Harvardwood News Feed


Harvardwood Highlights

Alumni Profiles

  • Upcoming events

    Harvardwood Heads To... Points of Entry: Press Freedom at the U.S. Border

    Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at 07:00 PM

    The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Los Angeles Times, in collaboration with Committee to Protect Journalists, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press are sponsoring LA Press Freedom Week, a multi-day celebration of press freedom and the First Amendment that will engage the public and the journalistic community in and around Los Angeles.


    This panel discussion organized by PEN America and the Committee to Protect Journalists brings together journalists, legal experts, and press freedom advocates to discuss the privacy and human rights implications facing journalists who seek to cover news regarding immigration and the US-Mexico border. From large-scale surveillance and targeting of journalists to the denial of press access to detention centers around the country, the U.S. government’s attempts to quash press coverage of these stories and intimidate those reporting on them has larger implications for the public as a whole. This discussion will be a timely opportunity for media freedom advocates, First Amendment lawyers, national security and immigration experts to consider the chilling effect the government's actions pose to journalists trying to cover news around the border.


    Nora Benavidez

    Adela Navarro Bello | Ariana Drehsler | Tom Jones | Courtney Radsch


    Nora Benavidez

    Nora Benavidez is the director of U.S. Free Expression Programs, where she guides PEN America’s national advocacy agenda on First Amendment and free expression issues.

    Benavidez is a lawyer by training and, prior to joining PEN America, she worked in private practice as a civil and human rights litigator in Atlanta, Georgia. She has represented victims of unconstitutional police practices, First Amendment infringements, discrimination in public schools, and voting rights violations. In addition to her work as a litigator, Benavidez partnered with regional grassroots organizations and state and local legislative entities, advising and testifying on community-centered reforms in public safety, government transparency, criminal justice, and free speech.

    Benavidez previously worked as a staff attorney at the ACLU of Georgia, where she litigated significant constitutional issues and assisted in statewide advocacy. In all aspects of her work, she sought to defend the human dignity of her clients as well as overcome legal barriers to justice.

    Benavidez graduated from Emory University School of Law and received the Dean’s Public Service Award as well as the Pro Bono Service Medal. She received her BA from New York University’s Gallatin School, where she graduated magna cum laude.


    Adela Navarro Bello

    Adela Navarro Bello is the general director of the weekly magazine Zeta in the border city of Tijuana, Mexico. Created in 1980, Zeta is one of the only publications to regularly run investigations on organized crime, drug trafficking, and corruption in Mexico's northern states, where self-censorship is rampant. The cost of Zeta's coverage of crime along the U.S.-Mexico border has been high: Héctor Félix Miranda, co-founder of the magazine, was killed in 1988, and co-editor Francisco Ortiz Franco was murdered in 2004.

    In 1997, after an assassination attempt against J. Jesús Blancornelas, founder and then-director of Zeta, in which one of his bodyguards was killed, Mexican authorities provided Navarro with a bulletproof vest and two bodyguards. Before becoming general director, Navarro worked as a writer, columnist, and member of the editorial board. In 1994, she covered the Chiapas conflict for the magazine. Since then, she has interviewed presidents, ministers, governors, and leaders of Mexican political parties. Today, she writes the column "Sortilegioz."


    Ariana Drehsler

    Ariana is a Photojournalist and Portrait Photographer based in San Diego, California with a focus on social and political issues. During the last six years, Ariana has covered the Arab Spring, the rise and fall of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, and the frontlines of Syria’s Civil War.

    She recently completed a series focusing on migrants and their issues at the U.S.-Mexican border, including migrants who have traveled through Central America and Mexico in hopes of seeking asylum in the United States.

    Ariana is a graduate of the Design Institute of San Diego with a BFA in Interior Design. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, Agence France-Presse, The New Yorker, Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, NZZ, Financial Times, Bloomberg, Time, VICE, Cosmopolitan, CNN, The Chronicle of Higher Education, BuzzFeed, McClatchy, STAT, KQED, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Berlingske and others.


    Tom Jones

    Tom Jones is an Emmy award-winning journalist and NBC’s Executive Investigative Producer. Tom began his career in his native Central Coast of California, and has been investigating stories that impact San Diegans for the past five years. Tom sits on the San Diego Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists board and enjoys fighting for access to public information. He is always looking for a new way to tell a story, a fresh dataset to analyze, or to broadcast a community’s voice that is not being heard. You can follow Tom at @TomJonesNBC or, if you would prefer encrypted communication he’s available on Signal.


