Block by Block

Block by Block is a community radio news program produced by PhillyCAM’s Community Radio News Fellows on WPPM-LP 106.5 FM. We explore issues affecting the Philadelphia area with interviews and news filed by members of our program. Each season, our new cohort chooses the stories to tell and how to tell them.

PhillyCAM's Community Radio News Fellowship is an opportunity for a group of 10 participants to create a bi-weekly live radio show called Block by Block, which features stories about issues affecting the Philadelphia region, as told by members of the community.

Our Community Radio News Fellows have filed reports on topics including gun violence, elections, mental health, indigenous and LatinX heritage and identity, expungement of criminal records, and check washing and keeping your private data safe.

Block by Block Season 4 starts in February 2024. Catch it live, bi-weekly on Wednesdays from 5:30-6pm on WPPM 106.5 FM!

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Radio News Fellows

Barbara Martin Ellis

Barbara Martin Ellis

Barbara Martin Ellis is interested in exploring the work of nonprofit organizations that drive educational opportunities and access for students in low income and underserved communities.

She left college to work full-time when the burdens of student loans became too much, and returned to school and learned beside her children, whom she homeschooled to Harvard after acceptances to several Ivy League schools and Stanford University.

She now has master’s degrees from Saint Joseph’s University and the University of Pennsylvania, which she obtained at the age of 47. Area nonprofits were an integral part of her family's journey and she's eager to share their stories to help young people develop their own unique skills and interests.

David Chaney Jr.

David Chaney Jr.

David Chaney Jr. is an educator and entrepreneur who founded Noire Life Media in 2020, a digital multimedia platform dedicated to celebrating and amplifying the diversity within Black culture. Originally from Enfield, NC, David relocated to Philadelphia in 2013 to embark on his career in education and community engagement. Over the past decade, he has been involved in numerous local initiatives, spearheading impactful community service projects and forging connections between the community and vital resources.

As an educator, David's passion for empowering others has led him to classrooms and boardrooms alike, spanning from early childhood education to university student affairs. He is also the host and creator of Cultured Collective: The Podcast, a platform poised to redefine cultural discourse. The podcast showcases David's commitment to driving meaningful conversations about race, culture, and societal change.

Jen Devor

Jen Devor

Jen Devor, is a public school advocate, voting enthusiast, and a published author on civic engagement. She is the president and co-founder of Better Civics, a nonpartisan nonprofit that revolutionizes civic engagement and voter turnout through education.

Better Civics works with community partners to create tools and resources that better explain how government works and encourage individuals to be more civically engaged.

Jen is excited to explore radio as a creative platform for sharing "facts that make you act," Better Civics-style.

Khysir Carter

Khysir Carter

Khysir Carter is a multimedia journalist based in Philadelphia. He works at Kensington Voice, a solutions based newsroom providing news and resources for and about the Kensington neighborhood and surrounding area.

Khysir is also a poetry and creative writing enthusiast, and has experience working with middle and high school aged students to help them find their creative expression.

Meesh Cosares

Meesh Cosares

Meesh Cosares is a “jack of all trades” based in Philadelphia. They graduated from Temple University with their bachelors in media analysis and a minor in theater.

Meesh’s essay, “Hope in Hyperreality”, was published in the fourth edition of the textbook Media Environments. They currently work in the non-profit world, perform as an improv comedian, and as a technical operator for various theatrical projects around the city.

Their passions include but are not limited to queer culture, video games, children’s media, and technology as a tool for art, accessibility, and advocacy.

Oskar Castro

Oskar Castro

Oskar Castro is an artist and a dynamic people & culture professional/personal growth coach with 30+ years of experience guiding individuals through their career journeys. Raised in historic Lawnside, NJ, Oskar's upbringing in a community established by African Americans profoundly shaped him.

A graduate of Rowan University and member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Oskar is a SHRM-certified professional and equity & inclusion practitioner.

He's authored "Meet Your Inner Shaman" and hosts the art-focused podcast "Pardon My Art: Unlocking the Business Side of Creativity."

Shanayah Wyche

Shanayah Wyche

Shanayah Wyche is a community journalist and public relations specialist who has prioritized working with education and service-based initiatives for the past 8 years.

