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Center announces $24,000 in reporting grants from 2023 California Health Equity Impact Fund

Center announces $24,000 in reporting grants from 2023 California Health Equity Impact Fund

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Impact grantees shown.

The Center for Health Journalism has awarded $24,000 in reporting and engagement grants from its 2023 California Impact Fund to support five journalists as they undertake ambitious explanatory and investigative reporting projects about California’s health challenges and opportunities for change. Participating reporters will join us from around the state, from Los Angeles to the San Francisco Bay Area, for a five-month program that also includes one-on-one mentoring and peer learning.

“These talented reporters will be tackling pressing issues for the Golden State, from police brutality to climate change to farmworker health, exploring impacts on the health and well-being of low-income communities of color,” said Michelle Levander, founding director of the Center for Health Journalism. “Through our California Health Equity Impact Fund, we anticipate ground-breaking reporting that adds to the policy conversation and provides new insights on how we go forward as a state and a nation.”   

The California Health Equity Impact Fund program and awards are supported by a generous grant from The California Wellness Foundation.

“The California Health Equity Impact Fund equips talented journalists at media outlets reporting for communities across California to report incisively on health issues,” said David Littlefield, public affairs manager at The California Wellness Foundation. “It will be gratifying to see the stories that emerge from their work with the Center for Health Journalism – and to see how a focus on equity can improve the health and wellness of their communities.”

The competitively-chosen Impact Fund grantees will each receive a reporting grant and ongoing mentoring from veteran journalists, including Marla Cone, a deputy editor at CalMatters who oversees a team of health and environmental reporters, and Andrew Ba Tran, an investigative data reporter at The Washington Post.

The Center also will provide engagement grants and mentoring by its California Engagement Editor, Cassandra Garibay, for two of the California Impact Fund grantees, thanks to generous support from the Blue Shield of California Foundation and The California Endowment

The grantees and their proposed projects are:

Cerise Castle, a reporter and editor with Knock LA, will explore how violence at the hands of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies impacts the long-term health of people of color. 

Virginia Gewin, a freelancer for Civil Eats, will highlight how toxic dust from the Salton Sea affects the health of migrant farmworker families in the Imperial and Coachella valleys. 

Liza Gross, a Bay Area reporter for Inside Climate News, will investigate innovative solutions to keeping farmworkers healthy and safe as climate change makes their working conditions increasingly hazardous and unpredictable.

Chase Hunter, a reporter with the Sonoma Index-Tribune, will show where health disparities lie within Sonoma Valley and how natural disasters are widening these divisions.

Ritu Marwah, a Bay Area freelancer for India Currents, will delve into the struggles of Punjabi farmworkers in the Central Valley who have little access to even basic health care.


The Center for Health Journalism’s 2023 National Fellowship will provide $2,000 to $10,000 reporting grants, five months of mentoring from a veteran journalist, and a week of intensive training at USC Annenberg in Los Angeles from July 16-20. Click here for more information and the application form, due May 5.

The Center for Health Journalism’s 2023 Symposium on Domestic Violence provides reporters with a roadmap for covering this public health epidemic with nuance and sensitivity. The next session will be offered virtually on Friday, March 31. Journalists attending the symposium will be eligible to apply for a reporting grant of $2,000 to $10,000 from our Domestic Violence Impact Reporting Fund. Find more info here!


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