Planet Forward introduces 2024 Frontline Climate Fellows

Planet Forward introduces 2024 Frontline Climate Fellows
Related Topics:
Climate, Colleges & Education, Justice

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 23, 2024) — Planet Forward, an environmental storytelling project founded by Emmy Award-winning journalist and former CNN Washington Bureau Chief Frank Sesno at the George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs is launching a new Frontline Climate Fellowship Program, made possible by a Genius Grant from the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation. 

In the program’s debut, six student fellows will work in an intensive collegiate environment to create a video, multimedia presentation, photo essay, or written story from and about their community, on the front lines of climate change. 

The 2024 Planet Forward Frontline Climate Fellows are:

  • Kimberlee Blevins, a master’s student in Environmental Science from Sitting Bull College
  • Emiliano McLane, a master’s student in Agricultural & Extension Education at New Mexico State University
  • Alexia Nastasia, a sophomore majoring in International Relations and Sociocultural Anthropology from Boston University 
  • Kwame Okoro, a sophomore majoring in Africana Studies and Political Science at George Washington University
  • Dre Pedemonte, a senior majoring in English and Journalism at George Washington University
  • Sareya Taylor, a senior majoring in Creative Writing from the Institute of the American Indian Arts

Fellows will be rigorously mentored and coached on career trajectory and professional networking as they research, develop, and publish their work over six weeks at George Washington University, hosted by Planet Forward. Student work will focus on how issues of environmental justice, gender, and equity take on new urgency in the context of climate change and its impact on life in frontline communities. Students will perform on-the-ground reporting and research and provide important visibility for communities that are too often marginalized or ignored.

“These students will be the vanguard of environmental and sustainability journalism in areas that are too often ignored by other media,” said Frontline Climate Fellowship Director and George Washington University professor Jesse J. Holland. “I hope these first Fellows and subsequent ones are able to use their skills to not only tell stories but provide solutions in ways that only people who are intimately familiar with these neighborhoods and communities can.”

The program will run from June 10-July 19. Each fellow will receive a $5,000 stipend and story mentorship from Holland, as well as Inside Climate News reporter Victoria St. Martin, Planet Forward alumna and multimedia producer Eva Sideris, and guest speakers.

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