Ida B. Wells Fellows


2021–2022 Fellows

Lila Hassan is a New York-based investigative journalist who focuses on extremism, human rights, and immigration. She has reported from Cairo, Istanbul, Paris, and all five New York City boroughs. Currently a Tow Reporting Fellow at FRONTLINE PBS, Hassan writes digital stories and is a researcher for investigative documentaries. Her work has appeared in Reuters, The Guardian, ProPublica, Kaiser Health News, Documented, and Human Rights Watch. She holds a B.A. in political science from Brooklyn College’s Scholars Program and an M.S. from Columbia Journalism School’s specialized Toni Stabile investigative program. She will report on ICE arrests and accountability.

Amir Khafagy is an award-winning New York City-based freelance journalist. Much of Amir's beat explores the intersections of labor, race, class, immigration, and urban policy. His reporting has been featured in The New Republic, Vice, Bloomberg, The Guardian, The Appeal, Jacobin, and In These Times. Amir has been awarded The International Center for Journalists COVID-19 Reporting Award, The New Economics Reporting Fellowship, The Economic Hardship Reporting Grant, The Talk Poverty Writer Workshop Fellowship, The Asian American Writers Workshop Open City Fellowship, and The AARP Freelance Fellowship. He holds a BA in Urban Studies and an MA in Urban Affairs from Queens College. He will be reporting on labor and the criminal justice system.

Bobbi-Jeanne Misick is our Southern Fellow. She’s a New Orleans, Louisiana-based journalist and a reporter for NPR member-stations WWNO and WRKF, where she covers health, criminal justice and social justice issues. Much of her work as a reporter and producer has focused on the Caribbean, where she covered a range of topics from violence against LGBTQ youth, gay marriage and teen pregnancy to extrajudicial killings, misuse of police resources and the rise of extremism in the region. Bobbi-Jeanne’s work has appeared in ESSENCE Magazine and on NPR. She is a graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. She will be reporting on immigration asylum and parole policies in the deep south.

Adreanna Rodriguez (she/ella) is a Lakota/Chicana artist based in Oakland, CA.  As a storyteller, her research, writing, and filmmaking revolve around issues of social and climate justice for Indigenous communities, as well as femme stories. Adreanna is currently working as an Associate Producer at VICE Audio.  She holds a M.A. in Visual Anthropology from San Francisco State University and a Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies from the SALT Institute for Documentary Studies at the Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine.  She will be investigating reproductive health care and access to abortion services within Indian Country.

Lam Thuy Vo is a reporter who digs into data to examine how systems and policies affect individuals. She's explored how excessive 'quality-of-life complaints led to the over-policing of minorities, how badly constructed algorithms helped spread hate speech and warp our understanding of politics, and how changes in immigration enforcement drove immigrants into the arms of fraudulent lawyers. Previously, she's led teams and/or reported for BuzzFeed News, The Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera America and NPR's Planet Money and told economic and political stories across the U.S. and throughout Asia. She's currently a data journalist in residence at the Craig Newmark CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and will be investigating inequality and gentrification.


2020–2021 Fellows

Tina Vasquez, our Southern Fellow, is a North Carolina-based movement journalist with more than 10 years of experience reporting on immigration, reproductive injustice, LGBTQ+ issues, and gender-based violence. She is currently a staff reporter leading Prism's coverage of gender justice. Previously, she was a senior reporter covering immigration at Rewire.News, the leading online publication devoted to evidence-based reporting on reproductive and sexual health, rights, and justice. Her work has appeared in the New York Review of Books, NPR, The Nation, Playboy, and a variety of other publications. Recently, she was a mentor in the Freedomways Fellowship Program as part of Press On, a Southern journalism collective that strengthens and expands the practice of journalism in service of liberation. She will be reporting on immigrant workers and COVID-19.

Akintunde Ahmad is a Bay Area-based multimedia journalist focusing on the intersection of education, economic inequality, and the justice system. Ahmad, an Oakland native, was most recently a Delacorte Fellow with the Columbia Journalism Review, where he wrote about news media and its influence on public perceptions. He holds a BA in sociology from Yale University and an MS in journalism and documentary film from Columbia University. His work has been featured in The Atlantic, The Appeal, Huffington Post, and MTV. He will be reporting on the Oakland police.

Eileen Guo is an independent journalist who focuses on inequality and the unintended consequences of globalization. Based in Los Angeles, she has reported from across the United States, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Mexico, and China for outlets including The New York Times, National Geographic, Wired, Mother Jones, and NPR. She will be investigating novel uses of surveillance devices.

