PBS American Portrait on Alaska Insight | Special LIVE Episode

Alaskans have a lot of can-do spirit and a deep sense of connection to Alaska. In this episode of Alaska Insight we explore some of what it means to be an Alaskan in this time of social and political unrest and how we can come together to create an Alaska that is a leader in the nation for equity, health, and wellness. We also share some of the Alaskan contributions to the PBS American Portrait project.

Joining host, Lori Townsend, to talk about how we can achieve these goals for our future is Cheryl Williams, program coordinator with the Alaska Humanities Forum, Andrea Fuatai Toomalatai is a youth teaching fellow with Story Works Alaska, Janelle Everett is the director of recruitment for Ilisagvik College, Les Gara is a former state legislator and Joaqlin Estus is a National Correspondent for Indian Country Today and a longtime Alaska journalist.

RELATED: Read more about the American Portrait project and to submit your own story!

RELATED: The Power of Storytelling on Talk of Alaska

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for the Alaska Public Radio Network. She got her start in broadcasting at the age of 11 as the park announcer of the fast pitch baseball games in Deer Park, Wisconsin. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for more than 24 years. She was the co-founder and former Editor of Northern Aspects, a magazine featuring northern Wisconsin writers and artists. She worked for 7 years at tribal station WOJB on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibway Reservation in Wisconsin, first as an on-air programmer and special projects producer and eventually News Director. In 1997 she co-hosted a continuing Saturday afternoon public affairs talk program on station KSTP in St. Paul, Minnesota. Radio brought her to Alaska where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting. Following her work there, she helped co-found the non-profit broadcast company Native Voice Communications. NVC created the award-winning Independent Native News as well as producing many other documentaries and productions. Townsend was NVC’s technical trainer and assistant producer of INN. Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Her print work and interviews have been published in News from Indian Country, Yakama Nation Review and other publications. Ms. Townsend has also worked as a broadcast trainer for the Native American Journalist’s Association and with NPR’s Doug Mitchell and as a freelance editor. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Townsend was the recipient of a Fellowship at the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting in Rhode Island as well as a fellowship at the Knight Digital Media Center in Berkeley. She is an avid reader, a rabid gardener and counts water skiing, training horses, diving and a welding certification among her past and current interests. ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8452 | About Lori