysis, and research related to the administration of the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program. She has a Master of Public Health from the University of Washington and a Master of Science in Spatial Analysis from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Apart from analyzing data, Sandy sees a big role in being the interpreter of data and recognizing that data visualization is critical to effectively communicate a message to any audience.

Robin Avni

Robin Avni

Robin Avni is a creative strategist engaged in the development of collaborative education projects as well as community cultural programs. She’s had an extensive career in the design and high-tech industries. Robin has served on several national and local boards and commissions including the 4Culture Board of King County, the Bellevue Arts Commission, and is currently a member of the Gig Harbor Arts Commission and the Washington State Arts Commission. She received a BA in journalism with a minor in Design from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She holds a Master of Communication in Digital Media from the University of Washington.

Thomas Chengxi Zou

Thomas Chengxi Zou

Thomas Chengxi Zou is a digital storyteller who advocates for underrepresented communities. He worked as a visual journalist and documentary producer in China. He is now a master’s student at the Communication Leadership program at the University of Washington, and works with local non-profits to address the homelessness issue.