Reporting on Systemic Racism Grant

Systemic racism is ingrained in institutions throughout the United States. Following protests after the police killing of George Floyd, many communities are trying to create a world where racism is not embedded in criminal justice, housing, public health and many of the systems that govern everyday life. What does that look like?

The Los Angeles Press Club is funding reporting that focuses on effective responses to institutional racism. We’re looking for stories that surface and critically assess alternatives to racist structures and practices. We want stories of what is working and how communities got there.

Is there a place where a “people’s budget” is working? Or perhaps an alternative method of policing? Maybe a community has taken action to stamp out discriminatory practices in housing or education.

We hope to catalyze strong solutions coverage that is relevant to your communities; sparks engagement and public discourse; and informs meaningful, systemic public-sector innovation.

Proposal Guidelines

You need to live and work in Southern California to apply for funds.

You do not need to be a member of the L.A. Press Club, but the grants are only open to freelancers or journalists with part-time work.

You should be a writer, photojournalist, videographer, TV journalist, radio journalist or podcaster.

We are looking for story proposals across media platforms that report on innovative responses to historical racial injustices. We prefer solutions journalism, but it is not a requirement.

Ideal proposals should include one or more of the following elements:

  • Investigation and explanation of how communities, policymakers, public agencies and other institutions have addressed problems.
  • Use of data and/or research to report stories, providing evidence about the efficacy of the response, not just highlighting cosmetic approaches.
  • A strategy for measuring impact, beginning with a clear goal for the story or project.
  • Use of multimedia, data visualization or social media to tell stories.
  • Engagement activities that connect the reporting to constructive public discourse.

Stories can be told in any number of formats. The L.A. Press Club welcomes shorter pieces as well as longer take-outs; investigative series; mobile-friendly content; TV news segments or public affairs programming; radio pieces and podcasts; data visualizations and interactive maps.

The L.A. Press Club is teaming up with Solutions Journalism Network for training. We will be offering one workshop at no cost prior to the application deadline. If you are new to solutions journalism, we encourage but do not require you to attend this workshop before you apply.

For those who are selected for funding, the LA Press Club and the Solutions Journalism Network will offer a mandatory specialized workshop.

The total amount available in this round of grants is $15,000. Grant recipients will be awarded up to $3,000. Half of the grant will be paid upfront and the rest when the project is published.

The Los Angeles Press Club should be recognized when finished work is published or broadcast.

Ready to Apply?

The 2024 application period is open. FINAL EXTENDED DEADLINE: 5 P.M. FRIDAY, MAY 31, 2024.

Got a question? Email

2023 Reporting on Systemic Racism Grant Recipients


Jon-Devin Carrere

Jon-Devin Carrere is an independent freelance journalist who covers news from South Louisiana to Southern California. He views journalism as an extension of his passion for the community.

His grant will help fund the creation of a video and written report that attempts to determine if heavily investing in youth programs reduces crime.


Henry Cherry

Henry Cherry is a freelance writer and photographer who teaches at the John Wessel Photography program for at-risk, low-income youth. His work is in the permanent collection of the LA Public Library and the Claremont Colleges Special Collections.

His grant will be used to focus on the devastating health impacts related to institutional racism in Southern California.


Erin Rode

Erin Rode is a journalist in SoCal focused on the intersection of the environment, climate change, housing and development.

She is working on a project about the enduring impacts of redlining on present-day zoning and environmental justice issues in Pomona as the city works on the first comprehensive update of its zoning code since 1951.

After Decades of Environmental Issues, Pomona Is Updating its Zoning Code
LA Public Press | Grist

2022 Reporting on Systemic Racism Grant Recipients


Gabb Schivone

Gabb Schivone is a freelance investigative reporter and writer focusing on illuminating the dark side of public policy, from policing to gun violence to privatized education.

Most recently, Schivone’s long-term reporting project into the leftist radicalization of police forces has been gaining interest from editors and journalism foundation granters, and now is the subject of a book project: "Rebel Cops: The Social Movements That Have Inspired Police to Betray the Badge, from Antislavery to Black Lives Matter." Schivone is getting funding for a multi-media project exploring the racism and unequal treatment within police departments against minority police officers and what is being done to combat it.


Aitana Vargas

Aitana Vargas is a Columbia University graduate and an award-winning foreign correspondent passionate about investigative journalism and social justice issues.

Her work has mostly appeared on Spanish-language TV Networks and digital media outlets, including Univision and Hoy Los Ángeles. In 2013, her two-part investigative series exposing abuse in the entertainment industry was nominated for the Livingston Award. Vargas wants to explore the embedded racism in LAPD data-driven policing tools, such as PredPol and LASER, and explain what went wrong, as well as the role of community groups and activists that led to the dismantling of the programs.

2021 Reporting on Systemic Racism Grant Recipients


Anita W. Harris

Anita W. Harris is a writer living in Long Beach, California. She is also an educator and editor. She covers local news and theater for the Signal Tribune newspaper.

Her project for this Los Angeles Press Club grant focuses on how the City of Signal Hill in California is working to address systemic racism in its governing and policing, especially through a recent resolution promoting equality and creating a new diversity coalition commission. Her written project will follow the discussions and actions of the commission against the historical background of Signal Hill’s colorful and sometimes racist past.


Dena Montague

Dena Montague is a research associate at UC Santa Barbara with the Global Environmental Justice Project. She directs an innovative project exploring environmental justice and COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County, combining investigative journalism, data justice and scholarly research.

The prison system in the U.S. has become a symbol of institutional racism. And the COVID-19 crisis turned non-violent convictions into death sentences. This story would have gone relatively unnoticed if not for the grassroots organizing of wives of inmates, women working toward creating mechanisms for effective oversight of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, as well as policy reform.


Taylor Walker

Taylor Walker is a Los Angeles-based journalist writing for the non-profit news site WitnessLA, as well as other publications, including Imprint News and the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange.

Forty years of dramatic increases in the number of women incarcerated in the U.S. served to funnel children into the child welfare system. The path to reunification is extremely difficult for parents reentering their communities. Through a four-part series, this project will dig into the issue, tell the stories of some of the families impacted by separation and explore the work of one unique program that advocates for and helps to reunite mothers and their kids.