The Eyewitness Photojournalism Grant is a series of reporting grants for freelance photojournalists to support underreported stories told by journalists historically underrepresented in the American press. This grant is administered in partnership with Diversify Photo.
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 inaugural grant prioritized stories told locally in the United States, with minimal travel required. Stories proposed covered the systemic, underreported issues of our time, including police brutality, the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable communities, environmental racism, food insecurity, the opioid crisis, and beyond.
Now for 2022, the grant program has expanded its reach and will be accepting proposals from freelance photojournalists from all over the world. We are seeking to support underreported stories told by historically underrepresented journalists. The grant could be used for the hard costs associated with reporting, including transportation, translator fees, housing, food, and other essential expenses.
"This grant was conceived in response to the enormous and disproportionate strain COVID-19 has placed on Black, Indigenous, and communities of color. The urgency of telling these stories has been underscored by the global response to police brutality and systematic racism we have seen unfold over the last few weeks," said Brent Lewis and Andrea Wise, co-founders of Diversify Photo. "We believe that stories—especially those reported by those closest to them—have the power to promote greater understanding and accountability for injustice, but access to funding and resources for telling these stories remains more difficult for journalists from underrepresented groups. Together we can ensure this moment in history is documented and reported by those with the greatest authority and capacity to understand these issues."
"The Pulitzer Center is thrilled to partner with Diversify Photo on this special fund," said Nathalie Applewhite, managing director of the Pulitzer Center. "Our mission has always been to focus on underreported critical global issues. And our commitment to raising awareness of the challenges vulnerable communities are facing—specifically through the lenses of photographers from those communities—is more important than ever right now."
Should applicants need assistance connecting with potential publishing outlets, please contact email@example.com.
2022 Winners of the Eyewitness Photojournalism Grant
Tara Pixley, Ph.D., is a queer, first-generation Jamaican-American photographer, curator, and educator based in Los Angeles, where she is an assistant professor of journalism at Loyola Marymount University. She was a 2021 IWMF NextGen Fellow, a 2020 awardee in the inaugural World Press Photo Solutions Visual Journalism Initiative, and a 2016 Visiting Knight Fellow at Harvard University's Nieman Foundation for Journalism. Her writing and photography have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Newsweek, ProPublica, HuffPost, Nieman Reports, ESPN magazine, CanonPro, and The Black Scholar, among many others.
Her filmic and photographic work intersect with her scholarship and advocacy, each addressing the intersectionality of race, gender, class, visual rhetoric, and the potential for visual media to reimagine marginalized communities. She is on the board of stock photo co-op Stocksy United and serves as secretary of the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Board. She is also a co-founder and director of Authority Collective — an organization dedicated to establishing equity in visual media — and she is currently working on a book chronicling the move to decolonize the visual journalism industry.
Angela Ponce is a documentary photographer and photojournalist based in Peru. She focuses on long-term projects that address Latin American political conflicts, the rights of people with disabilities, and environmental issues. Ponce has been awarded in the POY Latam Sports Series category; Women Photograph and The Women’s Equality Center grant, ICRC Humanitarian Visa d'Or, the Sony Latin American Professional Award, among others. Ponce is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, Bloomberg, and Reuters.
Sofia Aldinio is an Argentine-American documentary photographer and multimedia storyteller. She is currently based between Portland, Maine, and Baja California, Mexico. Her work uses collaborative practices to tell stories about home, immigration, climate change, and preserving natural and cultural heritage through an interdisciplinary process that uses photography, archival materials, illustrations, motion, audio, and written narratives.
A large part of Aldinio's documentary work focuses on amplifying stories of immigrants and refugees arriving in the U.S. Northeast. She was twice awarded a grant through the Maine Arts Commission to develop community-based projects where immigrants explore what it means to belong in a foreign place. In 2022, she received the Kindling Fund Grant to develop an interdisciplinary storytelling workshop and exhibition within the immigrant community in Portland, Maine.
2021 Winners of the Eyewitness Photojournalism Grant
Reclaiming Her Space: Birthing Through a Pandemic
This project follows Sophia Tupuola, a new mother and first-generation Samoan American who has been homeless since 2017. In June, photojournalist Sarahbeth Maney began documenting Tupuola's pregnancy through images and interviews for the San Francisco Chronicle.
Where Is Mickey Mouse?
This project documents the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on a population in the center of New York City: the costumed performers dressed as Hello Kitty, Mickey Mouse, Elmo, Batman, and other icons of the entertainment industry who pose for photographs with tourists in Times Square.
Sarahbeth Maney is a freelance photojournalist based in San Francisco who frequently contributes to The New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her work focuses on topics related to education, disability, and social issues that disproportionately impact Black and brown communities. Most recently, she covered the Black Lives Matter protests and California wildfire season, and she completed a short documentary following the first blind person to attempt to kayak independently from Asia to Europe using navigational prototype technology.
Eli Hiller is an independent documentary filmmaker and photographer who pursues stories that seek to humanize marginalized communities. He approaches stories with a conscious perspective on how imperialism and cultural influences have produced the realities of disenfranchised people. He is a frequent contributor to Getty Images and has also worked for Devex, BBC Reel, Zinc, and The New York Times.
Joana Toro is a self-taught Colombian photographer based in New York City and Bogotá, Colombia. Her work explores issues of immigration, human rights, and identity and has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, World Press Photo Witness, Open Society Foundations, and PhotoWorld China magazine, among others.
In 2019, Toro published her first book, Hello I Am Kitty (Tragaluz, Colombia, 2019). Hello I Am Kitty was exhibited at the Gabriel Garcia Marquez journalism festival in Medellin, Colombia. In 2020, an edition of prints from Hello I Am Kitty was acquired by the Library of Congress.
Toro's photo essays have been exhibited in international photo festivals such as Les Femmes s'exposent, France 2019; GuatePhoto, Guatemala; Just Another Festival, India; and the International Photography Festival, China.
In 2021, Toro received the Eyewitness Photojournalism Grant by the Pulitzer Center and Diversify Photo and a National Geographic COVID-19 Emergency Fund grant.