NativeRemix

I woke up this morning to a series of e-mails sent to the NYTech Meetup group regarding a very aggressive e-mail (below).  [I have changed the names of those involved for privacy reasons.]  Apparently, “Michael,” the app developer who sent out the original inflammatory e-mail hit send and inadvertently forwarded the message to 22,290 members of the group (mostly comprised of tech startup entrepreneurs) instead of to only the select individuals for whom the message was intended.  Needless to say, this was a huge professional blunder.  Shortly afterward several people replied to the group message questioning Michael’s professionalism and personal character.  He responded with expletives and equally insulting sarcastic responses and more responses followed (of which I will spare you).
After reading through the entire thread, the take away was that Michael definitely didn’t consider that despite his mistake, by continuing to bash everyone who responded to the e-mail they received, he was only adding insult to injury.  It’s one thing to make an error and own up to it and quite another to go on the attack.  Perhaps he could have learned something from reading the Top Twelve E-Mail Mistakes That Can Sabotage Your Career, (especially #9)!  And while this situation is not the first or the last to ever happen on a professional level, let it be a lesson to us all (especially those of us working in the small, tight knit entrepreneurial community) so we don’t make the same mistake.  But if you do, may I suggest you own up to it early on and nip the situation in the bud without dragging it out.  Doing so will only make you look even worse in the end.  The last thing you want, in a professional community this small, is to turn others off to working with you!

1-Why the hell isn’t this game done YET?
2-where the hell is the budget and what is the final deliverable dates?
3-Who is PAYING for making this fucking game?
4-Who is MAKING MONEY off THIS FUCKING GAME?
5-WHY THE FUCK AM I NOT PROGRAMMING THIS WITH JOHN ON SKYPE IN REAL TIME WITH MY DEVELOPMENT TEAM? IF NOT IN FUCKING HUNGARY IN SEVEN DAYS FROM TOMORROW. .
WE HAVE INVESTED OVER $10K AND 7 MONTHS OF MY GOD DAMNED TIME AND ATTENTION IN THIS GOD DAMNED GAME.  NICK* HAS INDIRECTLY STOLEN OVER $3000 IN SOME STUPID FLY BY NIGHT SCHEME WITH HER CUNT OF A ROOMMATE WHO RAN AWAY TO STUPID WHORE ISLAND.
MARY* WILL NOT STOP SMOKING POT ALL DAY LONG AND NEEDS TO SEE A THERAPIST.
I AM GOING TO THE HOSPITAL TODAY FOR FOOT SURGERY.
I WANT EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THIS PROJECT ON SKYPE IN SEVEN HOURS OR I AM FILING A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE CLIENTS, THE PROJECT MANAGER AND WHOEVER IS STAGGERING THE FUNDING AND IS SO FUCKING IGNORANT THEY CAN’T HELP US FINISH THIS FUCKING CARD GAME WITH ALL THEIR CONNECTIONS AND ALL THEIR PROGRAMMERS AND WHOEVER THE FUCK YOU KEEP NAMEDROPPING FROM WHATEVER FUCKING BULLSHIT YOU DID IN ISRAEL.
I NEED $6K TO FINISH THIS GAME THIS FUCKING WEEK.
YOU CAN MAIL ME THE FUCKING CHECK TO THE UNITED NATIONS FEDERAL CREDIT UNION. MICHAEL FUCKING LEE FUCKING JONES*
IF ANY OF YOU IDIOTS DOES NOT MANAGE TO RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL WITHIN 24 FUCKING HOURS I WILL COME TO PUNCH YOU IN THE FUCKING FACE WITH A GOD DAMNED ROLL OF QUARTERS IN MY LEATHER GLOVED FIST RIGHT AFTER I WALK UP BEHIND YOU AND MACE YOU UNTIL YOUR EYES TURN FUCKING INSIDE OUT.
THIS IS RIGHT FUCKING BEFORE .. BEFORE…  BEFORE I SUE YOU IN YOUR COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE. AND I WILL FILE FORMAL CHARGES WITH YOUR EMBASSY OF CHOICE AND HAVE YOUR ASS DEPORTED OR BANNED FOR BEING SCHEMING FUCKING ISRAELIES.
GEORGE DO NOT PROGRAM ONE MORE FUCKING LINE OF CODE.  
*All names were changed for privacy.

