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2019 Impact Fund

The grantees and their  projects are:

Sarah Bohannon, news director for North State Public Radio in Chico, who reported on food insecurity in the Camp Fire burn area. The grant will enable to station to engage a freelance photographer to produce photos to chronicle the problem. Bohannon also will receive an engagement grant and engagement mentoring from the Center.

Sammy Caiola of Capital Public Radio, who reported on how sexual assaults are handled in Sacramento County and survivors' lasting effects from the process

Kate Cimini, a reporter for The Californian in Salinas and El Sol, its sister Spanish-language publication, and Sebastián Hidalgo, a photographer on assignment at The Californian as a Local Fellow of The Catchlight Foundation, who produced a series of articles and a photo documentary on squalid housing for farmworkers in the Salinas Valley

Gabrielle Horton, a freelance podcast producer,  worked in collaboration with You Had Me At Black to produce NATAL, an audio-first docuseries about what it means to have a baby while black in the United States today. The first season, in thought partnership with Black Mamas Matter Alliance, focused on how black parents are cared for during pregnancy and childbirth. Horton also  received an engagement grant and engagement mentoring from the Center.

Joe Rubin, a freelance reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, is reporting on state and county health officials’ failure to protect children from lead poisoning at gun ranges.

Kiley Russell, a reporter for Bay City News and Local News Matters,  examined the ongoing health effects from aging, poorly managed and under-resourced or overstretched water systems in areas that are ill-equipped to deal with new population pressures caused by out-migration from the urban core 

Rubén Tapia, a freelancer for Radio Bilingüe and host of KPFK’s Nuestra Voz program, reported on how delays in the cleanup of neighborhoods contaminated by emissions from the now-shuttered Exide battery recycling plant in Los Angeles is affecting the health of children whose homes and yards were contaminated with lead dust

Jared Whitlock, a freelancer reporting for the Voice of San Diego, looked at how gaps in the state’s regulation of group homes for the elderly led to a large number of COVID-19 cases and deaths.



The nation’s overdose epidemic has entered a devastating new phase. Drugs laced with fentanyl and even more poisonous synthetics have flooded the streets, as the crisis spreads well beyond the rural, largely white communities that initially drew attention. The death rate is escalating twice as fast among Black people than among white people. This webinar will give journalists deep insights, fresh story ideas and practical tips for covering an epidemic that killed more than 107,000 people in the U.S. last year. Sign-up here!


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