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Jesse Kapukui


Location icon United States

I’m a second year Santa Rosa Junior College student working towards a B.A. in Journalism and Sociology. Since 2018, I’ve been a staff writer at the college’s student-operated publication The Oak Leaf.

Although my earlier articles focused on honing my voice as a music critic and reviewing lesser-known artists, I discovered my passion for covering social justice issues and using my voice to shine a light on the problems of the unheard.

For example, some of my recent stories explore musicians responding to white nationalism and the reality of California gun access. Moving forward, I’ll focus on taking abstract systematic problems like prison industrial complex, the criminal justice system, gender inequity and racism; and making them concrete through the experiences of marginalized community members.

Being a journalist, to me, provides a unique opportunity to humanize the folks behind statistics and inspire change once people care about their plight.

The Oak Leaf
Fighting Words: Musicians respond to white nationalism in Trump's America.

When Janelle Monae sings "Just love me baby, love me for who I am" in her song "Americans," she's not asking for the romantic love of any single partner. Instead, Monae is begging for the respect of her fellow man or, more specifically, white men who identify as white nationalists.

The Oak Leaf
Cage the Elephant overcomes self-loathing with new album "Social Cues"

The future of Nashville-based alt-rockers Cage the Elephant seemed uncertain in recent years when their lead singer's life fell apart in the aftermath of his divorce, however the band managed to come together and craft one of their best albums to date: "Social Cues." Band members Daniel Tichenor, Jared Champion and Matt and Brad Shultz...

The Oak Leaf
How sleep deprivation impacts SRJC students

Life as a Santa Rosa Junior College student lends itself to sleepless nights. Lacking enough time to fulfill daily obligations at school and work can leave you feeling like you have no other option but to sacrifice your rest. According to a 2019 Washington Post article, sleep researchers at Harvard Medical School and UC Berkeley...

The Oak Leaf
10 lesser-known love songs for you and your bae this Valentine's Day

Love is a central theme in music, and since music speaks to people and evokes certain emotions in ways normal speech can't alone, it's a great medium to talk about such feelings. However, when it comes to what we hear on the radio, there is an irrefutable cycle of tropes and expressions in relatively popular...