    Courtney Radsch

    Courtney C. Radsch, PhD, is advocacy director at the Committee to Protect Journalists. She serves as chief spokesperson on global press freedom issues for the organization and oversees CPJ's engagement with the United Nations, the Internet Governance Forum, and other multilateral institutions as well as CPJ's campaigns on behalf of journalists killed and imprisoned for their work. As a veteran journalist, researcher, and free expression advocate, she frequently writes and speaks about the intersection of media, technology, and human rights. Her book Cyberactivism and Citizen Journalism in Egypt: Digital Dissidence and Political Change was published in 2016.

    Prior to joining CPJ, Radsch worked for UNESCO, where she edited their flagship publication World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development, and at Freedom House, where she managed the Global Freedom of Expression Campaign. She has worked as a journalist in the United States and Middle East with Al-Arabiya, the Daily Star, and The New York Times. Radsch holds a PhD in international relations from American University. She speaks Arabic, French, and Spanish.

    Harvardwood Heads To... Isaac Pope: The Spirit of an American Century -- Cleveland premiere! (second showing)

    Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 01:30 PM · $12.00 USD

    Tickets for seniors and for students with I.D. are $6.00.

    This film has won several film festival awards, had a special screening for the NAACP's National Board, was screened at Harvard Kennedy School's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, and was just nominated for a special award from the Congressional Black Caucus's Veterans Braintrust. Audiences are rating it an _average_ of 5 out of 5 and calling it "powerful," "rich on so many levels," and "inspiring." It's about 100 years of racism told through the spellbinding storyteller Isaac Pope's life. Isaac Pope was a 100-year-old grandson of enslaved people, son of sharecroppers, an unsung hero of the civil rights movement, of World War II's Battle of the Bulge, of labor organizing, of his church, and of his wider community. His wisdom, warm humor, penetrating political insights, love, and compassion permeate the film, which also shows interracial/interethnic friendships that serve as much-needed models for today.

    Our Astonishing Exhilarating Harvardwood Autumnal Equinox PARTY!

    Friday, September 20, 2019 at 07:30 PM

    Cost: FREE—but you must RSVP, and you MUST bring something to eat or drink to be admitted. 

    We have a special Priority Registration Period for dues-paying members (Full Members and Friends of Harvardwood) and their guests through Friday, September 6.  Parrot.jpg

    It sizzled, it steamed, it summered, but now, at last, the Autumnal Equinox is finally here!  And that means it's time for a PARTY!!  And this will be a great one, and a wonderful opportunity to meet more of our smart, sexy, scintillating, and, most of all, Equinoctal Harvardwood members!


    Major FUN alert! Admission is free, but you must bring something to eat or drink! Wine, beer, salad, chicken, cheese, pizza, pasta, brownies—everything will be welcome!  Things that are real FOOD (as opposed to chips and such) will be especially appreciated!  Harvardwood members are HUNGRY people! 

    See you there!

    Special thanks to Anne Griffin!


  • The Jeff Sagansky Harvardwood TV Writers Program | Now accepting applications

    Apply now to the Fall 2019 semester of the Jeff Sagansky Harvardwood TV Writers Program in Los Angeles! The deadline to submit your application is September 15, 2019.

    The Jeff Sagansky Harvardwood TV Writers Program uses peer review, guest speakers and workshops to foster a motivating and supportive environment for each participant’s writing. There is a high expectation of preparation and writing done outside of the meetings (approx. 15-20 hours per week). Each module will have approximately eight participants, and will meet for approximately eleven sessions over a fourteen-week period beginning in late September 2019 or early October 2019. The program has a strict attendance policy, so please make sure that you can fully commit before applying. Participants are required to give constructive feedback to fellow writers in each session, so there is an expectation that you will have read applicable work prior to the meeting. The modules are successful because of this peer review, and you should expect a "writers room" format for your group.

    Continue reading →

    Winners of the Harvardwood Writers Competition & Most Staffable TV Writers

    Harvardwood has announced its Writers Competition winners and Most Staffable TV Writers List. This year, every category is led by a writer from an under-represented group. Although the winners are chosen via a blind judging process, Harvardwood's writers programs and competition have always had a far more diverse population than any WGA statistics on TV writers’ rooms or feature projects.  “Harvardwood has strived to support new voices in the industry, and we are proud to see those efforts reflected in our competition winners,” says President Allison Kiessling.


    Continue reading →

  • Issue 176 | September 2019


    Continue reading →

    Issue 175 | August 2019


    Continue reading →
Calendar Programs Jobs & Career Development