Executive Director, Renaissance Journalism
Jon Funabiki—whose career spans journalism, philanthropy and academia—is a professor of journalism at San Francisco State University and executive director of Renaissance Journalism. He joined the university in 2006 after an 11-year career with the Ford Foundation, where he was deputy director of the Media, Arts & Culture (MAC) Unit. Responsible for the Foundation’s multimillion-dollar grantmaking strategies on news media issues, he worked closely with journalists, filmmakers, other media professionals and leaders from research, education, nonprofit and business institutions.
Prior to Ford, Jon was the founding director of San Francisco State University’s Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism, the nation’s first university-based center focused on news media coverage of ethnic minority communities and issues. He is a former reporter and editor with The San Diego Union, where he specialized in U.S.-Asia political and economic affairs and reported from East and Southeast Asia.
Jon is a graduate of San Francisco State University. He was awarded the John S. Knight Professional Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University; the Jefferson Fellowship at the East-West Center of Honolulu; and a National Endowment for the Humanities Professional Summer Fellowship at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Valerie Chow Bush
Deputy Director, Renaissance Journalism
Valerie Chow Bush is a former journalist who has more than 15 years of experience in communications, media relations, writing and editing, and nonprofit management. Prior to joining Renaissance Journalism, Valerie was the communications and marketing director at California Institute of Integral Studies, where she spearheaded the university’s integrated communications strategy and new brand identity and website.
Valerie’s experience includes serving as the executive director of the Asian American Journalists Association, as well as working as a reporter for the Marin Independent Journal; an assistant editor at The Village Voice; reporting intern at The Washington Post; and as the editorial director for the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. She is the editor of four books of creative writing by at-risk youth, published by WritersCorps/San Francisco Arts Commission; the former executive editor of San Francisco State’s online guide for journalists covering Islam and Muslim Americans, a project she conceived and developed; and the co-editor of Jump Write In! Creative Writing Exercises for Diverse Communities, Grades 6-12, published by Jossey-Bass. Valerie holds an MS from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is a co-founder of San Francisco’s Asian Women’s Shelter.
Steven Chin is principal of MKmedia, a San Francisco Bay Area consulting firm that provides Web development, content and business strategies to companies and nonprofit organizations. Chin was a San Francisco Examiner reporter for eight years, where he created the first full-time Asian Affairs beat at a major metropolitan newspaper. He also covered legal affairs and City Hall.
He left the Examiner in 1996 to co-found Channel A, the first commercial Asian American website. In 2000 Chin joined New York-based aMedia, Inc., publishers of aMagazine, then the nation’s oldest Asian American print publication.
Chin’s writing and editing credentials over the last 20 years include three children books (“Dragon Parade,” “When Justice Failed: The Fred Korematsu Story,” “Gordon Chong: Success Story”), as well as articles that have appeared in such publications as Mother Jones, Image Magazine and the New York Observer.
De Tran is publisher and editor of VTimes, a Vietnamese-language newspaper in Silicon Valley. Before founding VTimes in 2006, De was the founding publisher and editor of Viet Mercury, the Vietnamese-language weekly published by the San Jose Mercury News and the first Vietnamese newspaper published by a U.S. media company.
De was one of the first Vietnamese writers working in mainstream journalism in the United States. He was a columnist and a demographics writer for the San Jose Mercury News. He was part of the Mercury News staff that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1990. He also has worked at the Los Angeles Times and Newsweek magazine. He edited an anthology called “Once Upon A Dream: The Vietnamese-American Experience” (Andrews & McMeel, 1995), which is still used in many colleges in the United States.
De was born in Vietnam and came to the United States as a refugee in 1975 at the end of the Vietnam War. His first job in America was hawking the afternoon San Francisco Examiner at a street corner. He has since returned to Vietnam numerous times to visit and to do reporting. De studied journalism at San Francisco State University, where he was editor of Prism Magazine.