Kierra Sam

Kierra Sam is a political reporter for the Houston Defender Network, covering issues of environmental racism, criminal justice, voter suppression and more. A Texas native with a passion for storytelling and keeping communities informed about the world around them, Kierra attended the University of Houston and received her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and a minor in Spanish. While at the university, she worked on several video projects with different departments and also interned at KPRC Channel 2 News in Houston. Kierra started her professional journalism career as a digital MSJ at an NBC/ABC news affiliate television station in Beaumont, Texas. She has reported on stories covering hurricanes, plant explosions, criminal investigations, as well as profile pieces. Outside of news, Kierra likes to go to music festivals, take road trips and explore new places with family and friends.

Simone Garza

Simone Garza is covering economic mobility in the African-American community in Wichita, Kansas for The Community Voice. Garza’s reporting career had its start at the University of Iowa in 2019, when she enrolled in the school’s mass communication and journalism programs. There, she reported on research projects for The Daily Iowan, held two internships for digital marketing, with a woman-owned business and blogging for environmental research. Garza holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in philosophy.

Jacob Martin

Jacob Martin covers the criminal justice system and African-American communities in Kansas City, Missouri for The Community Voice, a statewide bi-weekly that reports on Black and African-American news in Kansas and Missouri. Prior to joining The Community Voice, Martin worked as a general assignments reporter with KCUR, where he covered breaking news in Kansas City, and the Shawnee Mission Post, covering COVID-19 trends in the community. Before moving to Kansas City he lived in Brooklyn, New York (by way of Louisville, Kentucky). He holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Louisville, where he wrote for The Louisville Cardinal, the student newspaper.

100 Days in Appalachia

A digital news publication, 100 Days in Appalachia has a mission to share the diverse stories of the 13 states that make up this region. Working with local voices to apply a cultural lens to what’s happening here, it shares what that means for the rest of the world.

Ashley Winters

Ashley Winters is reporting for the St. Louis American, covering news impacting African Americans in the St. Louis metro area which includes education, business and entertainment. Winters is from St. Louis, Missouri and attended Columbia College Chicago, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism with a concentration in Magazine Article Writing. After graduation, her roots called her back home to be the watchdog for Black and Brown communities impacted by racial and social/ economic disparities in the St. Louis region. Winters has worked for local media outlets including the Nine Network of Public Media, St. Louis Public Radio, St. Louis Magazine, the St. Louis American Newspaper, and Northsider Newspaper. She is a two-time award recipient of the Excellence in Poverty Journalism Award. In 2019 she published her first children's book, called Memories Of A Bunny Rabbit, and received a Mission Attempt award. She has volunteered for the St. Louis City School District teaching fourth- through sixth-graders journalism, showing the importance of Black voices, and telling stories about our communities. Winters' latest project is gardening; she plans to donate fresh produce to poor Black and brown communities to help fight food apartheid in the St.  Louis region.

Mariah Rush

Mariah Rush covers the South and West sides of Chicago for the Chicago Sun-Times. Originally from South Bend, Indiana, she graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2021. Rush was most recently a national real-time reporter for McClatchy News, covering the midwest region. She has previously reported for the Chicago Tribune, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Tampa Bay Times and has served as the Managing Editor for Notre Dame's independent newspaper, The Observer. Rush has written about everything from news deserts in America, to the policing of Black teens in Illinois, to the phenomenon that is Wordle. In her leisure time, she can be found consuming TV and reading detective novels with her dog, Simi.

Quinn Gablicki

Quinn Glabicki covers environment and the impacts of climate change in Western Pennsylvania for PublicSource. Before joining PublicSource, Quinn worked as a freelance photographer and journalist covering environment, politics and breaking news. He previously worked with PublicSource to publish long-term work documenting the intersection of industrial pollution, public health, and gun violence in Clairton, Pennsylvania. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Quinn graduated from Haverford College with a degree in political science where he focused on populist politics and rising authoritarianism in post-soviet states.

Mandy Kraynak

Mandy Kraynak covers economic development for The Land, a nonprofit news organization that focuses on in-depth solutions journalism in Cleveland’s neighborhoods. Before returning to northeast Ohio, where she grew up, Kraynak was managing editor at The Daily Orange, an independent, student-run newspaper in Syracuse, New York. She also worked as a culture editor, assistant feature editor, assistant copy editor and staff writer at The Daily Orange, writing feature stories on arts and culture. She has freelanced for publications such as The South Side Stand in Syracuse and The Devil Strip in Akron, Ohio, and studied journalism at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Abriana Herron

Abriana Herron covers the role of Black churches in the Indianapolis, Indiana community for the Indianapolis Recorder. A recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University Bloomington—she has also studied a semester abroad at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England—Herron wrote for Indiana’s student paper, covering racial disparities, government policies, among other news. She interned with the Recorder and she is excited to return to the nation’s fourth oldest Black newspaper as a full-time reporter.

Brooke Schultz

Brooke Schultz is a Statehouse reporter for The Associated Press in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Before joining the AP, she was a digital editor for the Delaware State News, and has covered education for the Newark Post in Newark, Delaware. A graduate of Washington College, Schultz was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper, The Elm.