Pulitzer Center Update January 27, 2021

Arts, Journalism, and Justice: Celebrating Our Fall 2020 Teacher Fellows

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NewsArts: a Pulitzer Center initiative that explores the intersections between journalism and art...

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Congratulations to the 'Arts, Journalism and Justice' Teacher Fellows! Graphic by Amanda Nyakela Nyang'oro.

This fall, twenty-three educators across the United States formed the inaugural Pulitzer Center Teacher Fellow cohort—working with one another, the Pulitzer Center education team, and their students to engage curiously, critically, and empathetically with the world through underreported global news stories. The twelve fellows in the Arts, Journalism, and Justice cohort introduced underreported stories to over 350 students through original units that engaged with reporting and creative storytelling to highlight justice issues. Join us in celebrating these educators—and keep reading to explore their units, reflections, and how they spent their time with us throughout the fellowship!

Fellowship Orientation and Professional Development Workshops: 

On Saturday, September 26, 2020, the fellows completed an orientation with the Pulitzer Center education team, including Education Manager Hannah Berk, Education Coordinator Jaya Mukherjee, and Associate Director of Education Fareed Mostoufi. Berk and Mukherjee guided the Arts, Journalism, and Justice cohort throughout their entire fellowship, while Mostoufi supportd educators from the Media, Misinformation, and the Pandemic cohort. During the first part of their orientation, fellows heard from the Center’s Executive Editor, Marina Walker Guevara, and Mission Local journalists Lydia Chávez and Molly Oleson. For the remainder of the orientation, fellows explored how to bring underreported stories into the classroom, and developed personal goals for the fellowship.

The Teacher Fellows participated in four workshops to engage with journalists and artists, brainstorm ideas for their units, and receive feedback from one another and members of the Center’s education team: 

  • Workshop 1: Melissa Bunni Elian on resistance movements, social change, and the role of joy in justice.
  • Workshop 2: Corinne Chin and Claudia Castro Luna on the intersections of art, journalism, and justice in their documentary poetry, video, photo, and text project on femicide in Mexico.
  • Workshop 3: Sarah Shourd on mass incarceration, solitary confinement, and the gaps between the legal system and justice.
  • Workshop 4: Connecting with one another for peer feedback on unit drafts.

The workshops not only provided fellows with a chance to connect with justice-oriented journalists and artists, but also a space to connect with other educators on a personal level. In addition to the formal workshops, fellows met with the Center’s education team for check-ins to discuss progress on their units and for support with identifying reporting and resources for their units. Explore fellows’ reflections on the workshop series below: 

“I truly enjoyed working with the journalists. I particularly enjoyed the sessions where it was a partnership and the two could talk with each other as well as us. Hearing about their process inspired my thinking.” - Anne Lape, educator in Kalamazoo, Michigan, who currently works with adjudicated youth

“The organization was great! Your energy was contagious; something definitely needed for some days at school that seemed endless. Thanks for such a wonderful opportunity!” - Rosa Clara Salazar, Geography teacher in Laredo, Texas

“It seems that sometimes the under-reported story is the story of joy.” - Kim Leddy, educator in Columbus, Ohio

“These images make me think of feeling free, and that’s definitely at the core of justice. Justice = liberation.” - Nataliya Braginsky, high school Social Studies and English teacher in New Haven, Connecticut

Fellows' Units:

The fellows taught their units after the workshop series ended. Units centered a diverse range of justice issues, from analyzing police budgets to mapping food deserts, and from examining the struggle for racial justice through the court system to recognizing inequities in health care. Students processed their learning through arts and journalism performance tasks that included personal narratives, digital zines, poetry, illustrations, and photo essays. All units featured journalism on pressing underreported issues, challenged students to consider whose voices are heard or overlooked in the media, and asked to to consider how they can amplify justice issues that matter to them.

Click here to access fellows' units. All units include student exemplars and downloadable PDFs that include lesson plans, teaching materials, and evaluation rubrics.

Justice cloud. Image courtesy of Tracy Crowley and her unit, 'Exploring Personal Connections to Racial Justice through Social Emotional Learning.' United States, 2020. Scroll to view student work examples from units created by the 'Arts, Journalism, and Justice' Teacher Fellows. 
Student example from Tania Mohammed's unit, 'Are the Founding Principles Applicable to All Americans?'
Student example from Tania Mohammed's unit, 'Are the Founding Principles Applicable to All Americans?'
Student example from Nicole Clark's unit, 'Sickle Cell Disease and Health Justice'
Student example from Anne Lape's unit, 'Poetic Justice: Using Journalism and Poetry to Illuminate Injustice'
Student example from Tracy Johnson's unit, 'Activating Justice: Responding to Systemic Racism Through Art and Images'
Student example from Vincent Pham's unit, 'Investigating Police Budgets'
Student example from Nataliya Braginsky's unit, 'Writing Personal Narratives in a Political World'
Student example from Nicole Clark's unit, 'Sickle Cell Disease and Health Justice'
Student example from Edith Duckett's unit, 'My Place in the Movement for Change: A Unit for English Language Learners'

Fellowship Closing

The fellowship concluded with a joint virtual session with the Media, Misinformation, and the Pandemic cohort. Fellows celebrated their hard work with the Pulitzer Center education team and Executive Director Jon Sawyer. Each cohort had a chance to share their units, reflect upon what they learned, and leave feedback and advice for the education team and future cohorts. A moment from the closing session and reflections from the Arts, Journalism, and Justice cohort can be found below. For a more in depth look at the Media, Misinformation, and The Pandemic cohort, click here!

Screenshot from the Teacher Fellowship closing celebration. United States, 2020.

“[I learned about] connections between racial justice and social-emotional learning, new technologies, connecting to students’ lives more deeply, finding joy in the news.” - Tracy Crowley, Information and Media Literacy educator in Wheeling, Illinois

“I learned that journalism is also about solutions and creativity. I am certainly going to vary my assessment options to include the arts as well.” - Rosa Clara Salazar

“I learned even more about under-reported stories—which helped me think when selecting my unit topic, "What underreported story affects our community that my students currently don't know?”” - Nicole Clark, middle school Social Studies educator in Washington, D.C.

“This fellowship helped me solidify the notion that journalism can and should be creative. This gave me permission to lean in to the creative projects I do in my journalism class and add more of them, rather than thinking of them as ancillary to the "real" journalistic work.” - Nataliya Braginsky

“I learned a little bit more about the field of journalism. I was also pushed to think a little more creatively on how I can synthesize multiple different pieces together such as the arts, journalism, and justice in a way that is engaging, applicable, and meaningful for students.” - Tania Mohammed, educator from Brooklyn, New York

“I heard students talking about the news in different ways and referring back to the stories that they had interacted with. Disappearing Daughters made a particular impact.” - Anne Lape

“I am comfortable with teaching a journalistic lense for my students. Given that I teach about controversial debates in my class, I realize that it is very important to vocalize and explore the historical context of situations. Furthermore, we can investigate the consequences of our story by focusing on specific, personal stories of those who are affected by this manner.” - Vincent Pham, educator from Brooklyn, New York

Interested in becoming a Pulitzer Center Teaching Fellow? Apply to our Spring 2021 Teacher Fellowship! Contact [email protected] with any questions!