Staff

Rebecca Landsberry-Baker (Muscogee) – Executive Director
rebeccalandsberry@naja.com

Rebecca Landsberry-Baker is the executive director of the Native American Journalists Association, which advocates for accurate representations of Indigenous people in media and press freedom throughout Indian Country. She is a former tribal media editor for the Muscogee Nation News and served as vice president of the Mvskoke Media Editorial Board, where she was responsible for oversight of the independent tribal agency from 2015-2018. She was a recipient of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s “Native American 40 Under 40” award in 2018.

She holds a degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma where she studied public relations and Native American studies at the Gaylord College of Journalism and Strategic Communication. She is an enrolled citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and is based in Los Angeles with deep ties to her tribe and home in Oklahoma.
Sterling Cosper (Muscogee) – Membership Manager
scosper@naja.com

Muscogee citizen Sterling Cosper (he/him) is membership manager for the Native American Journalists Association, where he is a former a board member, and is former president of the Society of Professional Journalists, Oklahoma Chapter where he is still a board member.

He was manager of Mvskoke Media at Muscogee Nation and resigned in November 2018 due to the tribal government’s repeal of the original MCN free press law. A free press law has since been reinstated and strengthened through placement in the tribal constitution. He remains an advocate for tribal free press in alignment with NAJA’s values and mission.
Sheena Roetman (Lakota) – Education Manager
sroetman@naja.com

Sheena Roetman, Lakota, is the education manager for the Native American Journalists Association.

Previously, Roetman spent six years as director of membership and programs at the Atlanta Press Club, as well as nearly 10 years as a freelance journalist. Her work can be found at Indian Country Today, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Native Peoples Magazine, Vice Sports and more.

Roetman holds a degree in Journalism with a research specialty in American Indian Media from Georgia State University. She is currently based in Atlanta, Ga.
Justine Medina (Navajo, Winnebago, Menominee) – Program Manager
jmedina@naja.com

Justine Medina (she/hers) is Navajo, Winnebago, Menominee and is from Tongva and Acjachemen Territory (Long Beach, CA). Justine is committed and passionate about serving her Native American community. At the age of 15 years old her community service began as a volunteer at the American Indian Community Council and participated in United Native Youth of Los Angeles.

Justine received her BA in Political Science from California State University, Los Angeles after transferring from Rio Hondo Community College and received an MA in International Administration from the University of Denver. Her interest in policy began with her personal experience. She was intrigued that Federal Indian Policy brought her maternal grandparents to Los Angeles as a result of the Indian Relocation Act.

Justine has held many roles working within the community. Some of her previous roles are Assistant Director of Native American/Alaskan Recruiter at UCLA and Transfer Admission Counselor/Native American Outreach at UCI. Most recently she held a role as a Community Organizer at California Native Project leading their Indigenous Education Now! Campaign and Native Youth for Justice youth organizing program.
Candice Mendez – Temporary Program Manager
cmendez@naja.com

Candice Mendez brings her years of experience in entrepreneurship, business management and international acumen to NAJA. Mendez’s management experience includes hotel procurement for the historical Arizona Biltmore Resort and at the prestigious Phoenix Children’s Hospital. On the international front, Mendez was formerly the co-owner and operator of Chacun Licorera in the provinces of Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Mendez also studied Art and Art History in the south of France at The Marchutz School of Art. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Arizona.

Prior to NAJA, Mendez was the Public Relations and Policy Aide at Native Public Media. Mendez managed and planned conferences, developed fundraising plans, and served as the point of contact for the 57 Tribal radio stations and media network. On the policy front, Mendez has advocated for broadband deployment on Tribal lands and public media funding in Washington, D.C. by working closely with the Federal Communications Commission Office of Native Affairs and Policy and the National Congress of American Indians. Mendez has collaborated with grass roots organizations to promote and engage Tribal communities to apply radio licenses using the Low-power FM radio license window and the Tribal Priority Radio license opportunity. Mendez is Áshįįhii, born for Dibé Łizhiní, her maternal grandfather is Tótsohnii and her paternal grandfather is Táchii’nii. Mendez currently lives on the Navajo Nation with her 12 horses, flock of sheep and a rescue Pitbull named Voodoo.