The Community Narrative Fellowship, a project of The Untold Narratives, is a paid opportunity for new writers to connect to their elders and community members by elevating their histories, voices, and assets. This program provides interview and writing training, support and collaboration from writers and community leaders while nurturing the development of untold narratives. The program kicked off in June 2022 and will continue until December 2022. Check back for more updates!

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Meet Our 2022 Community Narrative Fellows! 
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ADESUMA OLUNHENSE

is a Nigerian-American writer from New York. The child of immigrants, she grew up surrounded by books, and tried to make her own stories when she didn't quite like the endings. She graduated from Northeastern University with a combined BS in Psychology and Linguistics, and currently works in the nonprofit sector. She believes in the power of telling your story, especially when you can't see yourself in the ones around you, and the immeasurable impact it has on others. In her free time, Adesuwa loves reading, cooking, falling into Wikipedia black holes, and taking day trips. If she were to have one super power, she would want to fly!

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JACQUELINE PEREZ VALENCIA

is the Program Coordinator for the Solis Policy Institute at the Women’s Foundation California. She is a first-generation college graduate committed to fighting for the dignity and respect of underserved communities. She received her B.S. in Sociology and minor in Business Management from the University of La Verne. She currently serves on multiple boards and is a mentor to a recent high school graduate through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. For fun, Jacqueline enjoys working on art projects, collecting unique jewelry, and dancing. If she were to have one super power, she would want to fly!

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SHAYAN KAVEH

is a multidisciplinary storyteller and environmental science student residing in Oakland, the unceded homeland of the Chochenyo Ohlone people. As a queer Iranian-American, Shayan grounds his interdisciplinary process in collaboration across experiences, communities, and place. He currently is a Master's Student in the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara, studying the politics and economics of the environment with a focus in strategic communications. Shayan aspires to support social justice movements through community-based research and policy advocacy. If he could have any super power, he would want to be capable of nuclear fission!

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is a researcher, museum and sci fi enthusiast, and budding writer with interests in the intersection of science, politics, and art. She has been involved in grassroots advocacy in San Jose and Los Angeles and now lives in Boston. She graduated with an AB in neuroscience and philosophy from Harvard and currently works as a lab manager for the GenderSci Lab. If she could have any superpower, she would want to have the ability to instantly learn and communicate in all languages!

KELSEY ICHIKAWA

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CLAIRE PLAGENS

is a survivor, social work professional, and advocate. She received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work from Michigan State University. While a graduate student, Claire concentrated her studies on gender-based violence in the context of activism, advocacy, and organizational and community leadership. Claire is currently a project coordinator with the National Council for Mental Wellbeing and has a background working in state and federal policy advocacy on issues related to Title IX and sexual abuse prevention and response. If she could have any superpower, she would want the power of flight!

DESHAUN RICE

previously studied music and film at Georgetown University. He currently focuses on youth employment initiatives with America’s Promise on the Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships team. He also works closely with the YES Project, where he has helped guide community investment and engagement efforts, and has written on various employment-related topics—most recently in a piece for Forbes.com focused on class dynamics in the workplace. He is the father of one 4-year-old son and the oldest of 8 kids. In his spare time, he enjoys listening to and making music. If he could have one superpower, he would want the power to grant wishes!

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AMINA ABUTHAHIR

is a recent college graduate from Cal State Long Beach where she got a bachelors in Political Science. Her Muslim and Tamil identities inform her persepective around her. Amina uses art and writing to amplify her voice in the world. She works on community building and creating solidarity with other marginalized folks. If she were to have one super power, she would want the ability to conjure up anything that she can think of!