Who We Are
Yukari Iwatani Kane
Co-founder and co-executive director
Yukari is an author, educator and veteran journalist with 20 years of experience. She was a staff writer and foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and Reuters, and her book Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs (Harpers Business) was a best-seller and an Amazon Editor's Pick that was translated into seven languages. She is an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University, where she has taught journalism fundamentals, investigative reporting and the Medill Justice Project. At San Quentin News, where she still serves as an advisor, she developed a curriculum and reader for prison journalism. She was previously a lecturer at University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Co-founder and co-executive director
Shaheen is an assistant teaching professor at Penn State University, focused on mass incarceration and prison education. Prior to that, Shaheen was an assistant professor at UMass Amherst, where she launched an immersive explanatory journalism class at the Hampshire County Jail, bringing incarcerated and UMass students together to learn. Shaheen was awarded the Knight Nieman Visiting Fellowship to expand her work teaching journalism behind bars. She is a veteran journalist with over 20 years of experience at outlets such as Thomson Reuters, CNNMoney and Dow Jones/WSJ.
Kate is a writer and lecturer at University of California Santa Cruz, specializing in literary journalism, with a focus on narratives of crime and justice. She holds a Ph.D. in literature from Stanford University and a master's in journalism from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Kate has taught composition, narrative nonfiction and feature writing courses at the university level for more than a decade, including for Education Justice Project, University of Illinois’ college in prison program, and San Quentin Prison’s Journalism Guild. She also serves as an editorial advisor to Wall City, San Quentin's prisoner-run quarterly magazine.
Christopher is a multimedia strategist. Educated as a documentary filmmaker at Columbia Journalism School and an Africana studies historian at Rutgers University, he uses journalism and storytelling to shed light on injustice and raise awareness about social issues. As a first-generation Haitian in the inner cities of New Jersey, he experienced both poverty and incarceration. His background inspired him to seek ways to create meaningful change through his work with organizations such as NJ STEP, Rutgers, the Renaissance House, and Brooklyn CRAN Network.
Editorial Associate and Contributing Writer
Joe is a journalist at San Quentin State Prison and the chairperson of San Quentin News’ Journalism Guild. A San Francisco native with no connection to the carceral system before his arrest, Joe first believed prisons were filled with the worst people imaginable. But within his first week in Los Angeles County Jail, he found himself surrounded by people with rich, complex stories. Joe requested a transfer to San Quentin with the express purpose of working for the prisoner-run newspaper and now helps fellow prisoners find their voices as writers. In addition to prison publications, his work has appeared in the Washington Post and the Sacramento Bee.
Marcus Henderson is the editor-in-chief of the San Quentin News and its magazine Wall City. At the helm of the nation’s only prisoner-run newspaper, he manages a staff of editors, reporters and contributing writers. He was introduced to journalism on his first day at San Quentin, when he was asked to interview people at a baseball game between prisoners and an outside team. It was his first opportunity in more than 15 years to speak to people besides prisoners and guards. After starting out as a member of the Journalism Guild, he advanced to become its chairperson before he assumed his current role.
Razvan “Raz” Sibii
Raz is a senior lecturer in journalism at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he teaches journalism fundamentals, ethics, international journalism and social justice journalism. He is also currently a columnist for The Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, Mass., writing about immigration and mass incarceration. He has taught workshops and credit-bearing courses in Hampshire County Jail in Western Massachusetts and has developed an introductory journalism course specifically for the prison classroom. He holds a Ph.D. and a master's in communication from UMass Amherst, and a B.A. in journalism from the American University in Bulgaria.
John J. Lennon
John is currently serving a sentence of 28 years to life at Sullivan Correctional Facility. He is a contributing editor for Esquire Magazine and a contributing writer for The Marshall Project. John was a finalist for the 2019 National Magazine Awards in Feature Writing and received an Honorable Mention for the 2019 Molly National Journalism Award. His work has appeared in Men's Health, The Guardian, Opera America, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Esquire, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Quartz, Vice, Pacific Standard, The Hedgehog Review, The Harvard Law Record, PEN America, The Washington Post, and New York Magazine.
Brooke is an accelerated master's student of political science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Prior to her involvement with the Prison Journalism Project, Brooke worked as a mentor and team leader for the UMass Donahue Institute’s Civic Initiative, where she helped to facilitate State Department-sponsored educational and cultural exchange programs for educators, students, and professionals from 26 different countries. She was also a team leader to the Pakistani Student exchange program “SUSI,” Study of US Institutes.
Teresa is a marketing consultant with over 25 years of experience helping entrepreneurs, best-selling authors, start-ups, small businesses, high-tech corporations, arts organizations, and non-profits with writing, editing and design projects. She has previously worked for several start-ups, as well as Adobe Systems, Inc. and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She holds a B.A. in economics from U.C. Berkeley and an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley.
The Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications is the undergraduate and graduate college dedicated to the study of journalism, mass communications and media at the Pennsylvania State University.
The San Quentin News is an inmate-run news outlet whose mission is to report on rehabilitative efforts to increase public safety and achieve social justice. The staff of 12 to 15 men, all of whom are incarcerated at the San Quentin State Prison, relies on personal experiences and knowledge inside the prison to inform the outside world about a wide variety of topics that impact the incarcerated. The San Quentin News is published monthly and has a current circulation of 30,000, which it delivers to all 35 state prisons in California as well as local communities across the state. Printing is done off-site by Marin Sun Printing.