Cal Humanities

"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more when it is in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

Announcing the 2022 Emerging Journalist Fellows

California Humanities is pleased to announce the 2022 round of the Emerging Journalist Fellowship program. Presented in partnership with an expanded cohort of ten California community colleges, this statewide initiative provides stipends, training, and mentorship for student journalists to conduct in-depth reporting projects on subjects and issues of importance to their campuses and communities.

Through a competitive application process, California Humanities awarded $150,000 in fellowship funds to ten community colleges to support student journalism throughout the state. Participating campuses represent ten counties, ranging from Shasta County in far northern California to San Diego County in the southern US/Mexico border region, and many points in between.

The campuses awarded the 2022 Emerging Journalist Fellowships are:

  • Bakersfield College
  • Chaffey College (Rancho Cucamonga)
  • City College of San Francisco
  • Fullerton College
  • Los Angeles City College
  • Riverside City College
  • San Diego City College
  • Shasta College (Redding)
  • Sierra College (Rocklin)
  • Skyline College (San Bruno)

First launched in 2018 as part of the Democracy and the Informed Citizen initiative with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the Federation of State Humanities Councils, the program is designed to engage a broad cross-section of Californians in consideration of the vital connections between democracy and journalism. Throughout, the initiative’s goals are to incorporate the insight and perspective of journalists and the context and inquiry of the humanities to develop critical journalism skills and encourage media literacy and civic engagement.

Portrait of a young woman with shoulder length hair with blond highlights, and a blue v-neck sweater.
2022 Emerging Journalist Fellow Sandra Slattery

The nature of the modern sound bite has done much harm to how people process information, and as a student journalist, I feel that it is our duty to figure out a way to combat disinformation and propaganda. – Sandra Slattery, Chaffey College

Participating fellows receive training in local and community-engaged journalism, podcasting, media literacy, and mentoring from professional journalists. As part of the fellowship, students propose and conduct a focused reporting project on regional issues of importance to share with statewide audiences.

The focus of current projects includes a wide range of subjects, such as food insecurity in Silicon Valley, the impact of fentanyl and opioid addiction in rural California, housing inequality in Orange County, the environmental legacy of military and industrial sites in San Francisco, arts and early childhood education, disability rights and the enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and declining student enrollment in community colleges.

Our group is reporting on the wealth gap and affordable housing in Orange County. We hope to bring the stories of people’s living and economic situations to light in an interesting way that will capture our audience’s attention and further their awareness. – Rachel Lopez, Fullerton College

I’m writing about the crisis of ACEs—Adverse Childhood Experiences—in Shasta County. On average, the children of Shasta have experienced far more of these than the rest of the state of California. I want to shed light on why this is the case, share what’s being done about it, and how we can continue to move forward as a community toward hope, health, and resilience. – Eythana Miller, Shasta College

In January 2022, the statewide cohort of journalism fellows convened virtually for a kick-off media summit and will continue to meet regularly throughout the semester. With facilitation and mentorship from Joaquin Alvarado of StudioToBe, these convenings provide opportunities for students to make connections with peers in different regions of the state, share their work, reflect on their role as journalists, and mediamakers, and learn practical skills from professional journalists.

2022 Emerging Journalist Fellow Katelyn Vengersammy

I have a passion for storytelling, and I think it’s important to be the voice for those who don’t have the resources to tell their own story. – Katelyn Vengersammy, Sierra College

The 2022 Emerging Journalist Fellowship program will culminate in June with the publication and distribution of students’ reporting projects. Together, they will present regional perspectives on the subjects and issues critical to the state of California today.

2022 Emerging Journalist Fellow Dustin Malek

It sounds cliché, but Journalism is the first draft of history. When I think about someone like  Ida B. Wells and the work she did on “Mob Rule in New Orleans,” for example. History would tell a completely different story about those riots if it weren’t for Wells. That is the torch that we as journalists should strive to carry. – Dustin Malek, Fullerton College

Click here to learn more about the Emerging Journalist Fellowship initiative and see projects from the Spring 2021 round.


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