Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker and mental health advocate. She grew up in a diverse, working-class neighborhood in Oakland, Calif. and learned so much about life, people and culture from her community. The greatest gift she ever received was a journal her mother gave her at seven years old. She hasn't stopped writing since.
Jeneé has reported for NPR, The Los Angles Times, Shondaland, Ebony, Marketplace, Refinery 29 and many other outlets. In 2005, she contributed reporting on the London 7/7 transit bombings for Time magazine’s Europe edition.
Listen to her on KALW 91.7 FM where she is the executive producer and host of the arts segment Sights & Sounds, as well as the show Sights + Sounds Magazine. She is also their East Oakland reporter. Her first short documentary Where is East Oakland was screened at the Oakland International Film Festival and has won awards.
Jeneé has interviewed and/or produced interviews with a host of newsmakers and entertainers including: Alice Walker, Iyanla Vanzant, Eric Jerome Dickey, author Mary Monroe, Luenell, Margaret Cho, Adam Savage, filmmaker Malcolm Spellman, Star Wars: Rogue One screenwriter Gary Whitta, author Aiden Thomas, Star Wars author Mike Chen, Star Trek: Lower Decks Executive Producer Mike McMahan, iconic Star Trek fans Bjo and John Trimble, Edward James Olmos, Benjamin Bratt, cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz, Erika Alexander, U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, music executive Matthew Knowles, Kelly Rowland, Common, Fantastic Negrito, country artist Miko Marks, Oscar-winning director Bill Condon, Muppet performer Dave Goelz, RuPaul's Drag Race contestant Lady Camden, attorney/her father Christopher Darden, activist Alicia Garza, civil-rights leader Myrlie Evers-Williams, Van Jones, and everyday people making a difference in the world.
When A Purple Rose Blooms (Nomadic Press) is a collection of poetry and essays about Jeneé's experience with Black womanhood. Jeneé is a former National Book Foundation summer writing fellow.
Jeneé speaks and writes about mental health. She's featured in the anthology We've Been Too Patient: Voices from Radical Mental Health (Penguin Random House). She curates a reading on Black women and mental health called "Let Her Tell It!" Before reporting for KALW she worked for a nonprofit, helping to educate marginalized communities about mental health stigma and recovery. There, Jeneé began sharing her story as the creator and former host of the award-winning podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio.
“Sharing my story of living with depression and anxiety liberated me, but I also saw it helped others who were carrying stigma," says Jeneé.
Jeneé blogs at CocoaFly.com where she gives her thoughts on issues related to Black women, wellness and much more. Cocoa Fly features Jeneé’s thesis “Under the Covers: The Popularity and Debate Over Black Erotic Literature.”
She has been interviewed/featured by BBC, Access Hollywood, Inside Edition, NPR, Marie Claire, Daily Beast, KTVU, BlackGirlNerd.com and the book Swirling.
Jeneé holds a BA in ethnic studies from UC San Diego and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California.
When she's not working, Jeneé enjoys dancing, reading, performing her poetry, watching superhero films, the beach and traveling.
"I've learned that when life happens, so can healing. "
Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker and mental health advocate from Oakland, Calif. She is the host and executive producer of the weekly KALW arts segment Sights & Sounds and she is their East Oakland reporter. Jenee has reported for NPR, Marketplace, KQED, KPCC, The Los Angeles Times, Ebony, Refinery29 and other outlets. In 2005, she reported on the London transit bombings for Time magazine. She is the author of When a Purple Rose Blooms (Nomadic Press), a collection of essays and poetry about her personal journey through Black womanhood. She curates the reading Let Her Tell It! about Black women and mental health. Jenee holds a BA in ethnic studies from UC San Diego and a master’s in journalism from the University of Southern California.