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A weekly newsletter and podcast for misfits and unlikely optimists by Kristin Leong. Subscribe and learn more about our outsider revolution at RockPaperRadio.com



Roll Call: Exploring the Gaps Separating Students and Teachers | Kristin Leong | TEDxWWU
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​ROLL CALL is Kristin Leong's 2017 TED-Ed Innovation Project. Through portrait photography and two simple questions, ROLL CALL is humanizing the culture gaps separating students and teachers while celebrating the connections happening in our schools despite these divides.


The two questions guiding ROLL CALL: 


  • What do you have in common with your students or teachers? 

  • Does it matter that students and teachers have things in common? 

Kristin developed ROLL CALL as part of TED-Ed's third cohort of 30 international Innovative Educators. She launched the project during her seventh year as a public school teacher. 

Meet the students and teachers from around the world who have joined the call at RollCallProject.com


Half Slide.jpg
HALF: Biracial + Bicultural
in America


HALF is Kristin Leong's Sarah Lawrence College senior project featuring portraits of biracial and bicultural people from across the United States. The project was nominated for a USA Today Outstanding Academic and Intellectual Endeavor Award, 2003. All portraits shot were with film by Kristin Leong. See the portraits and explore the project here. 



#AZNxBLM: Asian & Black artists find strength in solidarity
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When multimedia producer Kristin Leong received $10,000 from TED with no strings attached, she turned it into a nationwide rally call for solidarity. 


#AZNxBLM brought together 20 artists of color from across the U.S. The project produced 14 original multimedia works that explored the potential power of solidarity between the Stop Asian Hate and Black Lives Matter movements during the civil rights reckoning of 2020.


#AZNxBLM was created and led by Kristin Leong and supported by ROCK PAPER RADIO, The Slants Foundation, and the TED Mystery Experiment.


To explore all of the #AZNxBLM projects and learn more go to RockPaperRadio.com. To read and listen to Morning Edition's story on Kristin and how #AZNxBLM came to life go here. 

Curiosity Club: One Night to Turn Strangers into a Community
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Curiosity Club


Curiosity Club is like a bookless book club or a nerdy supper club for public radio listeners. Ten diverse community members are intentionally curated and brought together for a dinner party.


A month before the dinner, Club cohort members are assigned a group of multimedia stories as “homework.”

The central question guiding Curiosity Club is this: Can compelling storytelling and a shared meal transform a group of strangers into a community?


Repeatedly, the Club has shown that the answer to that question is yes. The dinners are festive but informal. Kristin serves as the host and facilitator, and the journalists who reported and edited the stories participate too.

Afterwards, Kristin collaborates with participants to reflect on their experiences in the Club through multimedia storytelling.  

Curiosity Club was developed by Kristin Leong for NPR-afiliate KUOW Public Radio. Learn more about the experiment and explore the surprising essays and audio features that followed at KUOW.org/curiosityclub



I am the unlikely optimist behind ROCK PAPER RADIO, a newsletter and podcast for misfits. I am also the founder of RollCallProject.com, an international photography and storytelling project humanizing the culture gaps separating students and teachers. I created ROLL CALL as part of TED-Ed’s third cohort of 30 global Innovative Educators. 

Before becoming the Executive Director of The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas, I was a public radio producer, a curator, a middle school teacher, and a nightclub bartender. And before my stint mixing cocktails for night owls and troublemakers, The New York Times called me a ​"graduate already in the driver’s seat” and my project HALF: Biracial + Bicultural in America was nominated for a USA Today Outstanding Academic and Intellectual Endeavor Award.

The Boston Globe has described me as "post-feminist." A music festival in Australia once introduced me as "America's hip hop poet." A former student told The Seattle Times I am an "inveterate poet." I do not identify as a post-feminist hip hop poet. I had to look up inveterate

I am based in Seattle where I live with my wife, son, and our rescue dog Radley. I'd love it if you'd subscribe to my newsletter

Hi. I'm Kristin. 

