Diversity Fellowship Program Kicks Into Gear

Program Attracts Schools From Across the Country.

AAN’s first-ever Diversity Fellowship Program is under way. A diverse pool of universities have pledged participation in the program which will send four graduating minority students to AAN’s 22nd Annual Convention in Memphis, May 27-29.

In recent weeks, information packets and applications have been sent to 40 schools, including Wayne State University, and Coppin State College and Seattle University.

This spring, AAN will award fellowships to four graduating minority students who are interested in writing and the alternative press. The fellowship recipients will receive all-expenses paid trips to the national convention — the biggest yearly gathering of the alternative newspaper industry.

“We think we’ve got a good mix of schools that ought to provide us with a pretty good pool of candidates,” says Safir Ahmed, editor of The Riverfront Times and AAN’s editorial chair. “We’ll have a group of AAN editors to select the final four and bring them to Memphis. And my hope is that we’ll have AAN papers stumbling over each other to offer these candidates a writing job.”

The students will be invited to participate in all of the convention’s workshops, seminars and social events. Ahmed says the plan is to make it conducive at the convention for any of AAN’s 113 member papers to review the candidates’ resumes and set up one-on-one interviews with editors or publishers.

Although 40 schools were pre-selected, any graduating undergrad or grad school minority student is eligible for the fellowship program. To obtain an application form, students can call AAN’s Washington, DC office at 202/822-1955.

Applications must be submitted by Feb. 16, 1999.

AAN is also seeking editors to serve as fellowship mentors at the convention.

“If we’re going to make this a success, we need four AAN editors to volunteer to serve as mentors for the candidates at the convention,” Ahmed says.

Volunteers should contact AAN News Editor Cory Zurowski at 410/604-2699.