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Pulitzer Center Update September 20, 2010

McCormick Foundation extends support for Global Gateway in Chicago

Media file: chicago_FreeSpirit_Program.jpg

The Pulitzer Center is pleased to announce a $100,000 two-year grant from the McCormick Foundation for expansion of our Global Gateway project in Chicago schools. The grant, for 2011 and 2012, extends a previous $30,000 one-year award from the McCormick Foundation for our initial educational work in Chicago in 2010.

"The Pulitzer Center's Global Gateway Project adds a much needed dimension to our Chicago news literacy initiative," said Clark Bell, the McCormick Foundation's journalism program director. "Students participating in the gateway project will have the ways and means to develop awareness of international issues and their relevance to local communities."

With the support of the McCormick Foundation's initial grant, the Pulitzer Center launched a collaboration in 2010 with Free Spirit Media, an inspiring organization that provides education, access, and opportunity in media production to urban youth in Chicago's West and South sides. The six-week summer program – run by Free Spirit Media – was an opportunity for the Pulitzer Center to introduce the global issues we cover to a new audience and to extend the impact of our reporting through the voices of Chicago youth.

The youth, from Power House High and Westinghouse High, delved into the Pulitzer Center's global reporting on Food Insecurity, Women and Children in Crisis, and HIV/AIDS, homophobia and stigma. They met with the journalists who covered those issues and then launched into local explorations of related issues. Working with those Pulitzer Center journalists and staff as mentors, they connected the global to the local, and their video documentaries became critical avenues for raising awareness of issues that affect us all. The Pulitzer Center plans to continue its partnership with Free Spirit Media and expand its links with Chicago schools with the newly awarded McCormick Foundation grant. We greatly appreciate McCormick Foundation's support of our work.

About McCormick Foundation Journalism Program

The McCormick Foundation believes there is nothing more critical to the vitality of a democracy than free, vigorous and diverse news media that provide citizens with information they need to make reasoned decisions. The Foundation's Journalism Program invests in projects that enhance content, build news audiences and protect press freedoms. The McCormick Foundation, which honors the legacy of Robert R. McCormick, is one of the nation's largest charities, with more than $1 billion in assets.