I woke up this morning to a series of e-mails sent to the NYTech Meetup group regarding a very aggressive e-mail (below).  [I have changed the names of those involved for privacy reasons.]  Apparently, “Michael,” the app developer who sent out the original inflammatory e-mail hit send and inadvertently forwarded the message to 22,290 members of the group (mostly comprised of tech startup entrepreneurs) instead of to only the select individuals for whom the message was intended.  Needless to say, this was a huge professional blunder.  Shortly afterward several people replied to the group message questioning Michael’s professionalism and personal character.  He responded with expletives and equally insulting sarcastic responses and more responses followed (of which I will spare you).

After reading through the entire thread, the take away was that Michael definitely didn’t consider that despite his mistake, by continuing to bash everyone who responded to the e-mail they received, he was only adding insult to injury.  It’s one thing to make an error and own up to it and quite another to go on the attack.  Perhaps he could have learned something from reading the Top Twelve E-Mail Mistakes That Can Sabotage Your Career, (especially #9)!  And while this situation is not the first or the last to ever happen on a professional level, let it be a lesson to us all (especially those of us working in the small, tight knit entrepreneurial community) so we don’t make the same mistake.  But if you do, may I suggest you own up to it early on and nip the situation in the bud without dragging it out.  Doing so will only make you look even worse in the end.  The last thing you want, in a professional community this small, is to turn others off to working with you!

1-Why the hell isn’t this game done YET?

2-where the hell is the budget and what is the final deliverable dates?

3-Who is PAYING for making this fucking game?

4-Who is MAKING MONEY off THIS FUCKING GAME?

5-WHY THE FUCK AM I NOT PROGRAMMING THIS WITH JOHN ON SKYPE IN REAL TIME WITH MY DEVELOPMENT TEAM? IF NOT IN FUCKING HUNGARY IN SEVEN DAYS FROM TOMORROW. .

WE HAVE INVESTED OVER $10K AND 7 MONTHS OF MY GOD DAMNED TIME AND ATTENTION IN THIS GOD DAMNED GAME.  NICK* HAS INDIRECTLY STOLEN OVER $3000 IN SOME STUPID FLY BY NIGHT SCHEME WITH HER CUNT OF A ROOMMATE WHO RAN AWAY TO STUPID WHORE ISLAND.

MARY* WILL NOT STOP SMOKING POT ALL DAY LONG AND NEEDS TO SEE A THERAPIST.

I AM GOING TO THE HOSPITAL TODAY FOR FOOT SURGERY.

I WANT EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THIS PROJECT ON SKYPE IN SEVEN HOURS OR I AM FILING A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE CLIENTS, THE PROJECT MANAGER AND WHOEVER IS STAGGERING THE FUNDING AND IS SO FUCKING IGNORANT THEY CAN’T HELP US FINISH THIS FUCKING CARD GAME WITH ALL THEIR CONNECTIONS AND ALL THEIR PROGRAMMERS AND WHOEVER THE FUCK YOU KEEP NAMEDROPPING FROM WHATEVER FUCKING BULLSHIT YOU DID IN ISRAEL.

I NEED $6K TO FINISH THIS GAME THIS FUCKING WEEK.

YOU CAN MAIL ME THE FUCKING CHECK TO THE UNITED NATIONS FEDERAL CREDIT UNION. MICHAEL FUCKING LEE FUCKING JONES*

IF ANY OF YOU IDIOTS DOES NOT MANAGE TO RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL WITHIN 24 FUCKING HOURS I WILL COME TO PUNCH YOU IN THE FUCKING FACE WITH A GOD DAMNED ROLL OF QUARTERS IN MY LEATHER GLOVED FIST RIGHT AFTER I WALK UP BEHIND YOU AND MACE YOU UNTIL YOUR EYES TURN FUCKING INSIDE OUT.

THIS IS RIGHT FUCKING BEFORE .. BEFORE…  BEFORE I SUE YOU IN YOUR COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE. AND I WILL FILE FORMAL CHARGES WITH YOUR EMBASSY OF CHOICE AND HAVE YOUR ASS DEPORTED OR BANNED FOR BEING SCHEMING FUCKING ISRAELIES.

GEORGE DO NOT PROGRAM ONE MORE FUCKING LINE OF CODE. 

*All names were changed for privacy.


I am so frustrated with technology right now.  All week I have experienced one Apple product failure after another.  First it was my iPhone, then my MacbookPro, and now both my iPad and iPod are having issues.  I’ve had it up to here with electronics…I just need a short break from it all! 
It occurred to me yesterday that there was a time, not so long ago, when we all lived just fine without the Internet and cell phones.  I wish we could go back to the late 80s for just a week or so.  Things were just as awesome before Twitter and Facebook and e-mail and text messages and talking on the phone while on the go!  Heck, maybe things were even better back then.  Technology may help us in some ways, but it also makes things SO MUCH MORE COMPLICATED!!!  And sometimes the complications involved end up wasting more time than had we just kept doing things the way we had always done them. 
This whole thing reminds me of something Jeff Jarvis said in class one day.  While I don’t remember what he said word for word, the gist of what he said was that we should always be looking for the next innovation opportunity.  By doing so we will continue to progress…and, of course, possibly discover a source of revenue.
Unfortunately, he made this point at the tail end of the class because I really wanted to question it.  It’s not that I don’t agree with the fact that innovation can make you rich, because I do.  What I find bothersome is the colonialist perspective most business minds have: “Let’s take something “good enough” and make it better (despite the possible drawbacks/side effects) and make a lot of money.”  Just because something is new, doesn’t mean it’s better.  Before Twitter and Facebook, people were just as happy (or just as miserable) as they are now.  People in our country (and around the world) consume too much and are wasteful.  We always want the newest, hottest thing and are quick to forget whatever we have replaced. 
After class I brought this point up to Jennifer McFadden, a Tow Knight adjunct professor, who said perhaps it was my cultural background that makes/helps me see things this way.  To that I agreed.  But when I thought about it later I realized it’s probably actually Jarvis’ culture that makes HIM see things this way.  (Why do we always turn these things back on the ethnic minority, pointing out how they are so “different” from the “norm?”)
I became a journalist in part because I am inquisitive and have been that way since before I can remember.  (My Mom can attest to this.)  I always followed up an answer to my question with “Why?” and after I got an answer, asked “But why?”  The “why’s” never ended for me.  I’m known in my circle of friends as the girl with all the answers, who can find ANYTHING on the Internet.  And, I’m known as the ex-girlfriend to whom you should never lie because I will ALWAYS find the truth.  But, sometimes I wish life could be like it used to be.  Sometimes not knowing EVERYTHING right as it happens is okay, too.  I know this may sound likeheresy and that I may sound like I’m arguing against the information age.  But, I’m not.  I just think we should consider enjoying what we have a little longer before we jump to the “next big thing.”  There is beauty in “vintage” and pleasure in living a slightly slower paced life.

I am so frustrated with technology right now.  All week I have experienced one Apple product failure after another.  First it was my iPhone, then my MacbookPro, and now both my iPad and iPod are having issues.  I’ve had it up to here with electronics…I just need a short break from it all! 

