Executive Director-Spokane Area Jewish Family Services
Up With KREM Reporter
Pastor, Community Activist
Executive Director, Latinos en Spokane
The Pumpkin Cowboy
Esteban Herevia (he/him/his)
Activist and community leader
Spokane Commissioner, Washington State CAPAA
Lynn Yew Evers
KREM 2 Anchor and Reporter
Rev. James Watkins
Senior Pastor, New Hope Baptist
Spokane Civil Rights Coordinator
KREM 2 Anchor and Reporter
KREM 2 Multi-Skilled Journalist
Spokane City Council, District 2
"Let’s Talk" is a group that started at KREM 2 in October of 2020 as a way to provide our coworkers, who are people of color, a safe space to meet and discuss issues impacting them and their communities. Now, we want to open up those discussions to the Inland Northwest.
We learn from hearing each other’s stories. This page is a way to learn about others' experiences in the Inland Northwest.
Neal Schindler: Executive Director-Spokane Area Jewish Family Services
A native of Detroit, Mich., Neal Schindler has lived in the Northwest since 2002. He worked in journalism in Seattle before moving to Spokane to earn a master’s degree in counseling from Eastern Washington University. Schindler has provided counseling and social services to diverse populations since 2010.
He was raised in a Reconstructionist congregation and is currently a member of Congregation Emanu-El. He loves his work as director of SAJFS. The Jewish values that are most important to Schindler include humor, resilience, community, food, intellectualism, and healthy skepticism.
He lives with his wife, son, and two cats in West Central Spokane.
Nicole Hernandez: Up With KREM Reporter
Nicole Hernandez started at KREM 2 News as a reporter in June 2019 after finishing her master's degree in Mass Communications at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School in Phoenix.
Watch Nicole's extended interview here.
While at ASU, Nicole worked as a reporter for the news division of Arizona PBS and interned at the Phoenix NBC affiliate 12 News as a photographer. She has a passion for telling compelling stories using creative visuals and sound, and she really enjoys meeting the amazing people in this community.
Read Nicole's full bio here.
Jose Ceniceros: Pastor, Community Activist
Jose grew up in the Inland Northwest and in 2018 made headlines after being physically and verbally attacked in Coeur D’Alene by a man. At the time, he was with a group of kids who had just left after hearing a sermon in the area and was taking them out for ice cream.
Watch Jose's extended interview here.
He's originally from Yakima, Washington, and has lived in Spokane for 17 years.
Jennyfer Mesa: Executive Director, Latinos en Spokane
Jennyfer Mesa is a community activist and leader in immigration reform here in Spokane. She moved from Columbia to Miami, Fla. at a young age with her family.
Watch Jennyfer's extended interview here.
After obtaining her GED and degree in project management, she now oversees Latinos en Spokane and the great work they do in the community.
Read Jennyfer's full bio here.
Joshua Loera: The Pumpkin Cowboy
Joshua Loera is from Moses Lake and now lives in Spokane with his wife and two children.
Watch Joshua's extended interview here.
He and his father own a farm and they started growing pumpkins as a way to raise money for local charities. Now, he heads up the Great Pumpkin Fest which raised more than $76,000 in the last two years for area non-profits.
Esteban Herevia (he/him/his): Activist and community leader
Esteban Herevia is the President of Spokane Pride, a nonprofit organization that aims to promote and empower diversity for Spokane's LGBTQIA2S+ population.
Watch his extended interview here.
Along with being a vocal community activist, Esteban is also a higher education professional, working for Washington State University as a pathways and inclusion coordinator.
Dr. Ping: Spokane Commissioner, Washington State CAPAA
Dr. Ping Ping is the Spokane Commissioner for Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs
Watch her video here.
Dr. Ping is a tenured instructor of Sociology at Spokane Falls Community College. Ping grew up in South China and is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Since immigrating to Spokane in 2001, Ping has consistently promoted Chinese language and culture while she served as the Principal of the Spokane Chinese Language School and the President of the Spokane Chinese Association. Additionally, Ping has devoted extensive efforts to advocating for local government and community organizations to provide immigrants and refugees with language services in order to help them overcome language and cultural barriers and better engage in societal issues and economic opportunities. Ping actively participates in various community initiatives for diversity and racial justice as well as grassroots movements to prevent gun violence in the State and the nation.
Ping has been an advocate for people in her community when they have experienced harassment or discrimination. Ping dedicates her time to assisting and uniting API communities in Eastern Washington and hopes to be a part of the collective effort to change harmful stereotypes about Asians.
