|Erika Owens got to know Philadelphia as a city of neighborhoods while canvassing for a congressional campaign in 2004. She then moved to here in 2005 and began to learn the different shapes that political and community involvement can take. After a time with Solutions for Progress working alongside activists and techies of many different persuasions, she spent five years at the Philadelphia Public School Notebook, where she immersed herself in the issues surrounding the School District of Philadelphia and helped to create a vibrant community space on the Notebook’s website. Her experience with journalism and technology led her to Knight-Mozilla OpenNews, a project focused on supporting the community around code in journalism.
From tutoring in the D.C. public schools to voter outreach to nonprofit, mission-driven journalism, each area of Erika’s work has reinforced the importance of building and strengthening relationships and community bonds. At OpenNews, Erika has the chance to manage that connective work, track and evaluate its progress, and share it back with the journalism and broader nonprofit communities. She currently lives in Point Breeze and loves over-analysis, community (also Honest Tea’s community green flavor), and laughing heartily.