Students from six historically Black colleges and universities were selected to participate in the spring ’24 class of the Open Campus HBCU Student Journalism Network. 

This group comprises the third cohort of the program, which pairs each student journalist with an advisor and mentor and creates trainings and networking opportunities throughout the semester. 

The fellows were chosen from a group of 36 applicants. This cohort includes:

  • Dasia Williams, a senior at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University studying multimedia journalism.
  • Kylar Gray, a senior at Spelman College majoring in English.
  • Richard Brown, a senior journalism student at Florida A&M University.
  • Skyler Winston, a junior journalism major at Howard University.
  • Niles Garrison, a sophomore at Morehouse College majoring in journalism.
  • Adebola Aderibigbe, a sophomore at Stillman College majoring in journalism.

“As a young journalist, I’ve always been captivated by the power of storytelling and its ability to shape public opinion and bring about positive change,” Winston wrote in her application. “I believe this fellowship will play a crucial role in helping me achieve my goal of a career in broadcast journalism.”

The fellows will report on all aspects of HBCUs, on their own campuses but also on broader trends and issues. Topics they said they are most excited to cover include international students’ experiences at HBCUs and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, among others. Select stories will be co-published in national outlets — prior fellows’ stories ran in The Washington Post, Capital B, and Verité News, and other outlets. 

“As a student journalist at Spelman College, it is very important to report at HBCUs and hear stances from current students on what’s happening on and around HBCU campuses, especially at an all women’s institution,” Gray wrote in her application. “There are so many issues that should be covered that only student-led media outlets can highlight by using their audience to spread awareness.”

The program was founded by Open Campus in 2022  in partnership with veteran HBCU journalist Jarrett Carter, Sr. Fellows will also be working with Wesley Wright, assistant director of student media at Florida Atlantic University and a former education journalist, who serves as assistant editor in the program.

The project is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Lumina Foundation, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Support the program here.

To sign up for updates about the HBCU Student Journalism Network and to get stories from the fellows, visit this page. Reach us at hbcu@opencampusmedia.org.

About Open Campus

Founded in 2019, Open Campus is the only nonprofit news organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to higher education. It’s built on an innovative collaborative model, combining a national newsroom that knows higher ed deeply with local newsrooms that know their communities deeply. Open Campus has put local reporters on the higher-ed beat in partnerships with ten newsrooms around the country.