JSK names 10 Community Impact Fellows for 2021-2022

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The John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships today named 10 Community Impact Fellows for 2021-2022. The fellows are veteran and emerging journalism leaders who will work remotely in their communities on practical solutions to address the U.S. journalism industry’s long-standing neglect of communities of color. Their projects will address news and information gaps affecting Native American, Black, Latino, Asian and other communities that have been significantly impacted by the pandemic, systemic racism and the deterioration of legacy local news outlets.

“We’re thrilled by the wide range of experience levels, talents and types of local organizations around the U.S. that our new JSK Community Impact Fellows represent,” said JSK Director Dawn Garcia. “Their news and information projects will provide essential information to communities of people who are too often overlooked.”

The JSK Community Impact Fellows will develop news and information solutions that better engage underserved communities of color in 10 cities across the United States. These cities are Atlanta, GA; Bloomfield, NJ; Cleveland, OH; Halliday, ND; Los Angeles, CA; New Orleans, LA; Philadelphia, PA; Riverside, CA; Salinas, CA and Vallejo, CA. 

The fellowship runs from Sept. 13, 2021, to June 3, 2022, though many of the fellows have already begun their work and will continue their projects well after the fellowship ends. The fellows will document their work publicly throughout the year, highlighting key strategies and lessons learned. 

JSK announced the new remote model in June 2020, pivoting from its traditional Stanford-based residential fellowship to a virtual arrangement because of the pandemic. Fellowship directors decided to continue the remote model a second year because of its success.

“The fellows made great progress with their on-the-ground projects to listen, learn and serve the information needs of their local communities of color,” said Garcia. “From empowering citizens in Cleveland and Los Angeles to participate in local government meetings, to teaming up with local residents in Northampton County, N.C. to create a newsletter that focuses on environmental journalism as a community service, to partnering with the community in Boise, Idaho to create bilingual COVID-19 news to help combat coronavirus misinformation, we were awed by what our fellows accomplished in these communities.” 

Fellows will receive stipends of up to $75,000, additional funds to support their project work, strategic advising, membership in a cohort of innovative leaders, and remote access to the world-class resources of Stanford. 

The Class of 2021-2022 joins a thriving JSK community. More than 1,000 people from over 80 countries have participated in journalism fellowships at Stanford since the program first began in 1966. 

John S. Knight Community Impact Fellows, JSK Class of 2021-2022

Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds
publisher, Black Voice News; co-founder, Media in Color
Riverside, California

Enabling the Black press in California to do solutions-focused, data reporting about racial justice and equity.

Lawrence Daniel Caswell
field coordinator, Cleveland Documenters
Cleveland, Ohio

Equipping communities of color in Cleveland with information and tools that help them gain more access to and participation in their city government’s decisions.

Celeste Fremon
founder and editor, WitnessLA
Los Angeles, California

Working with community members to produce investigative reporting of criminal justice issues affecting Los Angeles County’s communities of color.

Simon Galperin
founding director, Bloomfield Information Project
Bloomfield, New Jersey

Creating a community-driven information marketplace to address a lack of local news and information for working class and people of color.

Geoffrey King
founder and executive editor, Open Vallejo
Vallejo, California

Expanding local accountability journalism that exposes police violence and government corruption, and supports community-driven change.

Jennifer Larino
 co-founder and president, Lede New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana

Creating a community-driven media lab that puts listening and earning reader trust at the center of its mission.

Sara Lomax-Reese
president and CEO, WURD Radio
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Using WURD’s two-way talk format to identify and create deep-dive journalism that better serves Philadelphia’s Black community.

David Rodríguez Muñoz
photo editor, The Salinas Californian
Salinas, California

Creating an information system to serve the underserved indigenous Latino communities of Monterey County.

Jodi Rave Spotted Bear
executive director, Indigenous Media Freedom Alliance
Halliday, North Dakota

Creating an independent local news source for residents of the Fort Berthold Reservation, where currently information sources are controlled by tribal government.

Sonam Vashi
co-founder and operations director, Canopy Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia

Listening, training, and partnering with Atlanta’s working-class immigrant communities to strengthen information ecosystems and civic participation.