News Release

David Schimke, editor in chief: 612-338-5040 ext. 325,
Rachel Smith, public relations specialist: 785-274-4441, 

Utne Reader Names Bay Area Residents as “Visionaries”
National Magazine Selects Local Citizens Among 50 People who are Changing the World

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 14, 2009) — Utne Reader, the best of the alternative press, names seven Bay Area citizens as visionaries who are making their individual marks on the world. They are among 50 people the magazine has chosen as visionaries in its November-December issue, on newsstands Oct. 20. 

“Each of the inventors, environmentalists, media activists and community organizers we chose to celebrate this year are fueled by an inexhaustible desire to serve the greater good. Labors of peace, love and justice are rarely celebrated these days, and given the many challenges facing our world, it was exciting to give readers 50 reasons to believe in a brighter future,” says David Schimke, Utne Reader’s editor in chief. 

WEB EXCLUSIVE: For interviews and other features about this year’s honorees, visit: 

Bay Area Visionaries:
David Bacon, documentary photographer and journalist – Bacon has made a life of telling underreported stories and getting to know the people behind them: immigrant janitors from Mexico and Central America striking for better wages in Northern California, security guards organizing for better working conditions in San Francisco, and neighbors in Oakland protesting another foreclosure.

Jeff Chang, author, "Can’t Stop Won’t Stop"  Chang covers the intersection of hip-hop and politics — and the Obama administration is listening to him regarding U.S. arts policy.

René Girard, professor emeritus, Stanford University – According to this French-born intellectual’s mimetic theory, imitation is the root of human culture.

Tiny aka Lisa Gray-Garcia, co-founder, POOR magazine  Tapping her life experiences in the Bay Area, this self-proclaimed “poverty scholar” uses a grassroots magazine — as well as her performance art project welfareQUEENs — to tell street stories the mainstream rarely covers.

Brewster Kahle, co-founder, Internet Archive  Thanks to this digital librarian’s nonprofit organization, researchers, historians and scholars have permanent access to reams of essential historical data —and he’s just getting started.

Sumaya Kazi, founder, The CulturalConnect  This South Asian American entrepreneur created an online media company responsible for five weekly e-magazines that spotlight young professionals of color making their mark.

Raj Patel, author, "Stuffed and Starved" – A social justice activist, Patel challenges the sociopolitics of food systems and proposes valuing people, places and animals regardless of their economic worth.

NOTE: For the complete article, cover image or photos of the visionaries, please contact Rachel Smith at 785-274-4441 or

About Utne Reader
Since 1984, Utne Reader ( has been the vanguard of the alternative press, celebrating independent news and views from across the political spectrum. With ideas, trends and solutions you won’t see in the mainstream media for months or even years, those who want to know what’s happening next, read Utne Reader first.

About Ogden Publications Inc. 
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