Lynn Yew Evers: Pianist
Lynn Yew Evers is a concert pianist from Malaysia. She has played for the King of Malaysia or the Yang di-Pertuan Agong along with countless other dignitaries. Evers has played at the Grand Ole Opry and even Carnegie Hall.
She is very involved in her community and loves to bring people together by hosting pot luck dinner parties at her home.
Tim Pham: KREM 2 Anchor and Reporter
Tim Pham is a co-anchor of KREM 2's morning newscast, Up with KREM, Monday through Friday. He joined the KREM 2 News team as a weekend anchor and reporter in February 2019.
Watch Tim's video here.
Tim grew up in Seattle and earned a degree in Journalism and Media Production from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.
After graduation, Tim worked for KFBB-TV in Great Falls, Montana as a reporter. He was promoted to morning anchor and weather forecaster. Six months later, Tim was a part of a team that launched a statewide morning show with KULR-TV based out of Billings, Montana.
Read Tim's full bio on KREM.com.
Rev. James Watkins: Senior Pastor, New Hope Baptist
Reverend James Watkins is a pastor, philanthropist, community activist, husband, and father. In his spare time, he coaches youth wrestling and enjoys spending time with his grandchildren.
A native of Spokane, Watkins enjoys the outdoors and eating BBQ. Reverend Watkins is the youngest son of Rev. Happy Watkins, also of New Hope Baptist Church.
Connect with Rev. Watkins: email@example.com
Jerrall Haynes: Spokane Civil Rights Coordinator
Jerrall Haynes is working toward building equality for all people in Spokane as the city's first Civil Rights Coordinator.
Watch Jerrall's video here.
As part of the job, Jerrall helps anyone with concerns about discrimination, while performing a lot of community outreach.
Prior to the new role with the city, Jerrall served as president of Spokane Public School’s School Board and was at Fairchild as a staff sergeant in charge of maintaining KC-135 air tankers.
Connect with Jerrall: firstname.lastname@example.org
Channing Curtis: KREM 2 Anchor and Reporter
Channing Curtis is the co-anchor of Up With KREM Monday through Friday and a KREM 2 reporter.
Watch Channing's video here.
Before moving to the Inland Northwest to join the KREM 2 News family, Channing was an evening anchor at CBS 19 in Tyler, Texas. While at CBS 19, she reported on the devastating tornados in Alto and Canton, the historic name changes of two Tyler ISD high schools, as well as countless "Black Lives Matter" protests.
Read Channing's full bio on KREM.com.
Janelle Finch: KREM 2 Multi-Skilled Journalist
Janelle Finch is a multi-skilled journalist at KREM 2 News.
Watch Janelle's video here.
KREM 2 is the first stop on Janelle's professional journalistic journey. Prior to coming to the Inland Northwest, Janelle spent her senior year at the University of Missouri-Columbia, simultaneously studying Broadcast Journalism, reporting for local NBC-affiliate, KOMU 8 News, and working remotely for CNBC as a Digital Video Production Intern on its Markets and Politics team.
Read Janelle's full bio on KREM.com.
Betsy Wilkerson: Spokane City Council, District 2
Betsy Wilkerson, a Small business owner and District 2 Council Member, grew up in Spokane and has strong family roots in the district she represents. She is the second African American woman to serve as a City Council Member in Spokane.
Watch Betsy's video here.
Betsy raised her two children in Spokane. She is also a proud grandmother of three.
Her mother was a minister and co-founded the Mt. Zion Holiness Church. Council Member Wilkerson is dedicated to making sure that every resident of the city has the tools to succeed in life and that Spokane remains a City of Promise that attracts people from all over to make it their hometown.
Resources: Discover More
- Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center
- Spokane Community Against Racism
- NAACP Spokane Branch
- Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane
- Spokane Black Business Directory
- The Carl Maxey Center
- Spokane Pride
- Spectrum Center Spokane
- APIC | Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of Spokane
- Latinos en Spokane
- HPBA | Hispanic Business/ Professional Association of Spokane
Together We Can is an action-driven initiative, non-judgmental, non-political program that addresses personal and community development by making change inside and out. This platform is designed for individuals, corporations, organizations and everyone who will take a challenge to continuously improve themselves, their communities, and therefore the country.
Click here for more resources.
Commit to do the work to “Live In Unity.” Together We Can is doing the work to help educate, enable and empower you to have a lifestyle of mindfulness and action against racism.
Join the movement here.
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc. is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.
The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) provides funding and resources to build the infrastructure to improve AAPI advocacy, power, and representation.
UnidosUS is the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization. Since its founding in 1968, UnidosUS have contributed to a stronger America by elevating the voice of Latinos, and defending and advancing the LatinX community’s concerns.