(December 9, 2020) — Word in Black, a news collaborative featuring 10 of the nation’s leading Black publishers, has received new funding of nearly $100,000 from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Walton Family Foundation. The funds are being used to support journalism that focuses on the impact of COVID 19 on K-12 education in Black communities.
Since September, more than 25 stories have been produced by the collaborative. The range of topics covered includes:
- Mental health needs of children during a pandemic
- The psychological scars of educating children during these challenging times
- How special needs children are navigating remote learning
Many of the articles are featured on the Word in Black website.
“This funding has allowed us to contract with a freelance reporter who can truly focus on important education issues in our community,” said Larry Lee, publisher, The Sacramento Observer. “This level of reporting would not be possible without these funds.”
The 10 publishers will continue to focus on education stories through the end of the first quarter of 2021. A virtual event focused on education is also being planned.
“With limited resources, Black publishers have to prioritize coverage issues each and every day,” said Nick Charles, project manager, Word in Black. “This funding ensures that our publishers can dedicate resources to education reporting, while also covering fallout from the presidential election, social justice issues and the pandemic, which has disproportionately affected African Americans. We are grateful to Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Walton Family Foundation for their support of the Black-owned press.”
“The Word in Black collaborative is leading important work to amplify Black voices and storytellers to advance racial equity,” said Raymonde Charles, communications director for Education at Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. “We are excited to support this effort to raise awareness of critical issues that disproportionately impact the Black community, including the educational impact of COVID-19 on students of color.”
Word in Black was formed in August 2020 with support from the Fund for Black Journalism administered by Local Media Foundation. The collaborative focuses on reporting and fostering solutions to racial inequities in America. A national website is being developed and a newsletter will launch in March 2021. The 10 participating publishers are New York Amsterdam News, The Atlanta Voice, Houston Defender Network, The Washington Informer, The Dallas Weekly, St. Louis American, Michigan Chronicle, The AFRO American, Seattle Medium, and The Sacramento Observer.