Welcome to Manos Arriba: Unreported Stories of Latinx in the U.S. Carceral System. Our podcast aims to examine and highlight a variety of issues affecting the Latinx community in the U.S. carceral system, including police violence, the separation of families, loss of economic and educational opportunities, as well as negative mental and physical health outcomes.


Ana Lourdes Cárdenas is a journalism associate professor at San Francisco State University. She is a seasoned binational, bilingual journalist, and writer with three decades of experience working for American and Mexican media. She is the author of “Marihuana: El Viaje a la legalización,” a book that explores the process of legalizing cannabis in the US and its impact on the war on drugs. She is behind the creation of SF State's first Bilingual Journalism bachelor’s degree in a public university in the United States.

Carina Gallo is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Studies at San Francisco State University. Her interdisciplinary research addresses historical and international trends in crime and welfare policy. Carina recently published a book exploring the roots of the Swedish victim movement.

Described by the San Francisco Book Review as “a force to be reckoned with in literary circles,” Shabnam Piryaei is a poet, media artist, and filmmaker. She’s the author of three books: Nothing is Wasted (2017), FORWARD (2014) and ode to fragile (2010). Her films have screened at film festivals, and her art has been exhibited in galleries around the world. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature and teaches in the Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts Department at SFSU.

Joshua Davis is a multimedia journalist and an Assistant Professor in the Journalism Department at San Francisco State University. He’s produced groundbreaking broadcast and digital projects, including the Peabody Award-winning VICE News documentary, Charlottesville: Race and Terror (2017), and the Emmy Award-winning NPR documentary, Planet Money Makes A T-Shirt (2013). His recent work explores the politicization of the criminal justice reform movement and its effect on marginalized communities.

Erica Pulley is a lecturer in the Broadcast & Electronic Arts (BECA) department at SFSU where she teaches environmental communication and video production as well as works to support climate justice activities and lecturer rights on campus. She is also currently a doctoral student in the Media & Communications program at the University of Oregon where her research focuses on ways climate change and justice issues are communicated (or not) to audiences, particularly in electronic media and in the news, with additional focus on media political economy, activism, framing, and policy & behavior change.


Kevin Pennick is a sound designer and audio technician based out of Oakland, California. Pennick composed the theme song for Manos Arriba, and creates original music for every episode using analog synthesizers. Additionally, Pennick does production audio for documentaries, short films and advertisements.


Ada Schmidt is an intern attending San Francisco State University. Schmidt has taken courses in Communication Studies, Criminal Justice Studies, and Comic Studies. She enjoys designing and working in data visualization.