Shanayah's core purpose is to place the betterment of Philadelphia at the forefront of her efforts. In the past Shanayah has worked for iHeartMedia, the City of Philadelphia's Department of Public Health, and Movement Alliance Project.

Sherri Pennington

Sherri Pennington

Sherri Pennington is a Philadelphia native who began her broadcasting career on WKDU in 1977. She was a popular communicator who delivered AP news, News for Liberation, conducted interviews, and emceed many cultural programs in Philadelphia.

Sherri has also lived in Savannah, GA where she was host on WSOK, 1230 AM, and on I-95 in Tybee Island.

She is the creator and host of WKDU’s Community Spotlight, an interview program providing listeners with “news that you can use” on a diverse range of current subjects including education, entertainment, and general information. Sherri is currently in the rotation of communicators who play jazz and other inspiring music on WKDU.

Sherri loves to travel, make a positive difference in the community, and implores at the end of her show to Put the Guns Down!

Sunny Morgan

Sunny Morgan

Sunny Morgan is a multimedia journalist and content creator based in Philadelphia, PA. She is the creator and co-host of The Almost Adult Podcast, and a freelance writer with bylines including REVOLT, Billy Penn and TheJasmineBrand.

Currently, Sunny works as an Associate Media Instructor at WHYY. In addition to media work, she is also a singer/songwriter.

Tamara Russell aka P.O.C. (Proof of Consciousness)

Tamara Russell

Tamara Rusell, also known as P.O.C. (Proof of Consciousness), is the Founder and Host of REVIVE RADIO, an online broadcasting platform, and a media correspondent for the joint venture REVIVE Media, featuring interviews and conversations on a topics including politics, societal issues, small businesses, music, health, nonprofits, and trending topics.

When she is not behind the mic, she is curating workshops for the youth, engaging with the community by meeting them where they are, and volunteering for different community services.

In 2020, P.O.C. became the youngest African-American woman regularly scheduled on Philadelphia NPR member station WHYY, and she is an active member of WHYY’s News Information Community Exchange (N.I.C.E.) program and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism Constellation News Leadership Initiative Fellowship. She also completed the 2023 Philadelphia Media Founders Exchange Fellowship.

P.O.C. is an honorary founding member of the National Black Media and Press Association and a member of For(bes) The Culture. P.O.C. is the recipient of The National Black Media and Press Association Award for excellence in audio media.

Thomas Hagen

Thomas Hagen

Thomas Hagen grew up in Montgomery County in the 2000s, a few blocks from the county line bordering West Philadelphia. He attended public schools in Lower Merion Township and music classes in Philadelphia at the Kimmel Center and Settlement Music School.

Thomas has worked at YouthBuild Philly Charter School and Settlement Music School, taught music with Beyond The Bars and Play On Philly, and recorded music at several studios around the city. He also contributes writing for WXPN Local and Broad Street Review.

Previously, Thomas produced audio stories on a podcast for Rittenhouse Soundworks about Philly musicians and poets, broadcast on G-Town Radio, and a podcast for the Yale Sustainable Food Program about food studies and food justice.

Barbara Martin Ellis

Barbara Martin Ellis

Barbara Martin Ellis is interested in exploring the work of nonprofit organizations that drive educational opportunities and access for students in low income and underserved communities. She grew up in South Central Los Angeles, lived in government-owned housing in a small West Texas town, and left college to work full-time when the burdens of student loans became too much.

Barbara returned to school and learned beside her children, whom she homeschooled to Harvard after acceptances to several Ivy League schools and Stanford University. She now has master’s degrees from Saint Joseph’s University and the University of Pennsylvania, which she obtained at the age of 47.

Brett Roman Williams

Brett Roman Williams

Brett Roman Williams has carved out a diverse career as an actor, videographer, and producer. Notably, in 2020, he served as the Producer for PhillyCAM's Census PSA campaign.

His personal connection to the tragic world of gun violence, having lost his father and brother, propelled him into advocating through storytelling for victims and co-victims of gun violence. This drive birthed documentaries like "They Don't Care About Us" and the forthcoming "Left in the Dark," which seeks to illuminate the haunting tales of Philadelphia's unsolved murder cases. Now, as a Block by Block Fellow at PhillyCAM, Brett wants to further amplify these stories, advocating for justice and closure for countless affected families.