It occurred to me yesterday that there was a time, not so long ago, when we all lived just fine without the Internet and cell phones.  I wish we could go back to the late 80s for just a week or so.  Things were just as awesome before Twitter and Facebook and e-mail and text messages and talking on the phone while on the go!  Heck, maybe things were even better back then.  Technology may help us in some ways, but it also makes things SO MUCH MORE COMPLICATED!!!  And sometimes the complications involved end up wasting more time than had we just kept doing things the way we had always done them. 

This whole thing reminds me of something Jeff Jarvis said in class one day.  While I don’t remember what he said word for word, the gist of what he said was that we should always be looking for the next innovation opportunity.  By doing so we will continue to progress…and, of course, possibly discover a source of revenue.

Unfortunately, he made this point at the tail end of the class because I really wanted to question it.  It’s not that I don’t agree with the fact that innovation can make you rich, because I do.  What I find bothersome is the colonialist perspective most business minds have: “Let’s take something “good enough” and make it better (despite the possible drawbacks/side effects) and make a lot of money.”  Just because something is new, doesn’t mean it’s better.  Before Twitter and Facebook, people were just as happy (or just as miserable) as they are now.  People in our country (and around the world) consume too much and are wasteful.  We always want the newest, hottest thing and are quick to forget whatever we have replaced. 

After class I brought this point up to Jennifer McFadden, a Tow Knight adjunct professor, who said perhaps it was my cultural background that makes/helps me see things this way.  To that I agreed.  But when I thought about it later I realized it’s probably actually Jarvis’ culture that makes HIM see things this way.  (Why do we always turn these things back on the ethnic minority, pointing out how they are so “different” from the “norm?”)

I became a journalist in part because I am inquisitive and have been that way since before I can remember.  (My Mom can attest to this.)  I always followed up an answer to my question with “Why?” and after I got an answer, asked “But why?”  The “why’s” never ended for me.  I’m known in my circle of friends as the girl with all the answers, who can find ANYTHING on the Internet.  And, I’m known as the ex-girlfriend to whom you should never lie because I will ALWAYS find the truth.  But, sometimes I wish life could be like it used to be.  Sometimes not knowing EVERYTHING right as it happens is okay, too.  I know this may sound likeheresy and that I may sound like I’m arguing against the information age.  But, I’m not.  I just think we should consider enjoying what we have a little longer before we jump to the “next big thing.”  There is beauty in “vintage” and pleasure in living a slightly slower paced life.


Being a Woman of Color and an Entrepreneur Ain’t Easy!

I attended last week’s New York Tech Meetup and had a really great time!  I had been told it was a successful meetup group and that the theater it was being held in would be full, but I had no idea it would be as packed as it was!

I felt the presentations of the various startups were fascinating and inspiring, the after party/social hour was great for networking, and the mix of business ideas made things really interesting.  However, I will say that I couldn’t help but notice that men, white men (to be more accurate) were represented in much greater numbers than any other group.  While I know I shouldn’t find this surprising, I was a bit disheartened by some things that went on…things that I’m sure many of these budding entrepreneurs weren’t even cognizant of (as is the case when we aren’t aware of our own internalized biases - ie: racism/sexism/prejudice/etc.) - like this guy.

Case in point:

During a break between presentations, the MC instructed everyone in the room to turn to someone they didn’t know and introduce themselves and explain what they’re working on.  I happened to be surrounded by white men who all turned in opposite directions from me and didn’t even return my hello or offer a half smile, let alone introduce them self and describe their startup!  “O…kay,” I thought to myself, “that’s odd…”  So, I decided to check some e-mails on my iPhone and wait until the next presenter came on stage.

While I’m sure (or at least hope!) that this was some kind of fluke…heck, maybe I looked like I was in a bad mood?…I was still left with a mixture of feelings. 

1. What’s a woman of color like me doing in entrepreneurship?  (Will people really take me seriously?)

2. This is exactly why there needs to be support for minority entrepreneurs (damnit)!

3. The EJ program has done an awesome job of bringing together a very diverse and talented group of innovative entrepreneurs…so we NEED to talk diversity + tech…NOW!

