Cal Humanities

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

Emerging Journalist Fellowship


The Emerging Journalist Fellowship program (formerly called CA 2020: Democracy and the Informed Citizen) is designed to support and amplify student journalists’ voices and perspectives who are enrolled at California community colleges. Launched in 2020 with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the Federation of State Humanities Councils, this program grew out of our statewide initiative, CA 2020: Youth Perspective and the Future of California.

Through a competitive application process, fellowship funds are awarded to community colleges throughout the state to support a large cohort of student journalists. In addition to financial support, participating fellows receive enhanced training in local and community-engaged journalism, podcasting, media literacy, and mentoring from professional journalists. As part of the fellowship, students will propose and conduct a focused reporting project on regional issues of importance to share with statewide audiences through an online portal. Throughout, the program’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 to encourage media literacy and civic engagement.

In 2022, California Humanities awarded $150,000 in fellowship funds to ten community colleges to support student journalists throughout the state. The campuses awarded the 2022 Emerging Journalist Fellowships are:

  • Bakersfield College, Kern County
  • Chaffey College (Rancho Cucamonga), San Bernardino County
  • City College of San Francisco, San Francisco County
  • Fullerton College, Orange County
  • Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles County
  • Riverside City College, Riverside County
  • San Diego City College, San Diego County
  • Shasta College (Redding), Shasta County
  • Sierra College (Rocklin), South Placer County
  • Skyline College (San Bruno), San Mateo County

In 2021 $88,000 in fellowship funds were awarded to eight community colleges supporting 31 student journalists. Below are links to the 2021 Emerging Journalist’s projects:

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, 2022 Journalist Fellow, Chaffey College

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, Journalist Fellow 2022, Sierra College 

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, 2022 Journalist Fellow, Fullerton College