Community Storytelling Lab

We envision a world where Newark residents see themselves represented in the news and play an active role in shaping the narratives about the city where they live. Newark’s future is deeply intertwined with the stories told for, with, and about its people. In order to promote informed and engaged communities, this project creates journalism that centers lived and historical experience as part of supporting community-driven solutions, growth and development.

News Voices seeks to elevate the untold and underreported stories of Newark, by listening to city residents, building deep relationships with them, and producing community-centered journalism. A collaborative initiative of WBGO and Free Press, News Voices is a year-long project led by a Newark resident working inside of the newsroom. Brit Harley, a resident of Newark’s South Ward, serves as a respected advocate and voice of the people, so their perspectives, experiences, and expertise are better reflected in news coverage of the city.

Downtown Newark, New Jersey. (Wikimedia Photo/King of Hearts)

  

WBGO/Newark Public Radio launched a fund for city residents, community groups, and organizations who are addressing COVID-19 and other issues impacting their community either as a direct result of the pandemic or are linked to and heightened by it. The WBGO Newsroom Mini-grants Program will award grants for projects that address COVID-19 and other issues impacting their community and a commitment to sharing relevant news and information in their neighborhood. 

Here are our 2020 mini-grant awardees:  

The Gem Project, Inc.

Brit Harley / Newark Public Radio/WBGO

Newark native, Khajuaan Walker, is the visionary behind Coal Crown Creative; a lifestyle brand committed to exploring what it means to be Black and a self-advocate through programming and self-expression. Be heard, be loved, and be accomplished are the three pillars that all CCC programs and initiatives are grounded in. Coal Crown Creative released “Classically Beautiful”, two filmed discussions that featured Black women and their relationship to internal and external beauty.

News Voices
WBGO

WBGO News is hosting a DIGITAL CONVERSATION ABOUT NEWARK on April 21 (Tuesday) at 3pm and you are invited to join in.  

The event is part of the News Voices-Free Press partnership that began a year ago in the WBGO News Deparment, made possible by a grant from the Dodge Foundation.  

Brit Harley / Newark Public Radio/WBGO

If the youth ran the city of Newark, what would they change? Students of Great Oaks Legacy Charter High School are answering this question. Sophia Domeville is educating the youth in Newark on how they can create the world the way they would like to see it and using art as the gateway to realize what is possible.

Newark is Mentor City

Jan 31, 2020
newarkmentoring.org

Last August, Thomas Owens became the Executive Director of Mentor Newark, formerly known as Newark Mentoring Movement. Owens was integral to the development of Eagle Academy School for Young Men in Newark, New Jersey. He was responsible all corporate and community partnerships. Some of these partnerships included New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Mentoring USA, Prudential, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, and St. Peter’s Youth Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Voting Block
Chrystofer "Dolo Foto” Davis

The Center For Cooperative Media at Montclair State University is in the midst of its latest Voting Block initative which is designed to amplify the voices of people who live in various cities.  This time Voting Block is focusing on Paterson, Newark and Camden.

Voting Block's Manya Brachear Pashman came into the WBGO studios to talk to WBGO News Director Doug Doyle about the project and WBGO's News Voices Fellow Brit Harley's role as a facilitator in the Newark part of the grant-funded initiative.

Brittany Harley / Newark Public Radio/WBGO

CEO & Founder of Urbanational, Clarissa Cummings hosted the first Bakeran Supper in Newark. Prompted by the Jeffersonian Dinner concept, a Bakeran Supper honors activist Ella Baker's approach to meaningful community building.   A curated, invite-only event hosted by Urbanational, a Bakeran Supper brings together 10 urban changemakers around a dinner table of great food and stimulating conversation. 

Kenneth Miles / 3rd Space

As a teenager, Cyntoia Brown-Long was convicted of first-degree murder and would have to serve 51 years in prison in order to be eligible for parole. On January 7, 2019, she was granted clemency. Brown-Long was released from prison about seven months later. In October of last year, she hosted a book signing at 3rd Space Co-Work in Newark.

Warner Bros Studios

Michael B. Jordan portrays Bryan Stevenson in the new film “Just Mercy”. A private screening was held at the Cityplex Theatre in Newark, New Jersey. Jordan was present along with Bryan Stevenson, Tim Blake Nelson, and Rob Morgan. He has made a tradition of hosting screenings in his hometown.

NJPAC
New Jersey Institute of Social Justice

The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice recently presented a panel discussion at NJPAC on the role of slavery in America – and in New Jersey.

Investigative reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones covers civil rights and racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine.

Gladys Barker Grauer
Colleen Gutwein

Gladys Barker Grauer passed away on September 5, 2019, but she is still being remembered through film festivals, documentaries and artist workshops. 

Gladys Barker Grauer’s life ranges from her birth in Chicago, attending the Chicago Art Institute to the Newark socialist left, from opening Newark’s first art gallery, Aard Studio, in 1971. 

WBGO's Brit Harley had the chance to sit down with Glady's daughter and also found never heard audio of Gladys in her own words.

Project Ready
Brit Harley for WBGO News

This past Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day.  WBGO’s Brit Harley caught up with a local organization in Newark that’s trying to help the community while getting out important voter information.

Cases of bottled water are being loaded onto the carts of Newark residents in Lincoln Park…near Clinton Avenue…it’s the latest effort by Project Ready to get more people in the city registered to vote.  Shennell McCloud is the executive director of Project Ready.

#GirlsMatterWalk Coming to Newark

Sep 14, 2019

Girls; Live, Love, Laugh, Inc. has been transforming the lives of young women in the City of Newark for the past 10 years. GirlsLLL works with young women ages 6-16. The #GirlsMatterWalk is a celebration and opportunity to show young women how much they are loved and supported by their community. The walk begins 9:00 a.m., Sunday, September 15, 2019, at Lincoln Park, Newark, New Jersey, 07102.

To hear the interview, click the link above.