Outside of growing a professional media maker, Brett's dedication extends to volunteering, clear in his work with the Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia Board of Directors. Brett is also a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. Brett treasures moments with his friends and family. Go Birds!

Cathy Lena Brown

Cathy Lena Brown

Cathy Lena Brown is a self proclaimed community Historian, Director and producer of The Sports Lane, Director at a senior center in the City of Philadelphia, a mom, grandmom and wife of 37 years.

She loves platforms where people can tell their stories in their own voices. She also loves mentoring couples, line dancing, traveling, Pickleball and being a part of the Fab 5 (It’s a Family Couple’s Thang) and Consulting for new small businesses.

Connie Komm

Connie Komm

Connie Komm is a graduate of Boston University. She majored in film and television, and has been a member of Phillycam for over ten years. Connie works as an IT professional solving users’ computer issues. Her passion is storytelling.

Connie likes old time radio shows like Fibber McGee’s Closet, The Shadow, Jack Benny etc. The way these shows use sound effects, canned laughter, and drama to hold the listeners’ attention was great. Connie wants to use this fellowship to get listeners to visualize her audio stories with their minds and captivate their attention like the old time shows did.

E. Marie Lambert

E. Marie Lambert

E. Marie Lambert is a long-time educator and is committed to inspiring young people to be their greatest selves. She also loves telling stories about real life experiences that evoke thought, conversation, inspiration, or emotion. Radio and podcasts are the perfect platforms for a closet introvert like E. Marie.

Kiersten Adams

Kiersten Adams

Kiersten Adams is a freelance writer and creative storyteller here in Philly, the city that raised her! In their practice Kiersten is primarily focused on Black life, arts, culture, and environmentalism at the intersections of the natural and (afro)surrealist world.

Through their work Kiersten aims to amplify the voices of marginalized communities and forge pathways for Black liberation and existence.

Rasheed Ajamu

Rasheed Ajamu

Rasheed Ajamu is a reporter and radio show host for the Germantown Info Hub, a community-centered journalism project highlighting the Germantown section of Philadelphia, where Ajamu was born and raised.

They are also the creator and curator of @PhreedomJawn, an Instagram blog dedicated to uplifting and aiding Black experiences and people in Philadelphia.

Some of their accolades include being one of the 76 Most Influential People of 2020 for Philadelphia Magazine, receiving the Never Delete Your Account Award from Billy Penn in 2021, and recently being honored as one of Al Dia's Forty Under 40 in 2022.

Yonique Myrie

Yonique Myrie is currently studying law at Drexel University. She has a passion for youth and community development. She volunteers with a grassroots organization to educate people about housing injustice and economic alternatives.She dabbles in poetry and the spoken word. She is the author of the children's book, Rainy Rain. She wants to use this fellowship to tell the stories of people who are marginalized.

Robin Markle

Robin is an artist, organizer and witch practicing their crafts in Southwest Philadelphia. They frequently collaborate with local community organizations to create art in support of people's movements for change. Robin also operates Flaming Idols where they make and sell LGBTQ altar candles.

E. Marie Lambert

E. Marie Lambert is a long-time educator, Executive Director of True Way Youth Empowerment Foundation, creator of Cooks With Books, a children's literacy and cooking session that she hosts live on Facebook and Instagram on Sunday's at 3 pm, and an aspiring author. She can also be heard live on Sunday's at 5 pm as host of The Talk to Reebs Show on WJYN Uptown Radio 98.5FM. E. Marie has been featured on 6 ABC and The Drew Barrymore Show.

Roxanne Logan, JD, MSS, LCSW

Roxanne Logan, JD, MSS, LCSW, is a telehealth psychotherapist with both law and social work degrees, a passion for social justice, and over 2 decades of experience working to improve the lives of those in her community. Through compassion, advocacy, and systems navigation, Roxanne has helped people improve their personal narratives. Whether given to us, or crafted by us, our stories are critical to how we view ourselves and navigate in the world. Roxanne is committed to helping people frame and share their stories in the courtroom, remote from the living room, or through all forms of media via PhillyCAM.

