About the Staff:
Making Contact has rotating Hosts/Producers Marie Choi, Monica Lopez, RJ Lozada and Anita Johnson.
Marie Choi is a Bay Area based mama, researcher, and radio producer. She’s worked on radio shows at KPFA hosting UpFront, the morning news show and producing features, news, and long-form interviews for Hard Knock Radio, and Apex Express. Marie has participated in workplace and community organizing since she was a high school student and wants to lift up stories of how people organize independently of NGOs and unions. She is curious about culture as a political space and interested in how people around the world are grappling w/ the rising tide of right-wing nationalism. She likes cooking, swimming, and children’s audio books.
Monica Lopez has a 17 year track record as a reporter and producer based in California. She enjoys working with reporters throughout the process of developing a story. She thinks rendering speed is a quality of life issue. She wishes everyone could receive the University of California President’s rental stipend. Monica’s former work includes News Director and Producer at KCSB-FM, Santa Barbara, CA; Media Center Director, University of California Santa Barbara; Senior Producer and Reporter, Free Speech Radio News. Monica earned her BA from UC Santa Barbara Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Emphases in Film Studies, Creative Writing, and Spanish and her Masters in Journalism at UC Berkeley.
Anita Johnson Started her journalistic career at Youth Radio in 1994, she was the senior producer for YR’s weekly talk show on WILD 94.9. She served as senior producer for106.1 KMEL’s Street Knowledge, hosted by Davey D. By 1997, she was submitting national segments as a reporter for Marketplace and NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. Anita senior produced the acclaimed CD project 175 Progress Drive, which brought attention to the case of death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal and Prisons on Fire: George Jackson, Attica and Black Liberation. In 2000, she co-founded KPFA’s Hard Knock Radio, a public affairs program, covering news, views and hip-hop.
In 2009, with the assistance of The Association of Independents in Radio, she founded Beyond The Odds, a multimedia arts project created to illuminate the impact of HIV and AIDS on low-income and minority young adults (under 25), through the use of the Web. In 2010, she co-produced the documentary film CoInTelPro 101. Aside from her many journalistic achievements, she also is a well respected Hip-Hop MC and has performed alongside Verve recording artist Ledisi and the legendary singer/guitarist Carlos Santana.
R.J. Lozada is an award winning documentary filmmaker (Distance Between, Grand Jury Award San Diego Asian Film Festival 2015, Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story, Audience Award, CAAM Fest 2016) and multimedia producer who explores and engages multiple diasporas and communities in flux. After obtaining his MFA in documentary film making at Stanford University in 2015, he spent 10-weeks on a road trip visiting sites of death at the hands of law enforcement, and produced Passing Grounds, a visual exploration of the legacies of police violence, and the force of memory. At Making Contact, Lozada aspires to bring a visual aesthetic to the airwaves.
Making Contact‘s team also includes Lisa Rudman our Executive Director, Audience Engagement Goddess Sabine Blaizin, Development Associate Vera Tykulsker, and our extended family of community storytelling fellows and freelance reporters from around the world. We are a non-profit independent media group and provide our program at no charge to 120 radio stations in the United States, Canada and Australia.