about

Ishisaka_IMG_3577_2_RGB-L_cropNaomi Ishisaka is a longtime journalist, photographer, graphic designer and communications specialist with a particular emphasis on racial equity and social justice. She is the Communications Director for Social Justice Fund NW, a grassroots foundation based in Seattle. Before that, she was the Communications Director for SEIU 775 Benefits Group and Communications Director for the immigrant rights organization OneAmerica (formerly Hate Free Zone). Until October 2008, Ishisaka served for the previous eight years as the Editor in Chief of the award-winning ColorsNW Magazine, a monthly magazine focusing on communities of color in the Northwest. Through photography, writing and design, Ishisaka documents and amplifies social justice movements and events. Her documentary photography of the Seattle Black Lives Matter movement is featured in a number of shows and galleries as well as in the documentary film “The 13th.”

Ishisaka is a Seattle native and worked at several Puget Sound newspapers, including The Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The News Tribune and the Bremerton Sun. She was an Institute for Justice and Journalism Fellow studying immigration and border issues and was a Spring 2005 fellow of the German Marshall Fund and traveled throughout Europe. She was a 2015 fellow of the International Center for Journalists Health Disparities program.

Ishisaka’s journalism education includes editing training at the Dow Jones Copy Editing Program, the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism’s Immigration program, the Minority Editorial Writers Seminar and she is a graduate of the Asian American Journalist Association’s Executive Leadership Program. Ishisaka is a frequent speaker at media workshops and community events. Launched in 2001, ColorsNW won over 50 awards in the Society of Professional Journalists Western Washington Competition and Ishisaka won five first place awards for editorial writing, feature writing and commentary. Currently, Naomi is a mentor for the ReFrame Mentorship program.

Ishisaka is a graduate of The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., and has a B.A. in ethnic studies and journalism.

AWARDS

As Editor, ColorsNW received numerous awards for excellence in journalism and community service. In addition, Ishisaka personally won first place awards from the Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ) for commentary, page design and feature writing.

Personal Awards

2011 SPJ W. Wash. Competition

Second place: Science and Health Reporting, Seattle Magazine, “Henry Lai makes waves in the cell phone industry”

2009 SPJ W. Wash. Competition

First place: Editorial Writing, ColorsNW Magazine, “Race and the 2008 Election”

Second place: Editorial Writing, ColorsNW Magazine, “Wing Luke Asian Museum”

2008 SPJ W. Wash. Competition

First place: Editorial Writing, ColorsNW Magazine, “Lt. Ehren Watada”

2007 SPJ W. Wash. Competition

Second place: ColorsNW Magazine, Editorial Writing

Second place: ColorsNW Magazine, Columns

2006 SPJ W. Wash. Competition – ColorsNW Wins Sweepstakes Award for Overall Best Magazine in Region

First place: Social Issues, ColorsNW Magazine, “Katrina/Rita’s Impact on Our Communities”

First place: Arts & Criticism, ColorsNW Magazine, “Class is in Session: Blue Scholars”

Second place: Editorials, ColorsNW Magazine, “Katrina”

Second place: Page Design, ColorsNW Magazine,

2004 SPJ W. Wash. Competition

First place: Editorial Writing, ColorsNW Magazine,

2003 SPJ W. Wash. Competition

First place: Editorial Writing, ColorsNW Magazine,

2002 SPJ W. Wash. Competition

Third place: Editorial Writing, ColorsNW Magazine,

Second place: Page Design, ColorsNW Magazine,

Misc. Awards, Honors

2008: Institute for Justice and Journalism immigration fellow

2008: Poynter Institute elections coverage seminar participant

2006: National New America Media Award for excellence in Ethnic Media, honors ColorsNW for story on the effect of detention policies on immigrants www.newamericamedia.org.

2006: Knight Center for Specialized Journalism Seminar Fellowship for immigration

2006: Minority Executive Director’s Coalition (MEDC) presents ColorsNW with an award for ‘Advocacy to Communities of Color’

2006: Entre Hermanos, a Latino GLBT organization, presents community service award

2005: German Marshall Fund AMMF Fellowship presented to Naomi Ishisaka. One of 50 nationwide selected for a month-long fellowship of cultural exchange with Europe.

2004: Aki Kurose Peace and Justice Award for leaders under 30

As Editor, ColorsNW received more than 50 awards for excellence in journalism and community service. In addition, Ishisaka personally won first place awards from the Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ) for commentary, page design and feature writing.

Personal Awards

2008 SPJ W. Wash. Competition

First place: Editorial Writing, “Lt. Ehren Watada”

2007 SPJ W. Wash. Competition

Second place: Editorial Writing

Second place: Columns

2006 SPJ W. Wash. Competition – ColorsNW Wins Sweepstakes Award for Overall Best Magazine in Region

First place: Social Issues, “Katrina/Rita’s Impact on Our Communities”

First place: Arts & Criticism, “Class is in Session: Blue Scholars”

Second place: Editorials, “Katrina”

Second place: Page Design

2004 SPJ W. Wash. Competition

First place: Editorial Writing

2003 SPJ W. Wash. Competition

First place: Editorial Writing

2002 SPJ W. Wash. Competition

Third place: Editorial Writing

Second place: Page Design

Misc. Awards, Honors

2008: Institute for Justice and Journalism immigration fellow

2008: Poynter Institute elections coverage seminar participant

2006: National New America Media Award for excellence in Ethnic Media, honors ColorsNW for story on the effect of detention policies on immigrants www.newamericamedia.org.

2006: Knight Center for Specialized Journalism Seminar Fellowship for immigration

2006: Minority Executive Director’s Coalition (MEDC) presents ColorsNW with an award for ‘Advocacy to Communities of Color’

2006: Entre Hermanos, a Latino GLBT organization, presents community service award

2005: German Marshall Fund AMMF Fellowship presented to Naomi Ishisaka. One of 50 nationwide selected for a month-long fellowship of cultural exchange with Europe.

2004: Aki Kurose Peace and Justice Award for leaders under 30

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