Seattle Channel General Manager Shannon Gee is the recipient of a national award recognizing her dedication to foster culturally diverse community-driven content.
Gee accepted the Jewell Ryan-White Award for Cultural Diversity at the Alliance for Community Media’s (ACM) annual conference in Portland, Ore., July 11. ACM is an educational and advocacy organization which represents public-, educational-, and government-access cable TV organizations and community media centers throughout the United Sates.
The award recognizes outstanding efforts to create culturally diverse and/or non-mainstream community involvement in the field of community media.
“The community media model provides a unique opportunity to serve the public. It allows us to tell hyperlocal stories and show how the underserved and often unheard or misheard are historians, innovators and experts in our communities’ narratives,” said Gee. “I’m incredibly honored to receive this award and share in the recognition with the entire Seattle Channel team. ”
During her nearly 15-year affiliation with Seattle Channel, Gee has made significant contributions to the station’s slate of culturally diverse productions and in recent years has worked to engage youth and communities of color in the field of public media. Current productions include a documentary project chronicling community-building efforts in a South Seattle neighborhood and a town hall — produced with local cultural arts organizations — examining the legacy of racial segregation in Seattle’s neighborhoods through a practice commonly referred to as “redlining.”
Through Gee’s collaboration with a South Seattle coalition working in the city’s Rainier Beach neighborhood, participants in the Seattle Youth Employment Program had an opportunity to get behind the camera and produce a story about a community initiative to reduce violence that affects youth.
Last September, Gee worked with community partners to live stream a Rainier Beach Town Hall meeting highlighting the evidence-based practice of Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) in several neighborhood schools. In a multi-year project, Seattle Channel is helping to produce short PBIS explainer videos and will deliver a “capstone” documentary about this collaborative community effort.
When Gee joined Seattle Channel in 2005 as a contract producer, she launched Community Stories, a regional and national award-winning documentary series designed to shine a spotlight on Seattle communities with a focus on diversity and inclusion. The series has been honored with more than 35 Northwest Emmy nominations, including five for the series overall, and 12 wins, and was the recipient of a 2015 Kaleidoscope Award, an award given by the Radio Television Digital News Association for outstanding achievements in the coverage of diversity.