APEX Express is a weekly magazine-style radio show on Thursdays from 7-8 p.m. featuring the voices and stories of Asians and Asian Americans from all corners of our communities. The show is produced by a collective of media makers, djs, and activists and airs each week on KPFA 94.1FM.
APEX Express is committed to building a broader social movement for justice and collective liberation for all oppressed people, including poor & working-class people, people of color, women and queer people. We support grassroots organizing and cultural work that advance these goals, and see APEX as a space for building consciousness and promoting critical discussion about these efforts.
As part of KPFA, we are committed to promoting independent community media that is free and accessible to everyone.
We work collectively to share our skills and resources, and to build the capacity and confidence of community members to tell their own stories. Within our group, we prioritize maintaining a culture of mutual support, respect, and love.
APEX Express was founded in August of 2001. Gina Hotta rallied a small group of folks to start an Asian Pacific Islander radio show on Pacifica Radio Station, KPFA 94.1 FM. In the 1990s she was part of Inside Eastside, the original API show on KPFA.
Gina Hotta, Eric Park, Pratap Chatterjee, Renee Geesler, and Nishat Kurwa worked hard to bring APEX Express to you every week. Through the years, producers came in and out of APEX, yet Gina Hotta stayed strong as the main coordinator for the show.
On September 28, 2009 Gina Hotta passed away of a heart attack. She is our “Mama G,” as we would often call her. She was a mentor for many and a pioneer for making space and airwaves available for at least one hour a week for the voices speaking about Asian American issues and events. Her legacy lives on.
Marie Choi is originally from Jersey and has been in the Bay Area for the past five years. As a young person, she was involved in community and student organizing around racial profiling, education, and building ethnic studies programs. Since she moved to the Bay, Marie has worked as a researcher, organizer, and communications staff for both labor unions and community based organizations. Marie likes cooking, gardening, karaoke, swimming, road trips, and stories.
Ellen Choy aka DJLN is an environmental justice activist, youth organizer and independent DJ from Oakland, CA. She is the youth programs coordinator of the West Oakland Youth Standing Empowered team of Mandela Marketplace, a lead organizer for the Mobilization for Climate Justice West, and a member of a national network of young people of color organizing for climate justice across the US. She is a co-founder of ChecktheWeather and a firm believer of all things created in West Coast style.
Tara Dorabji is a writer, arts educator, mother, and radio journalist at KPFA. For over a decade she’s produced and hosted on KPFA radio, focusing on nuclear issues, environmental justice, Kashmir, and the majority “minorities.” Her writing is published in the Indian Review, Huizache, Censored 2013, and Midwifery Today. Tara is working on her first novel, Azadi. Her projects can be viewed at dorabji.com.
Salima Hamirani became interested in audio after an accidental volunteer gig at a radio show, and like all accidental predestined meetings, Salima met radio and Salima fell in love. Her primary passion is writing, but she’s fine-tuning her radio chops and hopes to use both media to help educate, incite, inflame, and entertain. She also freelances for the National Radio Project’s Making Contact, and during her off time she leads surveillance camera walking tours of Oakland with a group of activists, linking government oversight to poverty and racism.
Roseli Ilano has more than a decade of experience as a community organizer, educator, writer, and engagement strategist for immigrant and human rights campaigns. She is the founder of ILANO artisan made modern, a textile design house partnering with women artisans worldwide.
Karl Jagbandhansingh is a graduate of the KPFA Radio’s First Voice Apprenticeship program. His activism and media experience spans from the University of Vermont to New York to Chiapas, Mexico. He spent over five years in Chiapas as co-founder of Estación Libre, an organization that linked the struggles of communities of color in the United States and Canada with the indigenous Zapatista struggle of Chiapas, with the intention of bringing the lessons of a vibrant grassroots democratic movement back home to communities in the U.S. and Canada.
Roldan “R.J.” Lozada is an award-winning filmmaker exploring marginalized communities, diaspora, and popular culture, engaging in dialogues of space, identity, and memory realized in narrative forms. Lozada was director of photography and co-producer for Among B-Boys (2011), which won the Audience Award at its premiere at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Lozada is also a content producer for Cinema Asian America, special programming curated by the Center for Asian American Media and Comcast. Beyond production, Lozada works in the legal field representing the condemned at San Quentin state prison.
Preeti Mangala Shekar is a feminist activist and journalist from India. She also co-produces Women’s Magazine on KPFA and freelances for various publications in India and in the Bay Area. Preeti is also the executive director of Narika.
Robynn Takayama is a community artist whose work has been presented through video, web, and gallery installation in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Chicago. A graduate of the KPFA First Voice Apprenticeship, she has contributed to national and local public radio programs and the Peabody Award-winning documentary on Asian American history, Crossing East. Robynn served on the CPB-funded Makers Quest Talent Committee, charged with finding the most imaginative producers and sound artists and urging them to take public radio beyond its traditional airwaves.
Yvonne Tran is a Bay Area native and daughter of refugees. She is a writer, filmmaker, and dabbles in the art of radio. Her films have screened from San Francisco to New Mexico. She is an activist in recovery, and her previous organizing work has spanned from San Jose to UC Santa Barbara to Oakland. She is also the graduate of the First Voices Apprenticeship program (Group 37!). She likes to focus on the beauty of the everyday stories and loves to explore topics of food, design, music, and why the caged bird sings.