SPJ Florida is pleased to announce the winners of the first Muslimedia expansion grant. All five winners will receive $200 to host an interactive panel between journalists, activists, and religious leaders to learn more about the Muslim community. Here’s what the chapter did in November at the first-ever Muslimedia event.
“Muslimedia was one of our most important events to date,” said SPJ Florida Pro chapter president Dori Zinn. “Immediately following the success of it, we knew we had to make sure other communities were able to put this on.”
Each group will have their own take on the event, which may include a tour of a mosque or Islamic center in their community, a halal lunch with community members to break down issues, and an open discussion between chosen panelists and the audience in attendance.
“Those that were chosen are so into putting on this event that I’m just happy we can help them any way we can, whether that’s financially, logistically, or otherwise,” Zinn said. “I’m hopeful that this event and those like it grow much further than this.”
The winners are:
Judy Gibbs from Norman, OK.
Judy is the advisor for the University of Oklahoma SPJ student chapter. She’s a former minority affairs reporter where she worked with the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma.
Jessica Palombo Gustafson from Jacksonville, FL.
Jessica is the news director at WJCT and has a working relationship with the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida. In Jacksonville, there is a population of Bosnian and Bangladeshi Muslims, where most people don’t realize there is that diversity.
Michelle Dowd from Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Michelle is faculty adviser of the student newspaper at Chaffey College, and she and her student held the second Muslimedia at the Islamic Center in Rancho Cucamonga. The students shot this video.
Jody Biehl from Buffalo, NY.
Buffalo has a growing refugee population and hence a burgeoning Islamic population. However, reporters and the general non-Islamic population are too afraid/hesitant to go inside them.
Hannah Yasharoff from College Park, MD.
Hannah already has more than half a dozen potential panelists already considered for this event. It’s targeting students from the MD, VA, DC areas to broaden their understanding of diversity issues, but it’s open to professionals as well and their expansion of diversity issues.
Want to put on your own Muslimedia? There are other ways to do it aside from this grant. Here’s how to have this event in your community.