AAN Diversity Grant Recipients Head Back to School

Next grant deadline Oct. 14

The two recipients of summer AAN Diversity Internship Grants have finished their stints in alt-weekly newsrooms in New Orleans and Costa Mesa, Calif., and returned to their classrooms at UCLA and Wells College.

The program, which awards two $2,500 grants twice annually, was instituted by the association in 2001 to help alternative weeklies hire and train top-quality minority journalists.

The two summer/fall recipients were Tomarra Campbell at Gambit Weekly in New Orleans and Gustavo Arellano at OC Weekly.

At Gambit Weekly, Campbell worked on a variety of projects for all sections of the paper, including news, entertainment, and special issues like “Best of New Orleans,” says Editor Michael Tisserand.

Campbell, a New Orleans native, is entering her junior year this fall at Wells College in New York. She is a regular columnist for the Wells College student newspaper and a contributor to the campus literary magazine. She plans to write a paper on her experience in an alternative newsroom.

“AAN’s diversity internships are an invaluable resource for editors to be able to hire (and convince your publisher to hire) a paid intern,” Tisserand says. “By offering these matching grants, AAN prods us to discover talent in our area and better accomplish a longstanding goal of diversifying the newsroom.”

Arellano, who interned at OC Weekly this summer, is the son of Mexican immigrants and the first person in his family to graduate from high school and attend college. He is now a graduate student in Chicano Studies at UCLA. He has contributed to OC Weekly since his senior year at Chapman University, writing cover stories and investigative pieces, as well as music.

“I thought I wanted to get into alternative journalism before I started my internship with the Weekly,” Arellano says. “But after a summer of working under the expectation that every week I had to produce a news story which was hard-hitting, original, and hilarious, I know that the weekly lifestyle is for me. … The diversity grant ensured that I had the luxury of full-time devotion to develop vicious wordsmith skills.”

The deadline for Winter/Spring internships is Oct. 14. Winners of the two $2,500 matching grants will be announced in November.

Members can apply by completing an AAN application form and submitting the intern’s name and writing samples. Application forms and instructions were mailed to editors and publishers in early September, or click here to download a PDF of the application form.

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