The Uproot Project Environmental Justice Fellowship
At The Uproot Project, we believe there are important environmental justice stories that need to be told. We believe that journalists of color bring critical and fresh perspectives to covering these stories. With The Uproot Project’s Environmental Justice Fellowship, we want to bring the two together — to help underrepresented journalists shed light on undercovered topics. This fellowship will offer funding to seven journalists to pursue reporting projects over the course of a year. Fellows will receive up to $2,000 to cover travel and other reporting expenses, and will also receive support from Uproot to place their stories with a media outlet, if requested.
Fellows’ projects should focus on stories related to environmental justice — highlighting how the climate crisis and key environmental issues of our time are inextricably linked with other forms of inequity. These are the kinds of stories that have often been left out of the narrative in mainstream environmental journalism, and the ones that The Uproot Project is dedicated to uplifting.
2023 applications will open on February 1.
Meet the 2022 class of fellows here.
The fellowship is open to journalists of color who are members of The Uproot Project. (If you’re a journalist of color who hasn’t joined Uproot yet, you can apply for membership here. It’s free to join!) Applicants must also be authorized to work in the U.S. and have a U.S. bank account and address. U.S. citizenship is not required.
Applicants must be working journalists; those working in public relations, lobbying or communications are not eligible for this fellowship. Freelance journalists are welcome, and encouraged, to apply. A demonstrated history of covering the environment will strengthen your application.
Reporting projects should take an in-depth look at an environmental justice issue. We’re particularly interested in funding stories that are undercovered in the news media or poorly understood by the general public.
The fellowship is open to stories in any medium — writing, audio, video, photography or some combination. Your reporting can take you anywhere, whether there’s a story you want to tell in your own backyard or across the world. Fellows will also be asked to provide a brief progress report at six months and a short summary of their experience at the end of their reporting process for Uproot to share.
The funding for this fellowship should directly support fellows’ reporting. Such costs may include:
- Travel expenses
- Translation fees
- Records access
- Data analysis
- Data visualization
The majority of the funds must be used for reporting expenses, and funds should be spent within one year of fellowship selection. Fellows should not spend a large share of their budget on new equipment. Funds cannot be used as reimbursement for reporting that has already been completed. The jury may allow other types of reimbursement in special cases.
Starting on February 1, 2023, you can submit your application here. You will be asked to include a proposed budget for your project; please attach this in the form of a spreadsheet.
A letter of support is optional but encouraged. References should email these letters to firstname.lastname@example.org with the applicant’s name in the subject line, followed by “Fellowship”.
Applications for the fellowship open on February 1, 2023 and are due by March 1, 2023. A jury will assess the applications and announce the fellowship class in April. Fellows will have one year — until April 1, 2024 — to complete their reporting projects.
To help you prepare materials in advance of starting the application, below is a list of what you’ll need to complete the application form.
- Describe the reporting project you hope to pursue with this fellowship. Please include your preferred medium (i.e. digital, audio, video, multimedia, etc.)
- Proposed reporting timeline
- How does your project idea shed light on an under-covered or poorly understood environmental justice topic? Describe the current coverage of this topic, and how your project will deepen the public’s understanding.
- Do you already have a commitment from a news organization willing to publish this story? If not, where do you envision this story being published?
- If you have prior experience reporting on environmental justice, please describe it here.
- How would you fit your reporting for this fellowship in with your other professional commitments?
- Do you need editorial support from The Uproot Project? If so, what sort of assistance would benefit you?
- A resume (PDF, please!)
- Your proposed budget (.xls, .csv, or PDF)