BLCK Press, an independent news organization headed by Georgia Fort, is expanding its footprint to create a newsroom of multimedia storytellers dedicated to changing the racial narrative in Minnesota. Five reporters are now working with Fort, and four are ThreeSixty Journalism program alums.
- Faaya Adem is an Oromo American student journalist based in the Twin Cities who is passionate about uplifting diverse and marginalized communities through storytelling. Her work has appeared in the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press. Adem is a ThreeSixty Journalism alum.
- Aaliyah Demry is a Twin Cities journalist, photographer, and videographer. The host of “The Fly Subject” radio show on KRSM, Demry creates content around pop culture and entertainment. She is a ThreeSixty Journalism alum.
- Jasmine McBride is a Twin Cities-based storyteller and public speaker. Her work is rooted in the exploration of social intersections, amplifying collective shifts of perspective through film, photography, poetry, and journalism.
- Chioma Uwagwu is a first-generation American of Nigerian heritage. Her writing and reporting appeared in Smithsonian Magazine, Urban Creativity Scientific Journal, and the Racial Reckoning Project. She holds degrees in American Culture and Difference as well as Communication Studies from the University of St. Thomas. Uwagwu is a ThreeSixty Journalism alum.
- Kai Sanchez-Avila is the 2019 ThreeSixty Scholar at the University of St. Thomas and is studying journalism. She interned at the Pioneer Press in the summer of 2021 covering topics from the name change of Henry Sibley High School to a nonprofit giving access to free books for youth.
Under the leadership of Fort, BLCK Press provides local, early career BIPOC journalists experience and mentorship while earning a livable wage. It will also provide Twin Cities media outlets with a local source of talented multimedia journalists.
“Mainstream media outlets are beginning to come to terms with their implicit racial bias, which affects not only the stories they report but also the talent they attract,” said Fort. “It is vital that we increase the number of BIPOC reporters and opportunities to shape the narrative in our communities.”
Fort has hired veteran Twin Cities journalist Marianne Combs to serve as her news director. Combs and Fort worked together in 2021 on Racial Reckoning: The Arc of Justice, a ten-month journalism project that provided on-the-job training for women of color reporting on the Derek Chauvin murder trial and other high-profile stories. As part of that project they co-produced the radio documentary “George Floyd: A Year Later.”
BLCK Press is partnering with Indigenous Roots, SPEAKMpls, (SPNN) and ThreeSixty Journalism to identify and train young talent in audio, video and web story production. Their stories will be broadcast on Twin Cities radio stations KRSM, WFNU and WEQY as well as on public access channels in Minneapolis and St. Paul, beginning May 11, 2022.