Last week, Growing Community Media, the nonprofit owner of Austin Weekly News, hired Samantha Callender to serve in the inaugural role of Delores McCain and Terry Dean Community Narrative Reporter. 

This new reporting position was made possible by a generous grant from the Field Foundation, which will fund the position for a year. There’s also a distinct possibility of the grant’s renewal in subsequent years. 

Through this new community narrative reporting position, we hope to document for posterity the “steady state” of Austin, West Garfield and North Lawndale through consistent, equitable, compassionate and empathetic coverage of the people, places, organizations and things that comprise normality on the West Side. 

We’re excited about Samantha and we hope you are, too! Get to know Samantha below.

 — Michael Romain, Editor, Austin Weekly News 

Samantha Callender

Hi West Siders! I’m Samantha Callender and I’m so excited to be joining Austin Weekly News, a paper that’s dedicated to amplifying the voices and stories on the West Side. 

I’ve called all parts of Austin home for the past five years and in that time I feel as though I’ve not heard much from the rich voices that are in the community fighting to make it better every single day. 

I’m excited to connect with those who face the challenges in this community head-on by doing work each and every day to improve the quality of life across the West Side. 

Whether or not you’re part of a group, I want to hear the voices that speak for change, for positivity and for revitalization of the community.

Storytelling can lead to revolution and renaissance, and I plan to champion all voices in this community that want to be heard. 

Whether you’re a business owner wanting to talk about your business or part of a community group wanting to talk about your agenda, I am here to listen and amplify. 

Feel free to connect with me via email at and on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels at @OnYourCallender. 

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you! 

— Samantha Callender, Community Narrative Reporter, Austin Weekly News