Comcast fellows announced for LGBTQ, Black publications

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Monday April 22, 2024
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Some of the News is Out and Word In Black fellows who will participate in The Digital Equity Local Voices Lab. Photos: Courtesy News is Out
Some of the News is Out and Word In Black fellows who will participate in The Digital Equity Local Voices Lab. Photos: Courtesy News is Out

News is Out and Word In Black together announced the 16 fellows selected for The Digital Equity Local Voices Lab, a new initiative powered by Comcast NBCUniversal to place journalists at 16 Black and LGBTQ+ serving news publications across the country. During the yearlong fellowship, the group will receive the training and resources needed to tell stories within marginalized communities through media and technology and celebrate the work being done by Black and LGBTQ+ leaders in their communities.

The announcement was made April 17.

"Through Project UP, we are proud to donate $1 million to launch this unique, first-of-its-kind program that will support coverage of Black and LGBTQ+ topics in the media as well as emerging journalists with a passion for reporting on issues of importance to these communities," said Dalila Wilson-Scott, executive vice president and chief diversity officer, Comcast Corporation and president, Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation.

"Comcast is one of the earliest corporate leaders in LGBTQ+ inclusion, so it should come as no surprise that they understand the value of local LGBTQ+ media," said Mark Segal, founder of the Philadelphia Gay News and member of News is Out. "Their investment in our growth is also an investment in the future leadership of LGBT media and intersectional LGBTQ+ media."

The fellows will receive best practices, learnings, and mentorship from journalists and media professionals at News is Out, Word In Black, and NBCUniversal. In addition, they will report on stories of Black and LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and creatives in their communities, share training and resources on using technology more in their daily lives, report on policy related to technological access and connectivity, and share the work being done to advance digital equity.

Image: Courtesy News is Out  

"I am excited to be a part of a fellowship that is specifically geared toward the promotion of diversity, inclusivity and intersectionality," stated Davi B. Ulloa-Estrada, News is Out and Philadelphia Gay News fellow. "We are missing such crucial and different perspectives on world issues, so I look forward to being a part of this project."

Word In Black fellows were also excited about the project.

"This fellowship program is the epitome of what journalism means to me — using innovation and creativity to fuel a passion for multimedia storytelling and uplift the voice and perspective of the overlooked," stated Word In Black and Washington Informer fellow, Jada Ingleton. "It means so much to know that I'll be in a position to produce stories that could enact change and affect lives the same way generations of journalists impacted mine."

Image: Courtesy News is Out  

The Local Media Foundation is managing the fellowship and Lab and facilitating content creation to reach diverse audiences between the 16 publishers, Comcast NBCUniversal and NBCU Academy. Word In Black and News is Out are collaboratives that were launched by LMF.

The 16 fellows are:
Megan Sayles, AFRO News (Baltimore)

Menra Mapfumo, The Atlanta Voice (Atlanta)

J.L. Odom, Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco)

Melissa Whitler, Dallas Voice (Dallas)

Marlissa Collier, Dallas Weekly (Dallas)

ReShonda Tate, Houston Defender (Houston)

Ebony "JJ" Curry, Michigan Chronicle (Detroit)

Leah Mallory, New York Amsterdam News (New York City)

Davi B. Ulloa-Estrada, Philadelphia Gay News (Philadelphia)

Christine Shelby, The Sacramento Observer (Sacramento)

Kira Doyle, Seattle Medium (Seattle)

Devored Horton, The St. Louis American (St. Louis)

Victoria F. Vega, Tagg Magazine (National)

Henry Carnell, Washington Blade (Washington, D.C.)

Jada Ingleton, The Washington Informer (Washington, D.C.)

Lu Calzada, Windy City Times (Chicago)

In February, the three organizations announced the launch of The Digital Equity Local Voices Lab and application period. The Lab is part of Project UP, Comcast's $1 billion initiative to connect people to the Internet and advance digital equity and economic mobility through programs and community partnerships that open doors for the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, storytellers, and creators across Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Sky.

This article first appeared on News is Out.

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