As one of the 2017 Taylor Senior Fellows, Ross will visit Taylor on various occasions throughout the academic year to give lectures, participate in Taylor Center activities, and collaborate with Professors Vicki Mayer and Rebecca Mark to design a new socially engaged media course that amplifies student creativity and community voice. Together, they will explore how to weave together empathy building, community storytelling, digital production, and cultural preservation in a way that is mutually rewarding for everyone involved.

Jesikah is a documentary artist who is changing the ways communities collect, tell and share their stories. She’s an interdisciplinary thinker, leading the kind of hybrid projects needed to solve the problems of the 21st century. Jesikah leads participatory documentary projects around the globe, investigating to ensure that the most relevant stories are being told with integrity and reciprocity. Working from the ground up, she produces layered, collaborative, multi-platform projects that can sustain both individual and social change. Jesikah mobilizes people–stakeholders, groups, individuals and those on the sidelines–around a shared interest, creating spaces and processes that lead to personal and social transformation. She has developed her expertise from over 25 years of working with large institutions, community organizations and independent media makers around the world.

Jesikah has directed several multi-platform documentaries including the award winning Saving the Sierra, which includes a public radio special that has aired on over 200 NPR stations. She directed the community engagement campaign for the PBS documentary Maquilapolis (city of factories) which was co-created with female workers in Tijuana’s assembly factories. The campaign included community voice workshops and public dialogue events throughout the US and Mexico. She has spearheaded participatory media training initiatives in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, South Africa, and Ireland in collaboration with UNICEF, WarChild, Radio Netherlands, Free Press Unlimited, and the European Union funded Community Media Network.

Jesikah is currently the Senior Community Engagement Strategist at Capital Public Radio, Sacramento’s NPR affiliate, where she is inventing new models for community engaged journalism. Previously, she was the founding director of the UC Davis Art of Regional Change, a community documentary program that brought students, scholars, and area residents together to co-create digital stories. Jesikah also co-founded KDRT 90.7 LPFM, launched the Bioneers Reel Change Youth Media Program, co-created the National Association of Media Arts and Culture’s Leadership Institute, and consulted with community media organizations around the world.

Jesikah earned her Master of Science in Community Development at UC Davis and her Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Art at Goddard College.