4. How can I leverage my “difference” and use it to stand out?

5. If entrepreneurial journalism startups are all run by white men, who’s going to tell our stories?!  Minorities will definitely be left in the dark (as usual)!

It took me a while to process that evening, as it was a mix of both good and heavy (not so good) thoughts/feelings.  Whether or not the men near me realized they basically ignored me, feeling rejected in the EJ community stirred up something I didn’t realize was there.  Hopefully we can begin talking about how our identities and varied background come into play in entrepreneurship…especially here in the US. :)


The Indigenous Name Game

American Indian, Native American, Indigenous, Native, Aboriginal, First Nations.  These are all terms I use when discussing my entrepreneurial project.  I’m sure you are all very confused.  Perhaps you learned it wasn’t “PC” to say “Indian” and you were taught that “Native American” is more polite?  I hear ya.  I can see how you’d be confused…especially given that I may be the very first Native person you’ve ever met. :)  That’s okay.  Here’s some info in case you’d like to know what terms to use.  But, please note, this is based solely on the way that I speak and how I see things (along with many Native people I know).  This may not be how every Native person refers to them self. 

Native American: A somewhat long/outdated way of describing an Indigenous person from the United States

American Indian: A slightly politically charged label due to the “reclaimed” word: Indian (Think: American Indian Movement aka: AIM of the 1970’s)

Indigenous: A unifying term that includes ALL Native people around the world

Indian: A Native person (usually in the U.S., but could be anywhere). I have a love/hate relationship with this word.  I think the way it sounds all depends on how you say it.  While I don’t take issue with it being confused with people from India (the country), I think what is unsettling is that people use it as a catchall term to describe any Indigenous person, thinking that we’re all from the same (feather and buckskin-wearing) community.  That kind of bugs me. 

Native: Similar to Indigenous, but it’s shorter and sweeter and sounds a lot cooler!  (Though a colleague I worked with at the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network felt “Native” was offensive…but, I should also mention that he was white and everyone else I asked (who was Native) actually like the word.)

Red skin: A “reclaimed” word to some.  It is still offensive to many (esp. to older generations), but younger people use the term with pride.  However, it really shouldn’t be the name of a football team! 

Aboriginal: The three Indigenous group of Canada: First Nations, Inuit, Metis (pronounced May-Tee); Indigenous people of Australia (and probably a bunch of other countries that were once ruled by the British

First Nations: Canada’s version of Native Americans

Metis: Canadians who have mixed (First Nations and French) ancestry

Inuit: Indigenous people from the Arctic regions of Canada (also known as Eskimo…which is a derogatory word, so don’t use it!…unless you’re talking about Eskimos in Alaska or Greenland…or Russia…It’s confusing, so for more info, go here.)

Aborigines: Aboriginal Australians (that one was easy!)

…I’m sure there are many others including terms from other Indigenous peoples in other parts of the world.  I just don’t really use anything else to describe Native people than the terms above.

I hope that helps! :)


It just occurred to me that some may not know what I mean when I use the term “Indian Country.”  So, here’s a short definition:

Any area inhabited by Indigenous people.  (In the United States, Canada, and beyond.)  Historically, the phrase Indian Country referred to areas, regions, or territories (like reservations and trust lands) that were inhabited primarily by Native Americans. 

I find myself (and others) using the phrase in a way that unites all Indigenous people, not just Native Americans in the U.S.  In other words, “Indian Country” is not really a fixed, physical location, but exists wherever Natives are present.

It just occurred to me that some may not know what I mean when I use the term “Indian Country.”  So, here’s a short definition:

Any area inhabited by Indigenous people.  (In the United States, Canada, and beyond.)  Historically, the phrase Indian Country referred to areas, regions, or territories (like reservations and trust lands) that were inhabited primarily by Native Americans. 

