DEAL Race & Justice Reporting Initiative Application Deadline

February 24, 2019 all-day
Detroit Equity Action Lab (DEAL)


Are you a journalist with talent and passion for covering the environment and justice in Detroit?

The Detroit Equity Action Lab (DEAL), an initiative of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, is offering four mini-grants of $1,000 each to report on environmental stories in Detroit. Specifically, we are looking for stories that demonstrate how industrial pollution, high water and energy costs, large burdens of toxic pollution, and climate change disproportionately impact communities of color or low-income. Stories may also examine how communities are responding to these impacts through self-advocacy and self-healing.

The goals of this initiative are to:
  1. Inform the general public on pressing environmental issues in Detroit.
  2. Spread awareness within Black, People of Color and low-income populations about the environmental issues they face.
  3. Disseminate information about new scientific findings, policy debates, innovations and evidence-based solutions.

This is a unique opportunity to cover critical issues about the environment in low-income, Black or immigrant communities, and receive funding to help cover transportation and other reporting expenses.

How to Apply

Applicants should write no more than a one-page pitch describing their project topic, how the subject will be researched and covered, explain its timeliness and why this topic needs coverage—just as you would to an editor in a story pitch. The pitch should demonstrate enough preliminary research to make clear there’s really a story, and that it will be possible for the applicant to successfully report it.

Applicants should have done some preliminary research and will have identified 2-3 potential sources to demonstrate that they have a reporting plan. Web and video applications should demonstrate the same reporting focus as long-form written stories, emphasizing context and history.

Please include in the application:

    1. A one-page pitch with relevance to Detroit.
    2. An updated resume.
    3. An email exchange from an editor/producer agreeing to receive the pitch/story idea for likely publication or broadcast. (If needed we can help with getting your story placed.)
    4. No more than three samples of published or broadcast journalistic work. Please include links to these stories — either on a news organization’s website or in the application document.
    5. Applications must be submitted in a single Microsoft Word, Google Doc, or Adobe PDF file to with “Reporting Initiative Application” included in the subject line.


Applications will be due by 11:59 p.m. February 24, 2019. This is a hard deadline. We will quickly turn around the applications and choose the fellows no later than March 10.

If awarded, each fellow receives $1,000 and will be expected to participate in an afternoon session with experts working on environmental issues.

Fellows will have two months to produce a print, radio, or video piece.

For more information, visit DEAL’s website at