New Orleans • Volume 3 • Issue 6

Letter from the Editor

Welcome to YMR’s final issue in 2009 – New Orleans Volume 3: Issue 6. With support from Open Society Institute, these practitioners and their colleagues met on October 21 to discuss the most pressing challenges of their work.
Following this meeting, contributors wrote and revised drafts that were reviewed by a local peer, a member of YMR’s national peer review board, and AED/YMR staff, as a means to engage a youth media rich and yet underrepresented region to the field.
In this issue, you will find that New Orleans is still in the state of re-building schools, communities and neighborhoods, with several new youth media and youth-led organizations taking the lead. New Orleans has started a local collaboration of youth organizers and youth media practitioners, which you can read about in Dana Kaplan and Minh Nguyen’s interview.
A warm thanks to all nine contributors for their dedication and hard work:
• Liz Dunnebacke (New Orleans Video Access Center)
• Brandon M. Early (Innocence Project New Orleans, Students at the Center)
• Dee Dee Green and Mallory Falk (Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools)
• Dana Kaplan (Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana)
• Jim Randels and Kalamu ya Salaam (Students at the Center)
• Minh Nguyen (Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans)
• Vicky Mayer (Tulane University)
A special thanks to Kelly Nuxoll, YMR’s writing coach for her stellar coaching and edits as well as to YMR’s Peer Review board for giving helpful feedback to each writer.
Many thanks to Minh Nguyen, YMR’s peer review board member, the founder and executive director of Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans, who was instrumental in organizing and leading the cohort.
I had the pleasure of seeing Minh in action at VAYLA-NO, where he is well loved by the community; and, I met several young people at the organization, starting with yoga and ending with deep conversations about voice, abuse, identity and sexuality.
Minh has helped foster a strong community of young people in New Orleans that welcomes all ethnic groups. He and his colleagues are dedicated to youth-led initiatives and contributing to youth-organizing collaboratives throughout the city. Like many of Minh’s youth media colleagues, youth media is a strategy that goes hand in hand with youth organizing and activism. In rebuilding New Orleans, these educators focus on young people for solutions, cleaning up much more than what Katrina took from their everyday lives.
We welcome you to join the conversation for each of these articles using YMR’s “comment” feature. You can also send feedback or comments directly to If you are interested in posting a pod or vodcast response, please contact YMR’s media crew or email
To reserve your copy of YMR’s annual print journal (Volume 3), you can subsrcibe and purchase via credit card or by check.
Ingrid Hu Dahl, Editor-in-Chief, YMR

Youth Media Reporter is managed by the Academy for Educational Development