I find myself (and others) using the phrase in a way that unites all Indigenous people, not just Native Americans in the U.S.  In other words, “Indian Country” is not really a fixed, physical location, but exists wherever Natives are present.


List of Indigenous Media Outlets

This is a growing list, but here are just a few of the major ones that I’ve compiled thus far:

Indian Country Today Media Network

Rez Net News

First Nations Experience (FNX)

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network - National News (Canada)

Native Times

The Circle News

Indianz.com

Indian Country News

Native News Network

NDN News

Koahnic Broadcast Corporation

Indian Voices

Native Times

Indian Country News

Buffalo’s Fire

…(more TK!)


Startup Marketing Plan: Trend or Coincidence?
I read an interesting article this week on TechCrunch about a troubling trend in (unintentional?) marketing plans of digital startups.  According to TC writer, Alexia Tsotsis, some of the hottest, new startups use “scandal” (and then public apologies via Twitter) to broadcast their new internet presence and commitment to their customers/users.  Case in point: airbnb's public apology after one users home was trashed.  The site issued several apologies and then improved upon and reiterated their commitment to listening to and addressing the needs of their community.
Shortly after this incident, airbnb made the following policy changes:
Hosts who book reservations through Airbnb will be covered for loss or damage due to vandalism or theft caused by an Airbnb guest up to $50,000 with the Airbnb Guarantee. This program will also apply retroactively to any hosts who may have reported such property damage prior to Aug. 1, 2011.
Airbnb has doubled its customer support team from 42 to 88 people and will be bringing on a 10-year veteran from eBay as its director of customer support next week.
Beginning next week, Airbnb will have 24-hour operators and customer support staff ready to provide around-the-clock phone and email support.
Airbnb now has an in-house task force devoted to the manual review of suspicious activity. This team will also build new security features based on community feedback.
If hosts cannot get in contact with anyone, they are urged to contact the CEO directly at brian.chesky@airbnb.com.
Perhaps this is the modern, digital version of “There’s no such thing as bad publicity?”
After noticing this trend with other startups, Sean Percival, guru of all things tech and prior colleague of mine at MySpace, created this amusing(/troubling?) form letter that startups can use to address issues that arise.
Form created by @Percival for TechCrunch.com
What are your thoughts?  Do you know of any startups that have issued mass apologies similar to the one above?
I look forward to your comments. :)
-Amy Stretten

Startup Marketing Plan: Trend or Coincidence?

I read an interesting article this week on TechCrunch about a troubling trend in (unintentional?) marketing plans of digital startups.  According to TC writer, Alexia Tsotsis, some of the hottest, new startups use “scandal” (and then public apologies via Twitter) to broadcast their new internet presence and commitment to their customers/users.  Case in point: airbnb's public apology after one users home was trashed.  The site issued several apologies and then improved upon and reiterated their commitment to listening to and addressing the needs of their community.

Shortly after this incident, airbnb made the following policy changes:

  • Hosts who book reservations through Airbnb will be covered for loss or damage due to vandalism or theft caused by an Airbnb guest up to $50,000 with the Airbnb Guarantee. This program will also apply retroactively to any hosts who may have reported such property damage prior to Aug. 1, 2011.
  • Airbnb has doubled its customer support team from 42 to 88 people and will be bringing on a 10-year veteran from eBay as its director of customer support next week.
  • Beginning next week, Airbnb will have 24-hour operators and customer support staff ready to provide around-the-clock phone and email support.
  • Airbnb now has an in-house task force devoted to the manual review of suspicious activity. This team will also build new security features based on community feedback.
  • If hosts cannot get in contact with anyone, they are urged to contact the CEO directly at brian.chesky@airbnb.com.

Perhaps this is the modern, digital version of “There’s no such thing as bad publicity?

After noticing this trend with other startups, Sean Percival, guru of all things tech and prior colleague of mine at MySpace, created this amusing(/troubling?) form letter that startups can use to address issues that arise.


