Maynard Institute

The Maynard Institute Announces 2018 Maynard 200 Fellows

26 Journalists, Producers, Managers, And Entrepreneurs Of Color To Receive Training As Part Of Pilot Maynard 200 Program

OAKLAND, CA (July 23, 2018): The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, a nonprofit dedicated to making newsrooms look like America, announced today the recipients of its inaugural Maynard 200 Fellowship for training journalists, producers, management, and journalism entrepreneurs of color. Maynard 200 aims to expand the diversity pipeline in media by training 200 diverse storytellers in the next five years. The program is supported by Google News Lab, the News Integrity Initiative and the Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and is in partnership with USC Annenberg and the City University of New York [CUNY].

The pilot program of Maynard 200 will bring together 26 journalists in total for two weeks of training. Fellows will receive training in one of three tracks: Media Entrepreneurship, Newsroom/Media Management, and Storytelling. Fellows hail from a wide range of publications, including national publications such as The New York Times, SB Nation, ThinkProgress, CNN Digital, and Newsday; local outlets including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Victoria (Texas) Advocate, Kentucky New Era Media Group, and East Side Freelancer; and ethnicity-specific outlets including The Black Urbanist, the Asian Journal Media Group, and ABS-CBN International The Filipino Channel and Sing Tao Daily—as well as freelance reporters. Regions represented include the Midwest, South, Pacific Northwest, West and East Coasts. Areas of focus include immigration, sports, politics, social justice, culture, and much more.

“We are thrilled with the caliber of the applications we received,” said Maynard Institute co-executive director Martin G. Reynolds. “In fact, we were so impressed, and are so aware that our program serves a real, immediate need, that we decided to increase the pilot program to accommodate a group of 26 outstanding fellows, rather than 15, as initially planned.”

“We’re pleased to be joined by an accomplished faculty to lead the program this week,” said Maynard Institute co-executive director Evelyn Hsu. “The faculty includes leading technologists from Google who will serve as trainers; top editors from newsrooms around the country and distinguished teachers from major universities. We are especially pleased that we will be joined by so many graduates of other Maynard programs through the years who have built successful careers with the help of Maynard Institute training and who are inspired to teach the next generation.”

Odette Alcazaren-Keeley, Maynard 200 director stresses, “In sparking this movement of articulating the crucial role of inclusion in media, both the diverse heritage background and geographical representation of our fellows speak strongly to the Maynard 200 program’s vision of expanding the diversity pipeline in the field, and providing relevant training resources including to underserved media spaces.” She adds: “that includes ethnic media organizations, whose professionals, alongside journalists of color in general market media, are powerful voices that need to cover our shared American story, now more than ever. ”

The Maynard Institute received close to 200 applications from across the U.S. Applications that were not selected for this first pilot will be will be re-reviewed and considered closely for the 2nd pilot, kicking off in Jan. 2019 at City University of New York. This year, first Pilot’s first week of training will take place from July 23-27 in Boulder, CO at Google at Boulder and the Hotel Boulderado Conference Center. The second week of the same cohort will take place from Dec. 10-14 at USC Annenberg in Los Angeles, California.

“The fellows we selected for the training are dedicated professionals serving diverse audiences, and their work is all the more crucial in the midst of the nation’s fraught media climate,” adds Keeley.

The 2018 Maynard 200 Fellows are as follows:

Media Entrepreneurship Track:

  • Alex Bledsoe, Breaktide Productions (co-founder)
  • Kristen E. Jeffers, The Black Urbanist (editor-in-chief)
  • Samira Sadeque, Bangladeshi Identity Project (founding team member)
  • Giomar Silva, Migrante21 (founder)
  • Ingrid Wilgen, East Side Freelancer (editor)

Newsroom/Media Management Track:

  • Rey Castillo, The Victoria (Texas) Advocate (assistant sports editor)
  • Cindy Chin, Newsday (deputy editor)
  • Janel Davis, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (senior editor)
  • Troy Espera, ABS-CBN International – The Filipino Channel (executive producer)
  • Dani Marrero Hi, Neta (founder and director)
  • John Ketchum, SB Nation (deputy editor)
  • Wilson Liévano, Animated Press (founder)
  • Shauntel Lowe, New York Times (senior staff editor)
  • Christina M. Oriel, Asian Journal Media Group (managing editor)
  • Dalila-Johari Paul, CNN Digital (news editor)
  • Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani, ThinkProgress (senior editor)

Storytelling Track:

  • Galilee Abdullah (producer and reporter)
  • Zirconia Sapphire Alleyne, Kentucky New Era Media Group (features editor/special
    projects coordinator)
  • Michael Butler (culture reporter)
  • Jonathan P. Higgins (social justice speaker and writer)
  • Esmy Jimenez, Northwest Public Broadcasting (reporter)
  • Chris Juhn (photojournalist)
  • Carlos Alfaro Rodriguez (sports & politics reporter)
  • Hanaa’ Tameez, Star-Telegram (diversity reporter)
  • Aldane Walters, KGPC 96.9 FM (Feel Alright producer & presenter)
  • Isabelle Yiu, The Sing Tao Daily SF Bureau (deputy assignment editor)

The training program is run and informed by Maynard 200’s distinguished Executives-in-Residence, faculty, and consultants—a group with extensive experience in both mainstream and ethnic media news organizations as well as journalism/academic institutions, including: The Washington Post, ESPN, Seattle Times, ImpreMedia, The Dallas Morning News, The Poynter Institute, IndyStar, USAT Network’s Greenville News, USA Today, Tampa Bay Times, Boston University Dept. of Journalism, University of Colorado Boulder College of Media, Communication and Information, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, John S. Knight Fellowships at Stanford, The Trust Project at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Texas Christian University, and more.

The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education is the nation’s oldest organization dedicated to helping the news media accurately portray all segments of society, particularly those often overlooked, such as communities of color. The media plays a pivotal role in shaping our perceptions of each other. The distorted coverage of communities of color influences public policy and the decisions we make in our personal lives. Maynard seeks to help news media achieve both a diverse staff and provide the public with the most accurate and nuanced coverage possible.

Maynard breaks the cycle of inaccurate depictions by using a three-pronged approach: training media managers, journalists, and correspondents from communities of color; creating content to demonstrate nuanced coverage; and keeping media accountable through its Watchdog program.

Official Roster of Fellows
First Cohort, July and December 2018

Faculty + Maynard Institute Executive Team Roster
Pilot 1, Week 1: July 23-27, 2018
Boulder, Colo.