OUR TEAM

Staff

Myers Reece

Executive Director

Myers has led Underscore News since May 2022, overseeing a period of sustained organizational growth, including the hiring of all personnel, fundraising, strategic planning, program development and community relationship building. Before joining Underscore, he was a founding member and managing editor of the Flathead Beacon, which was called the "best newsroom in Montana" in the Columbia Journalism Review and named one of the "Best Places to Work" in the U.S. by Outside magazine. His award-winning journalism and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and literary journals across the country, as well as two anthologies. He is the president of the Portland chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). He lives in Portland with his wife and two sons, who occasionally let him sneak away to fly fish or embark on a trail run.

Email: mreece@underscore.news

Click here to view stories by Myers.

Karina Brown

Managing Editor

As managing editor, Karina guides Underscore’s mission to illuminate the strength and vibrancy of Indigenous communities as well as the challenges they face. She oversees and assists Underscore’s talented reporters on a wide variety of projects, strategizes about long-term story choices, manages our organization’s collaborations and partnerships, and does her own reporting for Underscore. Karina started out in journalism in 2005, covering courts in Oregon. She has reported from a wide spectrum of places, from the chaos of far-right extremist rallies to the hushed decorum of federal courtrooms, and has focused her coverage on environmental issues, policing and tribal sovereignty. She likes to relax with a run in the woods, a ballet class, or by drawing and painting.

Twitter: karinapdx

Email: kbrown@underscore.news

Click here to view stories by Karina.

Sabrina Smith

Operations Director

Sabrina joined Underscore News in 2023 as the Operations Director and is excited to use their background in nonprofit fundraising to help Underscore achieve new heights. An ardent believer in amplifying and uplifting BIPOC communities to tell their own stories, Sabrina brings years of experience leading workplace justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts to their role as Operations Director. In between budget meetings, strategic planning sessions, and serving as a one-person HR department, Sabrina can be found digging through the funk, soul, and disco sections of record stores or cuddling with their furry family, Midnight and Joy.

Luna Reyna

Northwest Bureau Chief

Luna Reyna is a writer and broadcaster whose work has centered the voices of the systematically excluded in service of liberation and advancing justice. Before coming to Underscore News and ICT as the Seattle-based Northwest Bureau Chief, Luna was Crosscut’s Indigenous Affairs Reporter, and her work has appeared in the South Seattle Emerald, Prism Reports, Talk Poverty and more. Luna is proud of her Little Shell Chippewa heritage and is passionate about reporting that sheds light on colonial white supremacist systems of power.

Twitter: @LunaBReyna

Email: lunar@underscore.news

Click here to view stories by Luna

Jes Abeita

Community Engagement Director

Jes Abeita, a member of the Pueblo of Isleta and a descendant of the Pueblo of Laguna, brings a diverse media background to Underscore, where she leads a range of efforts to grow our readership, strengthen our online presence and engage with the communities we serve. She has previously worked at Native America Calling and the Vancouver Sun, among other organizations. Her photos have been published by outlets such as NPR.org, the Vancouver Observer, OregonLive.com and Portland Monthly, as well as commercial clients.

The Community Engagement Director position is funded through generous support from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.

Jarrette Werk

Reporter and Photographer/Report for America Corps Member

Jarrette is a multimedia journalist with experience in digital news, audio reporting and photojournalism. He joined Underscore in June 2022 as a staff reporter and photographer, in partnership with the national Report for America program. Originally from Montana, Jarrette is a proud member of the Aaniiih and Nakoda Tribes of the Fort Belknap Indian Community. Prior to joining Underscore, he served as an associate producer for Nevada Public Radio’s (KNPR) “Native Nevada Podcast,” an eight-part podcast series highlighting the culture, issues and perseverance of the 27 tribal nations in present-day Nevada. He has been a member of the Native American Journalists Association since 2017 and has participated as a Native American Journalist Fellow four times, including once as a mentor-in-training. He has earned a national Hearst Journalism Award and regional Edward R. Murrow Award for his reporting.

Twitter: @Jarrette_Werk

Email: jwerk@underscore.news

Click here to view stories by Jarrette.

Nika Bartoo-Smith

Underscore/ICT Beat Reporter

Nika is a journalist with a passion for working to provide platforms for the voices and experiences of communities often left behind in mainstream media coverage. Born and raised in Portland, Nika is a descendant of the Osage and Oneida Nations, with Northern European and Indonesian heritage. A joint reporter with Underscore News + ICT since March 2023, she previously worked as the health and social services reporter at The Columbian in Vancouver, Washington. Her favorite way to unwind is by trying a new recipe, browsing the aisles of a local bookstore or creating beaded jewelry.

