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Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community awarded $40,000 grant by the North Carolina Local News Lab Fund

The following is a press release from Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community


Today it was announced that Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community is among 10 organizations from across North Carolina awarded a grant by the North Carolina Local News Lab Fund, which seeks to support people and organizations making sure that North Carolinians have greater access to the news and information they need to participate fully in their communities and our democracy. These are the first grants made from the Fund since it was established in 2017.

Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community is honored to be a recipient of this grant. The organization will use the funds to connect the Black and Brown youth who lead the bilingual online arts, culture and information magazine for youth, Word on the Street/La Voz de los Jóvenes with local media makers and artists of color in a year-long mentorship program.

“Receiving this grant helps us to create a paradigm shift for storytelling led by Black and Brown youth in North Carolina,” says Sekou Coleman, Facilitator of Collaboration and Innovation for Word on the Street/La Voz de los Jóvenes.

“Our increased capacity to build a container and platform where the Word on the Street/La Voz de los Jóvenes youth are mentored by media-makers and artists of color not only strengthens the experience and training for squad members, it really stabilizes what we are doing so that this can be a model and reference point for how to do this kind of work.”

The North Carolina Local News Lab Fund is a collaborative fund at the North Carolina Community Foundation established by a group of local and national funders who believe in the power of local journalism, local stories, and local people to strengthen our democracy.

The project includes an advisory board made up of local and regional funders and practitioners, including from the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, Z Smith Reynolds Foundation, AJ Fletcher Foundation, the Prentice Foundation, Democracy Fund, North Carolina Central University, and NC Congress of Latino Organizations.

 Other grantees include:

  • Carolina Public Press: North Carolina Investigative Journalism Collaborative
  • Colectivo de Comunicación Participativa de Carolina del Norte (CCPNC): Enlace Latino NC               
  • Duke University Reporters Lab: North Carolina Fact-Checking Project
  • NC Health News
  • NC Press Association
  • UNC Center for Public TV: Public Media NC and HBCU Radio
  • UNC School of Media and Journalism: Trail Blazer
  • WNCU: Advancement of Emerging Young, Diverse News Journalists
  • Working Narratives

“This group represents the fund’s commitment to supporting a diverse set of organizations pursuing meaningful projects that can better serve local communities and strengthen the ecosystem overall,” said Teresa Gorman, NC Local News Lab Fund advisory board member. “Each of these grantees also represents vital networks of people, communities and organizations who will be engaged and collaborating with them on their work.”  

About Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community/Word on the Street/La Voz de los Jóvenes

As a program of Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community, Word on the Street/La Voz de los Jóvenes centers the leadership and creativity of Black and Brown youth, age 13-19, in the production of a bilingual online arts, culture, and information magazine for youth, with mentorship and training provided by staff and community partners.

About the North Carolina Local News Lab

The North Carolina Local News Lab Fund is a collaborative fund housed at the North Carolina Community Foundation to support people and organizations working to build a healthier local news and information ecosystem in North Carolina. The Fund was established by a group of local and national funders who believe in the power of local journalism, local stories, and local people to strengthen our democracy. To learn more, visit localnewslab.org or follow @thelocalnewslab.

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