Desiree Kane is a Miwok woman, multi-media journalist, and a live-media event producer. Her most recent notable work is with the Firestarter Films crew as an Investigative Journalist on the documentary film Akicita: The Battle of Standing Rock, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah and as a teacher with the Amerindian People's Association and the Rainforest Foundation. She's part of developing a 2-year media-making capacity building program for Indigenous Guyanese youth facing land loss through logging/deforestation and mining in their home territories. She spent most of 2017 living at Oceti Sakowin Camp near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation documenting and organizing around #NoDAPL.
You can see her work in a variety of places ranging from Yes! Magazine whom she is a photojournalist and writer for, to Truthout, to a music video called Love Letters to God by Nahko Bear. She's the National Engagement Director for The People for Bernie Sanders.
Her body of journalistic work ranges widely. From producing a short form documentary on coal on the Navajo Nation for VICE News, to her travel + tech column for nearly 3 years at Creative Loafing, to reporting on an Indigenous Women's Treaty Signing in Paris during the COP21 in Earth Island Journal, to writing and producing a multi-media exposé detailing immigrant detention in Aurora, CO on Shadowproof, there's no arena of storytelling Desiree hasn't touched. She's also a photographer who has contributed to the Light and Media Invitational at the Gallery At Packard Place in Charlotte, NC, Mint Press News, the Bernie Sanders campaign, and beyond. Upworthy, alongside a number of other well known media outlets, have covered her and/or her work as well. In 2016, The Los Angeles Times covered her work, twice.
She's served on the Advisory Board of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Generation Nation, and is one of the founders of The PPL, which was a hub providing programming, services, space, and resources for 1,800 unaccredited media makers covering the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC in 2012.
Desiree's conjoined career paths have become self-reinforcing. Her nose for finding stories in journalism often helps her also in finding potential speakers for live media events she produces.
She has worked with the Society of Environmental Journalists on their conference and has produced others events with attendance numbers as big as 3,000 people like Netroots Nation, which she organized for years, and The People's Summit, an annual event founded in Chicago in July 2016.
The events she produces feature high level speakers, politicians, artists, and other culture makers.
Politicians like Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley, alongside other Progressive leaders like Elizabeth Warren.
She's done a concert featuring conscious rapper Immortal Technique and Constant Flow (CF) and been the cultural producer of a to Top 10 in Phoenix mural projects featuring well known muralists Mata Ruda, Jess X. Chen, Thea Gahr, and Jetsonorama in partnership with Justseeds Artist Co-operative, the Colibrí Center for Human rights, and the producers of Sundance Award Winner for Cinematography Who Is Dayani Cristal?.
During her years organizing the Palm Springs Photo Festival, annually produced a dozen-workshops running at once (for a week) program for 12+ celebrity photographers like portrait-maker Frank Ockenfels III and war and conflict photojournalist from NOOR Images, Stanley Greene.
Other fun facts about Desiree:
- In 2010, Desiree hosted the first (?) hashtag party in Charlotte wherein hundreds of us en masse all lobbied the Democratic National Convention Committee on Twitter to pick North Carolina over Missouri. First Lady Michelle Obama announced on February 1, 2011, in an email to supporters that Charlotte, North Carolina, had been chosen as the site for the 2012 Convention.
- In 2011, Desiree was one of 150 in the world chosen by NASA to come to Cape Canaveral to witness the very last shuttle launch and be part of the #STS135 #NASATweetUp. She wound up on NASA TV asking Elmo a question. ^_^
- In 2012, TED hosted 850 promising TEDx organizers in Doha, Qatar for 18 days for TEDxSummit. Desiree recieved a scholarship from TED to attend and she gave a short talk on building digital media internships in the non-profit environment.
- In 2014, Desiree went with a team of researchers from the Jane Goodall Institute - Nepal to document climate change adaptations happening, extreme weather patterns, and to (try to) document the endangered Ganges River Dolphin. She also interviewed Indigenous women about their first-hand experiences being on the front lines of rapid climate change. The video portraits of these women can be seen in a Duke Energy owned building in central Charlotte, NC for extra poignancy.