Twitter: @BartooNika

Email: nbartoosmith@underscore.news

Click here to view stories by Nika.

Carrie Johnson

2023 Indigenous Journalism Fellow

Carrie Johnson is Chickasaw and Pawnee from southern Oklahoma. A senior at Austin College, she is double majoring in English and Media Studies. She has been a fellow for the Native American Journalists Association, a mentee for NPR’s Next Generation Radio: Indigenous, an intern for the Chickasaw Press and a freelance sportswriter for the Sherman Herald Democrat. At Austin College, Carrie is a staff writer for The Observer (the student newspaper), an intern for Institutional Marketing and Communications, a Posey Leadership fellow and a member of the women’s softball team. She is excited to join Underscore News this summer as the 2023 recipient of the Underscore Indigenous Journalism Fellowship.

Click here to view stories by Carrie.

McKayla Lee

2022 Indigenous Journalism Fellow

​​McKayla Lee (Diné) is the first recipient of the Underscore Indigenous Journalism Fellowship. After completing the fellowship in the summer of 2022, she returned to the University of Montana, where she is an undergraduate student double majoring in Journalism and Native American Studies. She was born and raised in Whale Rock, Arizona on the Navajo Nation and is an enrolled citizen of the Navajo Nation. McKayla spent four years as a reporter at the Southern Ute Drum in Colorado and has won awards for her writing and photography from the Native American Journalists Association, Society of Professional Journalists, Colorado Press Association and the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Click here to view stories by McKayla.

Board of Directors

Stone Hudson

Board Chair

An enrolled citizen of the Three Affiliated Tribes, Stone is a lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest. In the past, he has overseen government relations to tribes on behalf of U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer and the City of Portland, where he worked for two years in the Tribal Relations Program. A recent graduate with his Master of Social Work from Portland State University, Stone currently serves as Program Officer to tribal communities for Meyer Memorial Trust, where he plans to use his experience in government to better inform public-private funding partnerships.


Marcella Miller

Board Vice Chair

Marcella is an organizational culture and equity analyst with the Oregon Department of Human Services. Her well rounded experience in nonprofit management, community direct service, and organizational development has spanned dozens of organizations and communities across Nebraska, Oregon and national projects.

Casey Pearlman

Board Treasurer

Casey Pearlman (Iñupiaq descendant) is the Business Development Specialist for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Economic Development Corporation. She has a decade of experience in Portland's startup scene working with founders and funders in emerging industries. She joined the Underscore board of directors in 2022 and serves as board treasurer.

Mago Torres

Board Member

Mago Torres is an investigative journalist who specializes in research, access to public records and project leadership. She is the Research Project Director at Open News and data editor with CLIP. She worked for ICIJ on the investigations for the Pandora Papers, FinCEN Files, Luanda Leaks and Pulitzer prize-winning Panama Papers. She was a JSK Fellow at Stanford University and holds a Ph.D. in Humanistic Studies.

Erin Dysart

Board Member

Erin is a Program Associate at Meyer Memorial Trust who advocates for journalism's role in supporting transformational, systems-level change that shifts power imbalances and creates and sustains equitable conditions.


Stacey L. McQuade-Eger

Board Member

Stacey L. McQuade-Eger, JD, is the Executive Director of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Economic Development Corporation (ATNI-EDC). With a wealth of experience in staff management, operations planning, organizational development, and financial management, Stacey graduated from the University of Montana School of Law with a Juris Doctorate degree in transactional law and Indian law. She is also an enrolled tribal member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation in northwestern Montana.

Lee Francis IV

Board Member

Dr. Lee Francis IV (Pueblo of Laguna) is an Albuquerque-based activist, educator and comic creator. Dr. Francis is the Executive Director of Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, owner and CEO of Native Realities Publishing, and founder of the Indigenous Comic Con (now called IndigiPop X) and Red Planet Books & Comics. He brings invaluable insights and perspectives to our team.

Joseph Bull

Board Member

Joseph Bull is Dean of the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science at Portland State University and the first Native American dean of engineering in the U.S. He previously served multiple roles at Tulane University, including as the John and Elsie Martinez Biomedical Engineering Chair. He holds fellowships at the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and American Indian Science and Engineering Society. Dr. Bull has worked tirelessly to improve racial equity and diversity and received the Raymond J. and Monica E. Schultz Outreach and Diversity Award from the University of Michigan. He is an enrolled member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians.