What happens when you pair young poets with journalists to investigate issues that directly affect them and their communities?

The Off/Page Project, our collaboration with Youth Speaks, seeks to do just that. Through a process that Project Director José Vadi terms “sourced storytelling,” the Off/Page Project uses facts and characters from our reporting to inspire poets’ writing.

The latest example: a new short film produced as a part of Subsidized Squalor, our collaborative investigation with KQED and the San Francisco Chronicle that exposed the failures of the Richmond Housing Authority in California and how it has left residents living in deplorable conditions.

Three poets from RAW Talent, or Richmond Artists With Talent – William Hartfield-Peoples, Donte Clark and Deandre Evans – teamed up with Amy Julia Harris during her reporting, interviewing sources and walking through dilapidated, mold-infested buildings.

Playing the roles of both documentarians and storytellers, the poets incorporated Harris’ findings into their own investigation of the larger socioeconomic state of Richmond. The result: “This is Home,” a collaborative piece of multimedia storytelling that highlights the findings of the investigation and cites sources’ experiences pulled from Harris’ reporting.

Dig Deeper

  • Watch “This Is Home” from the Off/Page Project.
  • Read the full investigation: Subsidized Squalor.
  • Hear from a resident of the Richmond housing project.
  • Off/Page’s work on the investigation continued with a collaboration with StoryWorks, our partnership with Tides Theatre in San Francisco, to bring our stories and the compelling performances of Off/Page’s poets to the stage.

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Jaena Rae Cabrera

Jaena Rae Cabrera worked at The Center for Investigative Reporting until February, 2017. Jaena Rae Cabrera is a Web producer for Reveal. Prior to joining Reveal, Cabrera was Web producer for Renaissance Journalism, a San Francisco-based nonprofit specializing in training, technical assistance, consultation and grants to journalists for media innovations that strengthen communities. Cabrera received a master’s degree in library and information science from Syracuse University. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelor's in journalism. Cabrera is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.