Hi. I'm Kristin. 

KRISTIN LEONG, M.Ed. is the Executive Director of The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas, a youth tutoring program and independent publisher serving diverse young authors. She is 2021 AIR New Voices scholar, and one of 20 international creators selected to be part of CUNY’s 2021 Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program. She was previously a producer with NPR-affiliate KUOW Public Radio where she also curated and edited personal essays showcasing diverse voices for the Seattle Story Project series. 


As one of 30 international TED-Ed Innovative Educators of 2017, she founded RollCallProject.com, a global portrait and storytelling project humanizing the culture gaps in schools. ROLL CALL is used in classrooms around the world to fuel conversation about equity and representation. Her portrait photography project HALF: Biracial + Bicultural in America was nominated for USA Today's Outstanding Academic & Intellectual Endeavor Award. As a senior at Sarah Lawrence College, the New York Times called her a "graduate already in the driver's seat." She is a 2018 Citizen University Fellow, a recipient of The Slants Foundation's 2020 Countering Hate Award, and a 2020 Seattle Mayor's Arts Award nominee.


ROCK PAPER RADIO is her weekly newsletter for misfits and unlikely optimists. Odd One In is her podcast sharing stories of outsiders making their own way. A first generation scholar and originally from Honolulu, she now lives in Seattle with her wife, son, and rescue pup Radley. Find her on Instagram @leongstagram, on Twitter @kristinleong, on SoundCloud here, and learn more about why her newsletter is for curious people who don't neatly fit in anywhere at RockPaperRadio.com.  



AIR Media  •  Kristin Leong, New Voices Scholar Spotlight  (Nov 2021) 

City University of New York, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism  •  Twenty Global Journalism Entrepreneurs Join Newmark J-School’s Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program Fall 2021 Cohort   (Oct 2021)

AIR Media  •  Announcing AIR’s 2021 New Voices!  (July 2021) 

NPR/KUOW Public Radio, Morning Edition  •  Black and Asian solidarity: 20 artists explore America's complicated relationship with race  (June 2021) 

Northwest Asian Weekly  •  #AZNxBLM: Two minorities unite in art and activism (June 2021)

NPR/KUOW Public Radio, Meet the Newsmakers  •  A Conversation with Kristin Leong on Asian Erasure  (Feb 2021)

International Examiner  •  KUOW’s Kristin Leong shares her passion and gift for storytelling  (Feb 2021)

Antioch University  •  Kristin Leong: Building Bridges for Self-discovery  (Sept 2020)

Seattle Office of Arts & Culture  •  Kristin Leong nominated for 2020 Mayor's Arts Award (Sept 2020)

The Slants Foundation  •  Kristin Leong receives 2020 Countering Hate Award  (May 2020)  

NPR/KUOW Public Radio, The Record  •  When a parent is on COVID-19's front lines  (April 2020) 

EdSurge  •  Most Popular EdSurge Podcast Episodes of 2019, Leong's story on high school dropout-turned-Teacher of the Year is a top episode of the year  (Dec 2019) 

EdSurge  •  Kristin Leong Uses Storytelling to Forge Unbreakable Bonds Between Teachers and Students (Sept 2019)

NPR/KUOW Public Radio  •  Curiosity Club FAQ: An interview with producer Kristin Leong  (July 2019)

Seattle Met  •  Perfect Party: Here’s who we’d invite if we could entertain this month’s most interesting visitors, locals, and newsmakers. (March 2019) 

Humanities Washington  •  Our Divided Classrooms  (Jan 2018) 

TED  •  Bridge the Gaps Between Students and Teachers with ROLL CALL  (Oct 2017)


The Seattle Times  •  Students at Bellevue’s International School share stories of inspiration, lessons learned (April 2016) 

Thanks for getting in touch. If you are reaching out with speaking or collaboration inquiry, please include your budget and timeline. You can also email me at kristin@fearlessideas.org.    

Thanks for reaching out!