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Pulitzer Center Update May 21, 2018

Beyond War Student Fellows Focus on Peace and Conflict

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Winners of the Beyond War Campus Consortium Reporting Fellowship competition: Julia Canney and Sarah Hoenicke
Winners of the Beyond War Campus Consortium Reporting Fellowship competition: Julia Canney and Sarah Hoenicke

The Pulitzer Center announces two new fellows who will report on issues related to peace and conflict: Julia Canney and Sarah Hoenicke. They are the winners of a competition for Campus Consortium students and alums, held in conjunction with  the Pulitzer Center's 2018 conference, "Beyond War: Causes of Conflict, Prospects for Peace."

Current and recent alums from our 35 Campus Consortium partners were invited to pitch a reporting project relating to the larger themes of the upcoming June conference–causes of conflict, an underreported nonviolent response to conflict, or peace efforts. The response was overwhelming and the competition stiff–55 applications were submitted on a diverse range of important topics from around the world touching on refugees, child soldiers, mental health, rehabilitation, and healing arts. 

Julia Canney, a 2016 graduate of the College of William and Mary, earned an MSC in Human Rights at University College Dublin and is now a program assistant for the Gender, Women and Democracy Program at the National Democratic Institute in Washington, DC. She is reporting on the overlooked role of women in peacemaking efforts during The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

"Women were keeping the peace in their homes and among families for decades, and it's important to uncover these stories and share the different experiences of women who lived, worked, and prevailed during the tumultuous years of The Troubles," Canney says.

"It's my hope that my reporting raises the profile of the remarkable acts of these women, and that it also allows more light to be shed on women peacemakers in other conflict-ridden societies. The tide is changing, but too often women are reduced to victims in a conflict, rather than viewed as whole people with their own sentiments and autonomy," Canney says. "It's my goal that my reporting would help contribute to a culture of journalism that would do just that: report on the experiences of women, from the mouths and hearts of women themselves."

Sarah Hoenicke, a UC Berkeley graduate journalism student and a Mills College graduate, travels to Sri Lanka to report on the contemporary literary movement in Sri Lanka that tries to make sense of the country's violent history. She will interview trauma experts and youth participating in the “Write to Reconcile” program, as well as authors in the Sri Lankan diaspora.

"This work will highlight Sri Lankans’ efforts to reconcile their differences and heal trauma through narrative. I don’t believe, from my initial reporting and research or from my own lived experience, that reconciliation is a magic, one-and-done thing. It’s a process, and one that needs to be engaged in repeatedly, widely, and in many contexts. I hope this reporting can add further nuance to the conversation," Hoenicke says.

Hoenicke's project focuses on Sri Lanka's divisive civil war and its earlier colonial history.

"Many of the conflicts around the world and inequities here at home—in policing, incarceration, healthcare, housing, and in so many other sectors—have to do with national identity, with ethnicity, with the ability or lack thereof to speak the “right” language. This work will highlight Sri Lankans’ efforts to reconcile their differences and heal trauma through narrative."

In addition to support for their reporting projects, the Beyond War Student Fellows are invited to attend the "Beyond War: Causes of Conflict, Prospects for Peace" conference in Washington, D.C. on June 2-3, 2018.

They will also participate in the Pulitzer Center Washington Weekend on October 26-27, 2018. This annual event for student fellows exposes them and their professors to the work of other fellows, provides an opportunity to network with professional journalists and editors, and further broadens horizons.

Congratulations to Julia Canney and Sarah Hoenicke.


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