StoryCorps Podcast Series

Every day, we encounter community leaders and organizers whose stories deserve to be shared and celebrated. The New York Foundation partnered with StoryCorps to craft an eight-part short-interview series featuring our trustees, grantees, and former grantees in conversations that get to the heart of what matters in their work.

New York Foundation board members and friends Fatima Shama and Kyung Yoon share how their personal experiences inform their work to support immigrants. Fatima is executive director of The Fresh Air Fund, and Kyung is executive director of the Korean American Community Foundation. We hear first from Fatima.

Yadira Sanchez and Ligia Guallpa talk about starting the Worker’s Justice Project which organizes day laborers in New York City. We hear first from Ligia.

Colleagues Ericka Stallings and Alexa Kasdan talk about their advocacy work for social change and how they and their organizations were affected by the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election. Alexa is the director of research and policy for the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center, and Ericka is the director of organizing and advocacy for the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development.

Kesi Foster, who at the time of recording was a community organizer for the Urban Youth Collaborative (now a Youth Police Accountability Organizer for Make the Road New York), tells 19-year-old Onyx Walker, an organizer with Future of Tomorrow (FOT), about the influences that led him to his work and organizing.

Friends and colleagues Annetta Seecharran and Murad Awawdeh, talk about how they got into advocacy work and how their work has changed with the election of Donald Trump. Annetta is the executive director of the Chhaya Community Development Corporation, and Murad is the director of political engagement at the New York Immigration Coalition.

Grace Shim, former executive director of the Minkwon Center for Community Action, a Korean American advocacy organization, and Cathy Dang,executive director of CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, talk about growing up as children of Asian immigrants, and how their experiences led them to work on community organizing and immigrant rights in New York City. We hear first from Cathy.

New York Foundation board member Stephen Heyman tells his friend and fellow board member Mike Pratt about the foundation and its legacy. Mike is the president of The Scherman Foundation. Steve has served on the New York Foundation board since 1979, and is the great-grandnephew of the Heinsheimer brothers who’s original donation endowed the foundation.

New York Foundation board member Gabriel Sayegh asks Mujahid Farid about the organization he leads and co-founded, Release Aging People in Prison; his experience being incarcerated for 33 years; and his hope for change in the American criminal justice system. Formerly with the Drug Policy Alliance, Gabriel is the co-founder and co-director of the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice.