Who We Are

Democracy and the Informed Citizen Initiative​ is a year long partnership between California Humanities and four Community Colleges: Bakersfield College, Foothill-De Anza Community College District, San Diego Community College District, and Shasta College-designed to engage a broad cross-section of young Californians in the consideration of the vital connections between journalism, democracy and the informed citizenry.

Students and Facilitators:

Back to Front​​                                                                                                                                                      
Back row: Joshua Yi, Kirsten Elwick, Allison Murphy, Chloe Greve, Karah Harbuck, ​Heather Wylie.                            Front row: Chris Rodriguez Jenny Brewe​r​ , Monica Perry, Valerie Amos, Maizie Bonsey,Mai Yang. 

 Throughout the Fall 2018 semester students were asked to participate​ in an investigative journalism project exploring the impact of the recent Carr Fire on our community. Through the application of key sociological concepts, the students provided a careful analysis of the immediate and future impact of the disastrous fire while also situating it in a larger historical, economic, political, and cultural context.   

 Students worked in teams on different aspects of the fire.  They received support through training, mentorship, and networking. 

 ​The project is based on a partnership between Shasta College, California Humanities, and Studiotobe with financial and in-kind support from the Shasta College Foundation and The McConnell Foundation. 



Heather Wylie

 I've had the pleasure of teaching sociology at Shasta College for 13 years.  The opportunity to teach through journalism has proven meaningful both in the classroom and to our community as a whole.  Creating spaces for critical thinking, civic engagement, and sociological analysis is exciting!

Chris Rodriguez


 I was born in Mexico City to a Mexican father and mother from the U.S. I grew up in Los Angeles and the day after high school left LA and took a break from schooling. In my mid-20’s I decided to return to school and began classes at Santa Rosa Junior College where I earned an AA - yea Community Colleges! I then transferred to Sonoma State majoring in History and Spanish and then on to UC Davis. My graduate and dissertation work focused on Latin American History with an emphasis on Modern Mexico. My other love, my “side-hustle,” is combining history, travel, and cultural exchange through experiencing Central America with students! 

Jenny Brewer 

 jenny4cropsmall (1).jpg 
I am a humanitarian and activist who is passionate about social justice issues such as immigration rights, gender inequality, racism, and corporate greed. I work as a Library Information Technician at Shasta College, where I also earned an Associates of Arts in history. 

Meet the Students

Student Work and Podcast
Partners and Funders

Listen to our story on 

Jefferson Public Radio

in conversation with Geoffrey Riley