Jack Herrera is an independent reporter based out of San Francisco. He covers immigration, refugees, and Latino issues. His work has appeared in Politico Magazine, The Nation, Columbia Journalism Review, Popular Science, and elsewhere. In 2018, he covered the arrival of the two most prominent Central American “caravans” on-the-ground in Tijuana as a reporter for Pacific Standard. In spring of 2020, he began covering the coronavirus pandemic’s effects inside immigrant detention centers. He will be reporting on ICE and COVID-19.

Irene Romulo is a journalist based in Cicero, Illinois, where she helps run Cicero Independiente, a bilingual news organization she co-founded. Her work centers on immigrants, Spanish-speakers, and organizing efforts. She is a proud City Bureau Reporting Fellowship alum and was a 2020 Voqal Fellow. She will be reporting on school discipline.


2019–2020 Fellows

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.


2018–2019 Fellows

Taylor Eldridge is a New York-based investigative journalist. She is currently an investigative fellow with the non-profit newsroom, The Marshall Project, where she covers a variety of topics within criminal justice, with a focus on mental health and healthcare. Her work has appeared on Vox.com, the Newyorker.com and others. She will be reporting on prison healthcare.

Rebecca Rivas is an El Paso native who now lives in St. Louis, covering racial equity and inclusion, local politics and general news as a staff reporter at the St. Louis American, consistently named the nation’s top African-American newspaper. As a Fulbright scholar, she investigated Peru’s high maternal-death rate among Andean women and produced a 45-minute documentary that has been used as an educational tool in college campuses nationwide. Her work has also appeared on NPR, HuffPost and National Geographic online. She will be reporting on mass surveillance.

Isma’il Kushkush has contributed to the New York Times, CNN, the Associated Press, Guernica and Reuters, among others. He was based in Khartoum, Sudan, for eight years and has covered political, economic and cultural stories from Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Burundi, Sweden, Israel, the Palestinian territories and the United States. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis, and a Master of Arts degree from the Columbia Journalism School with a focus on politics and global affairs. He will be reporting on sports recruiting.

Zahra Hirji is a Washington, DC-based staff reporter at BuzzFeed News, covering energy and climate change — everything from the Trump administration’s rollback of environmental rules, to worker safety in the Alaskan oil patch. She previously wrote about fracking, global climate negotiations, and other environmental issues for InsideClimate News, Discovery News, and EARTH Magazine. She will be reporting on worker safety and discrimination.


2017–2018 Fellows

Naveena Sadasivam, an Austin-based staff writer at the Texas Observer who covers science, energy and the environment, formerly wrote about the coal industry for InsideClimate News and fracking for ProPublica. At ProPublica, Sadasivam was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting as part of a team investigating the water crisis in the American West. She will be reporting on environmental fines.

Justine Calma, a New York-based freelance multimedia journalist, reports across the US and internationally on public health, climate change, migration, and human rights. Her work has appeared on NBC News, PBS, WNYC, PRI's The World, Quartz, Salon, and HuffPost, among others. Calma was born in the Philippines and moved to Los Angeles as a child. She will be reporting on day care.

Emmanuel Felton, a New Orleans native who now lives in New York, covers the intersection of race and education as a staff writer at the Hechinger Report, with a particular focus on how well schools serve boys and men of color. Previously, he covered education, juvenile justice, and child services as a fellow for the New York World, a government accountability newsroom staffed by recent graduates of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Felton's work has appeared in the Atlantic, Slate, the New York Daily News, and many others. He will be reporting on racial segregation.

Juliana Schatz, a Colombian-American documentary director and producer, started her career at the award-winning investigative series FRONTLINE, where she contributed to 12 public affairs documentaries, among them two Emmy Award winners and one Peabody Award winner. Schatz also produced award-winning work at GlobalPost, where she covered the Egyptian revolution, and for Al Jazeera's program earthrise, on environmental issues. She will be reporting on mental health care for children.


2016–2017 Fellows

Adeshina Emmanuel, a Chicago native, has been a staff reporter at DNAinfo and the Chicago Reporter. His freelance work has been published by In These Times, Chicago Magazine, and the New York Times. He will be reporting on police misconduct.

Ese Olumhense is a graduate student at the Columbia University School of Journalism. She is a former editor at Sahara Reporters Media Group, where she covered corruption and social injustice in sub-Saharan Africa. A Bronx native, Olumhense lives in New York City. She will be reporting on public housing.

Nadine Sebai is an accountant and research analyst turned radio reporter. She graduated from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism in 2016. Sebai was lead researcher for Rape on the Night Shift, an award-winning investigation about the janitorial services industry. She is based in Berkeley, California and will be reporting on infectious disease management.

Nikhil Swaminathan is a reporter, editor, and producer who has worked at Al Jazeera America, Scientific American, Good, and Archaeology. His freelance work has appeared in such publications as Wired, Mother Jones, and Psychology Today. He grew up in Atlanta and now lives in Oakland. He will be reporting on guest workers.