Our mission is to tell stories that educate the public, provoke debate and inspire social reform.
LEIGHTON AKIO WOODHOUSE
FOUNDING PARTNER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Leighton Woodhouse is a journalist and twice Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker. His print stories have appeared in The Intercept, Gawker, The New Republic, VICE News, The Nation and other outlets. He has directed, produced and edited short documentaries for The Intercept, The Nation, KQED, PBS Frontline, The Washington Post, Jorge Ramos’ Real America, and Participant Media. He directed the feature length documentary Trumpland for Fusion Media, which was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Politics and Government Documentary, and which won the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sunshine State Award for Government and Politics Reporting in Television. He also directed the feature length documentary Kill All Normies, also for Fusion Media. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the San Fernando Valley Refugee Children Center, and is a member of the Center for Asian American Media. He has a Master’s Degree in Sociology from UC Berkeley.
Armando Aparicio is a Los Angeles-based Salvadoran-American filmmaker and artist. After almost a decade living and working in Central America on commercials, music videos, and narrative films, he returned to Los Angeles were he now works as a director, cinematographer, and editor on progressive, short and feature-length documentaries. His most recent work can be seen on such platforms as The Intercept, The Nation, Fusion, and KQED. Armando has a degree in character animation from CalArts and feels strongly that his background in the visual arts shapes the way he tells stories.
David Zlutnick is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and video producer based in San Francisco. His short and feature documentaries typically highlight voices from underrepresented or marginalized communities and have received praise for their coverage of important and dynamic, yet often-overlooked stories. David’s films have covered a wide-range of themes and a diverse geographic landscape from post-Katrina New Orleans to the refugee camps of the Palestinian West Bank, from Apache territory in Arizona to rural villages in Malawi. His work is regularly featured in a variety of media outlets that have included The Guardian, Al Jazeera, NBC News, MSNBC, The New York Times, National Geographic, CNN, Time, The Nation, The Intercept, among many others.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Lee Fang is a journalist with The Intercept. He has a long-standing interest in how public policy is influenced by organized interest groups and money. He was the first to uncover and detail the role of the billionaire Koch brothers in financing the Tea Party movement. His interviews and research on the Koch brothers have been featured on HBO’s “The Newsroom,” the documentaries “Merchants of Doubt” and “Citizen Koch,” as well as in multiple media outlets. He was an investigative blogger for ThinkProgress (2009-2011) and then a fellow at the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute and contributing writer for The Nation.
Meeth Soni is the Co-Legal Director at the Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef), an immigrant rights organization dedicated to ensuring due process for all. Meeth has been practicing immigration for over ten years and has dedicated her career to representing survivors of torture and persecution and advocating against inhumane and oppressive immigration enforcement practices. Meeth is also a zealous dog-mother and lives with her brood in Los Angeles.
Maryann Tekverk manages institutional fundraising at Rainforest Action Network, and has 8 years of experience fundraising for a variety of environmental and social causes. Previously, she directed a successful campaign to ban single use plastic grocery bags in San Diego, California. Maryann has an MS in Earth Sciences from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Nando Vila is a host and producer focusing on politics, culture, and sports. He was Vice President of Programming at Fusion TV from 2013-2018. During the 2016 election cycle, he executive produced the Emmy-nominated documentary The Naked Truth: Trumpland, which profiled the people who fueled the Trump candidacy. Recently he executive produced, created, and hosted the political sketch comedy show Happy Ending for Fusion and hosted the popular Gimlet Media podcast We Came to Win.
Kelly Whalen has more than 20 years of experience directing and producing long-form documentary for national PBS and primetime television. She directed and produced the national Emmy-nominated documentary “Tulia, Texas” (Independent Lens); produced the PBS series Livelyhood, the Not In Our Town special “Light in the Darkness,” “The Fire Next Time (POV), “Murder in St. Petersburg” (FRONTLINE World,) “Policing the Force” (WNET’s Expose: America’s Investigative Reports,) and “Everything Comes from the Streets” (KPBS/Truly CA.) Today, as senior producer of KQED Arts, she creates and curates short form documentaries about artists and culture makers often on the frontline of social justice and change.
Editorial Independence Policy
We subscribe to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News:
Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.
We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.
Our organization may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.
Our organization will make public all donors who give a total of $5,000 or more per year. We will accept anonymous donations for general support only if it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization and in compliance with INN’s Membership Standards.
We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization.
Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions.
We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals, organizations and foundations to help with our general operations, coverage of specific topics, and special projects. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. We do not give supporters the rights to assign, review or edit content.
We will make public all donors who give $5000 or more per year. As a nonprofit, we will avoid accepting donations from anonymous sources, and we will not accept donations from government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates actively seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who, deemed by our board of directors, present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.