Form created by @Percival for TechCrunch.com

What are your thoughts?  Do you know of any startups that have issued mass apologies similar to the one above?

I look forward to your comments. :)

-Amy Stretten


Tell Me a Story: The Introduction
Why helloooooo there!  How nice of you to join me here at my Tow Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism blog.
Allow me to introduce myself:
I am a Southern California native and member of the Chickahominy Tribe of Virginia.  I received my bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Spanish from Mount Holyoke College. Before enrolling in the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, I created NativeJournalist.com, where I share stories on Indian Country. Last summer, I interned for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network National News in Winnipeg, Canada, working as an on-air reporter, covering news related to the Aboriginal community. [You can watch some of the stories that aired on the nightly, national broadcast here.]  This semester, I’m looking forward to launching a multimedia news site that features arts, culture, and news that matters for Indigenous youth of the United States and Canada with what I learn from the EJ program.
Last December, I was one of several CUNY J-School Entrepreneurial Journalism students who pitched their business idea to a jury and won a seed grant.  My project (currently called Achimó), earned $5,000.  [Achimó means “tell me a story” in Cree.]  I am so excited to make this dream of mine a reality!
Here’s a snippet of how the “Pitch Day” went:
http://vimeo.com/36771568
While working for APTN in Winnipeg, Canada, I met countless Aboriginal artists and creative minds who lacked a platform to share their talents.  And, I became very aware of the dire situation Indigenous youth face in Canada that reminded me of the struggles many Native youth in the US also grapple with.  Aside from numerous health concerns like diabetes and heart disease, Indigenous youth (in North America and beyond) face the highest rates of depression and suicide.  I decided to create a platform for sharing Indigenous-made artistic, inspiring, culturally relevant content with a young population in need.  I hope my site will allow Indigenous youth to express themselves creatively and allow them to share their stories, while experiencing content created by members of the Indigenous community living in other areas.  And eventually, I would love it if educators began incorporating the site in their curriculum!
To follow my journey this semester, sign up to receive updates!
Kind regards,
Amy Stretten View Larger

Tell Me a Story: The Introduction

Why helloooooo there!  How nice of you to join me here at my Tow Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism blog.

Allow me to introduce myself:

I am a Southern California native and member of the Chickahominy Tribe of Virginia.  I received my bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Spanish from Mount Holyoke College. Before enrolling in the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, I created NativeJournalist.com, where I share stories on Indian Country. Last summer, I interned for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network National News in Winnipeg, Canada, working as an on-air reporter, covering news related to the Aboriginal community. [You can watch some of the stories that aired on the nightly, national broadcast here.]  This semester, I’m looking forward to launching a multimedia news site that features arts, culture, and news that matters for Indigenous youth of the United States and Canada with what I learn from the EJ program.

Last December, I was one of several CUNY J-School Entrepreneurial Journalism students who pitched their business idea to a jury and won a seed grant.  My project (currently called Achimó), earned $5,000.  [Achimó means “tell me a story” in Cree.]  I am so excited to make this dream of mine a reality!

Here’s a snippet of how the “Pitch Day” went:

http://vimeo.com/36771568

While working for APTN in Winnipeg, Canada, I met countless Aboriginal artists and creative minds who lacked a platform to share their talents.  And, I became very aware of the dire situation Indigenous youth face in Canada that reminded me of the struggles many Native youth in the US also grapple with.  Aside from numerous health concerns like diabetes and heart disease, Indigenous youth (in North America and beyond) face the highest rates of depression and suicide.  I decided to create a platform for sharing Indigenous-made artistic, inspiring, culturally relevant content with a young population in need.  I hope my site will allow Indigenous youth to express themselves creatively and allow them to share their stories, while experiencing content created by members of the Indigenous community living in other areas.  And eventually, I would love it if educators began incorporating the site in their curriculum!

To follow my journey this semester, sign up to receive updates!

Kind regards,

Amy Stretten