Catherine Michele Brown (Lena)

Catherine Michele Brown (Lena) is a Director for a senior citizens program in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A 4th Generation born and raised Germantower, Cathy is the author of children's books (Rockette Sockettes & My Mommy Prays For Me) and the Creator, Director and Producer of the online show “The Sports Lane”. She married her High School Sweetheart Mr. Dana Brown and has been married for 36 years! He is her creative supporter & advisor. They are parents of 3 children and 3 grand children. Catherine enjoys all things creative, coaching new writers, attending church, mentoring married couples, pickleball, dancing, and traveling.

Lara Rosenbach

Lara Rosenbach is a Junior in high school. She is enrolled in her school’s Digital Video Production course and is interested in pursuing a career in science. She hopes to gain more knowledge and experience with live radio and audio editing through the WPPM Radio News Fellowship.

Felicia Casher

Felicia Casher, artistically known as WithloveFelicia is a poet, educator, healing artist, actor, host and curator. Mrs. Casher formerly Felicia Webster, has been commissioned by and organized major programs and events with numerous organizations in Nebraska and Philadelphia. With a Master’s in Education, Felicia loves to combine textbook knowledge with cultural content. Her work colors audiences with the power of spoken word, and a heavy emphasis on affirmation. She is a two time awardee of the Omaha Arts & Entertainment Awards Poet of the Year, along with several community awards. Felicia’s desire for her involvement in PhillyCAM, is to bring Black stories alive in a beautifully illustrated way, that lean into the positively rich parts of her people.

Wayne Hunter

Wayne owns a technical solutions company and a drone company and runs two nonprofits providing tech-related information and support to seniors and teens, respectively. He also hosts the Talkin w/ Wayne show on PhillyCAM TV.

Maleka Fruean

Maleka is a writer and journalist, community organizer for the Germantown Info Hub, and events coordinator. She has a degree in journalism from Temple University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from St. Joseph's College and uses both to share stories. She lives in Germantown, where she mothers four children, drinks coffee, and walks everywhere. She loves learning how to tell stories in audio!

John Morrison

John is a writer, DJ, and sample flipper from Philadelphia. As a writer, his work has appeared in NPR Music, The New York Times, Bandcamp Daily, and more. He is also the host of Culture Cypher Radio, a hip-hop radio show on NPR member station WXPN.

Brujo de la Mancha

Brujo is a multidisciplinary, self-taught artist and educator specializing in Danza Azteca. In 2003, he co-founded the Ollin Yoliztli Calmecac, an Aztec dance troupe and non-profit organization in Philadelphia with the mission to “investigate, understand, and raise awareness of the Mexicayotl culture, which flourished in Mexico prior to the arrival of the Spanish in 1492.” Brujo hosts radio show Nika Tlaka on WPPM 106.5, Thursdays 1-2 PM.

Kris Hill

Kris is a self-taught Philly Artist who does commission artworks and sells their own art/creations. Lead Teaching Artist at The Young Artist Program (YAP), Mental Health Advocate, and upcoming clothing stylist. They also enjoy being able to learn even more about what is happening in the city and spreading more awareness around!

Michelle Gilliard Houston

Michelle is a creative producer, cultural connector, and multicultural programming professional in higher education. As a third-generation native Philadelphian, Michelle is passionate about uncovering community stories and voices unique to Philly and looks forward to working with WPPN as a radio fellow! A proud HBCU alum, Michelle holds a B.A. in Communications from Howard University.

Salina Singelton

Salina has been engrossed in filming and editing since high school, where she taped and edited high school football games. At Fairleigh Dickinson University, she was active in campus radio, where she was Assistant Music Director for 2 years. Taking her passion to the boardroom, Salina founded Wonderful Me Media in 2014, where she produced Personally Speaking Podcast, Who Got Next Web series in partnership with Philly Jamz 95.3 FM, as well as Latina X Positivity. More recently, Salina is the Digital Media Specialist at POWER.

Alice Hall

Alice works in theater and TV/film and has her creative practices on the side. She is passionate about radio and arts accessibility as a way to bring people from all walks of life together.

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