Mirtha Donastorg

Mirtha Donastorg covers innovation and start-up initiatives at historically Black colleges and universities for The Plug, a news site based in Atlanta and devoted to Black tech trends, investigative stories and breaking news. She is a journalist with experience in TV, digital and radio, and was most recently an associate producer at CNN Digital where she helped curate multiple homepage platforms, as well as craft breaking news alerts viewed by millions daily. As a researcher for CNN, Donastorg fact-checked scripts from correspondents all over the globe and most notably, reported on the conviction of an abusive Catholic priest. Outside of work, she shares her love of soul music from around the world as a host of a weekly two-hour local radio show. Donastorg grew up in Auburn, Alabama. She’s a proud alumna of North Carolina State University, and is fluent in Spanish and French.

Paradise Afshar

Paradise Afshar covers Latino and Asian immigrant communities for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Before becoming a Report for America corps member, Afshar was a producer at Fox News, working on breaking news and feature stories that were distributed to the network's affiliate stations. In South Florida, she was a web and social producer for WPLG-TV and a freelance journalist for the Miami Herald. Afshar holds a bachelor's degree in communications from Florida International University and a master's in Near Eastern and North African studies from King's College London. She has also founded a nonprofit that's focused on giving financial aid to young athletes in South Florida, and when Afshar isn't working, she's usually hiking, traveling or doing literally anything to distract herself from screen time.

Brittany McGee

Brittany McGee reports for the Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus, Georgia. McGee covers healthcare, including COVID-19, and what healthcare and the community will look like after the pandemic. She was a reporter, then assistant city and state editor for The Daily Tar Heel, the student newspaper of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a co-diversity, equity, and inclusion officer for the newspaper, McGee helped develop and launch Elevate, a special section that amplifies the voices of marginalized communities. She was born and raised in Arkansas, but has called North Carolina home for years. McGee graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2021.

Kayla Renie

Kayla Renie is a photojournalist covering communities of color for the Athens Banner-Herald in Athens, Georgia. Previously, she was a photographer for the Jackson Hole News & Guide in Jackson, Wyoming. Born and raised in the Southeast, Renie was photo editor of The Red & Black, the student-run website and weekly paper at the University of Georgia. Her internships have taken her to Texas and Indiana, where she depicted childhood in rural communities and the pandemic's initial effect on a county. As an intern for The Muskegon Chronicle in Michigan, she built relationships within the community that enabled her to pursue more in-depth projects, spurring an interest in documenting family and gender dynamics and women's health issues. Renie's goal is to use the documenting of everyday moments as a way to help people to better understand what's going on in their communities and with each other.

Lautaro Grinspan

Lautaro Grinspan covers Latino and Asian immigrant communities for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Grinspan was previously a Report for America corps member in South Florida, reporting on immigration, the Latino vote and daily life issues among the area's Latin American diasporas. His stories appeared in English in the Miami Herald and in Spanish in El Nuevo Herald. Grinspan has interned at NPR's “Weekend Edition” and at WBUR, Boston's NPR news station, and was an engagement manager at Vox, a news site. As an editorial fellow for Washingtonian magazine, he authored the magazine's first Spanish-language stories. Grinspan grew up in Argentina and France before moving to South Florida as a teen.

Lynandro Simmons

DJ Simmons reports on communities of color for the Athens Banner-Herald in Athens, Georgia. He has worked as a reporter for the Westport News, where he covered local government and education in Westport, Connecticut. Simmons reported the news of Darien, New Canaan and Wilton, as well as statewide environmental issues, for Hearst Connecticut Media, a network of newspapers and websites. His work has earned him several awards from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists. Simmons was editor-in-chief of the student-run Southern News at Southern Connecticut State University. While in college, he helped document descendants of World War I veterans for the Connecticut State Library. His hometown is Columbia, South Carolina.

Ledger-Enquirer

The Ledger-Enquirer is a digital-first, daily local newspaper based in Columbus, Ga., focused on bringing our community engaging and actionable news. We are composed of a small but dedicated crew of journalists. Our veteran journalists are the foundation of our newsroom with valuable contacts built up from years of reporting, the ability to write on any topic in a thorough and accurate fashion and institutional knowledge of our practices and standards. With deep community ties, these reporters have earned first place in recent Georgia APME awards in beat reporting, non-deadline reporting and education coverage. Our younger journalists are all skilled across multimedia forms and often have things to teach their more veteran counterparts. They lift the newsroom spirit, challenge the status quo and ask questions about the community that have long been glossed over. Each day, we focus on sharing fresh content with our readers in the form that best suits them — be it our website, social media platforms or print products.

Athens Banner-Herald

Athens Banner-Herald is an under 20,000 circulation newspaper in Athens, Georgia, owned by Gannett. The newspaper traces its history to the Southern Banner newspaper that first published on March 20, 1832. In 1921, the newspaper merged with the Athens Herald to become the Athens Banner-Herald.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution covers the Atlanta metro area, along with state Government, the Legislature, and statewide issues. Staff includes 80 reporters, 23 editors and 49 additional staffers who produce news stories, video documentaries, investigative special projects, podcasts and other journalism. The newspaper is owned by Cox Enterprises, a family-owned company that has been in Atlanta since 1939.

Athens Banner-Herald

Athens Banner-Herald is an under 20,000 circulation newspaper in Athens, Georgia, owned by Gannett. The newspaper traces its history to the Southern Banner newspaper that first published on March 20, 1832. In 1921, the newspaper merged with the Athens Herald to become the Athens Banner-Herald.