Inside MCF

Journalism About Poverty: Marguerite Casey Foundation Announces Award Winners

May 2, 2019

SEATTLE – Marguerite Casey Foundation announced today the winners of journalism awards to promote reliable reporting on poverty and community leadership by families. The Marguerite Casey Foundation Journalism Fellowships and Scholarships support journalism that helps the public and policymakers better understand the experience and progress of families working to alleviate poverty in the U.S.

“This support promotes truth-telling and challenges how lawmakers and the public think and talk about poverty,” said Luz Vega-Marquis, president and CEO of Marguerite Casey Foundation. “Journalists play a crucial role in shaping the public narrative. These stories are helping to accurately rewrite the narrative about poverty.”

Each Foundation Journalism Fellowship includes a reporting stipend of $2,000 and up to $1,000 for travel expenses. Each Journalism Scholarship includes a $1,000 stipend and up to $800 for travel.

The Fellowship and Scholarship winners include:

  • Evelyn Nieves received a Fellowship to examine the issue of and forces behind homelessness in Guerneville, a resort area that started as a logging town in Northern California’s Sonoma County, for a still-to-be-determined outlet.
  • Christie Renick received a Fellowship to write for The Chronicle of Social Change about Native children, who – through the child welfare system – have been removed from their families and tribes. She reported from Iowa. The Chronicle of Social Change and IowaWatch co-published her story on May 15.
  • Lewis Raven Wallace received a Fellowship to chronicle how unpaid court fines in LaGrange, Georgia – a city of 30,000 – can result in the loss of utilities for residents. Scalawag published his story on March 18. Rewire.News also published the story.
  • Katherine Webb-Hehn received a Fellowship to report for Scalawag on pollution and health in North Birmingham, Alabama – home to Black church leaders and families who were instrumental in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Scalawag published her story on June 24.
  • Giuliani Alvarenga received a Scholarship to report for The Body about how Latinx women in Los Angeles are facing chronic illnesses, such as being HIV positive, and how community organizations are offering support to these residents. The Body published his story on April 29.
  • Grace King received a Scholarship to report for WUFT News on how policies might be contributing to a worsening environment and an exacerbation of poverty for families in Louisiana. WUFT News published her story on April 29.

Past Fellowship and Scholarship projects have appeared in Alaska Public Media, NPR’s Latino USA, the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, BuzzFeed News,, New America Media, Oregon Public Broadcasting and Rural In These Times.

Since 2012, Marguerite Casey Foundation has awarded Fellowships and Scholarships to more than 35 journalists. Later in 2019, the Foundation will release information on applying for the next round of Journalism Fellowships and Scholarships. This press release has been updated since it was published.

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Brad Wong
206-321-0033 (mobile)

About Marguerite Casey Foundation
Marguerite Casey Foundation nurtures a national movement of low-income families advocating on their own behalf for change. We invest in grassroots activism that builds the power and voice of families living in poverty to create their own solutions for a more just and equitable society for all. Our grantmaking provides multiyear general support in four regions – the South, Southwest, Midwest and West – as well as nationally.

Facebook: @MargueriteCaseyFoundation
Twitter: @CaseyGrants

Journalism About Poverty: Marguerite Casey Foundation Announces Award Winners