Voicewaves Reporters Showcase Local Organizations at “Our Community” Photo Exhibit


This photo of youth participating in the LAMP program at LBCAP will be on display at “Our Community.” Photo by Adalhi Montes.

Photos of breakdancing classes at the Homeland Cultural Center, educated men of color playing soccer together and a graduation ceremony for Leadership Long Beach are just a few of the examples that will be on display in “Our Community,” a Voicewaves exhibit showcasing community-centered photo essays by youth journalists from ages 16 to 24, which will be held Monday Aug. 6 at the Peace Partners learning center.

Founded in 2011, Voicewaves is a youth-led media training program that educates it’s pupils in video, print, photography and radio through community engagement. For this photo project, twelve student reporters were assigned to highlight community organizations, such as LB Alliance for Children with Asthma and Filipino Migrant Center, through a series of photos and voice-overs.

Media Coordinator Michelle Zenarosa describes the exhibit as a celebration of Voicewave’s third cohort of students’ excellence over their month-and-a-half training program. The free public screening is the first graduation ceremony of its kind for Voicewaves; previous apprentice groups received private graduation ceremonies following a 10-week journalism boot camp.

“So many in this cohort are going to stay with us,” Zenarosa said.  “We decided to spotlight them.”

An award will also be granted to the youth journalist with the best photo essay.

“I’m super excited about seeing the others’ works,” said 23-year-old Alyson Bryant, who spotlighted Khmer Girls in Action’s (KGA) 9th annual Yellow Lounge Community Event, a community event led by South East Asian young women for the empowerment of  Khmer communities through social justice. Bryant described the event as a prime example of initiative amongst Long Beach’s first generation youth.

“Our Community” is also a networking opportunity for its cohorts, according to Zenarosa, as most Voicewaves publicity can be attributed to its youth journalist’s community involvement.

“I’m really excited for them to show family, friends and community members their stuff outside of the realm of Facebook or other social media,” Zenarosa said.

For Bryant, capturing the drive of KGA youth was as much a challenge as it was an inspiration. “It’s true what they say,” Bryant said. “You really can tell a thousand words in one picture.”

“Our Community” will take place  6:30 PM to 9 PM Aug. 26 at Peace Partners at 741 Atlantice Avenue. Food will be provided. To RSVP: (562) 606-0648 or [email protected] For more information, visit www.voicewaves.org.

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