Type Investigations is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 Ida B. Wells Fellowship, whose goal is to promote diversity in journalism by helping to create a pipeline of investigative reporters of color.
The fellows represent a cross-section of the U.S. and of journalism experience, ranging from emerging to mid-career journalists. Each fellow will be given the opportunity to complete their first substantial piece of investigative reporting, receiving a $16,000 stipend, plus funds to cover reporting costs in addition to intensive editorial feedback, legal counsel, research resources, mentoring, and assistance with story placement and publicity. Fellows will attend the Investigative Reporters & Editors conference, which kicks off today in Houston, as well as a customized data boot camp through the National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting.
“These reporters bring expertise in a wide range of topics, from the intersection of race and finance, to women's rights and environmental reporting,” said Alissa Figueroa, Senior editor in charge of the Ida B. Wells Fellowship program. “Their diverse backgrounds offer them unique access to communities and sources. I'm incredibly excited to get working!”
People of color constitute less than 23 percent of all newsroom jobs, according to the most recent annual survey by the American Society of Newsroom Editors, and 19 percent of supervisors; their presence is even smaller on investigative teams. Women are also underrepresented, with 42 percent of newsroom jobs. Survey data indicates that fewer than 10 percent of journalists come from a working-class background.
The Ida B. Wells Fellowship competition, now in its fourth year, is held annually. This is the first year a fifth fellow has been added. The fellowship program is made possible by Open Society Foundations and the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, with additional support from Foundation for a Just Society and the Present Progressive Fund at Schwab Charitable.
Aaron Ross Coleman is a New York City-based journalist. He writes at the intersection of race, business, and economics. His previous work has covered retail redlining and predatory finance. He has written for The New York Times, BuzzFeed, The Nation, Vox, CNBC, HuffPost, The Marshall Project and elsewhere. He will be reporting on discrimination and lending.
Andrea González-Ramírez is a New York-based journalist from Vega Alta, Puerto Rico. She is currently a Senior News & Politics writer at Refinery29, where she reports on a wide array of topics including women in politics, reproductive rights, immigration, gender-based violence, and LGBTQ+ issues. She’s been featured as an expert commentator on MSNBC Live, The Mother Jones Podcast, BuzzFeed News’ AM to DM, and other outlets. Her work has also appeared in NPR’s Latino USA, El Diario Nueva York, Centro Voices, Diálogo, among others. She will be reporting on women’s rights in Puerto Rico.
Mary Annette Pember is an independent journalist focusing on Native American issues. She has reported on the high rates of sexual assault among Native women, sex trafficking, health, impact of historical trauma on Native communities and environmental challenges on Native lands, federal policy issues as well as cultural topics. Her work has appeared in Indian Country Today, ReWire News, Truthout, Yes! Magazine, the Guardian, the Washington Post, Colorlines, The Atlantic and others. She is past president of the Native American Journalists’ Association and is based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Pember will be reporting on the legacy of Native American boarding schools.
Katrease Stafford covers city government and how it intersects with the community at the Detroit Free Press. Stafford, a Detroit native, has received several awards for her work including the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2017 Young Journalist of the Year Award. She was also named a 2018 Rising Star by the News Media Alliance. She will be reporting on housing issues in Detroit.
Gilda Di Carli is a Miami-based investigative freelance reporter who works in audio and text. Her work has been published in The Guardian-US, BBC’s World Service, WNYC and NPR’s Spanish-language podcast, Radio Ambulante. She has contributed to investigative projects at the New York Times and Reuters. She holds a Master’s degree from Columbia Journalism School. She will be reporting on environmental justice.