By the AAJA San Francisco Bay Area chapter board of directors
As the month of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage comes to a close, there is a lot to reflect on. This year our community has faced unprecedented circumstances together. In addition to a global health crisis, we see an alarming rise in discrimination against the Asian American Pacific Islander community. In California, the AAPI community has also been disproportionately impacted by the virus. At a time when it’s vital to share the stories of the challenges our community is facing by journalists, scores of media outlets announced furloughs and layoffs, placing many of our members in difficult economic situations.
The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) is a membership organization whose mission is to advance diversity in newsrooms and ensure fair and accurate coverage of communities of color. We, at the San Francisco Bay Area chapter, strive to create a network of support for local Asian American and Pacific Islander journalists and find ways to amplify their work and the stories of the local AAPI community.
Over the past two years, Comcast California has been an integral partner in these efforts. As a sponsor of our flagship fundraiser event, HELLA ASIAN, Comcast supported our goal of bringing the community together for a night of live storytelling featuring local AAPI community members. This year, we wanted to do more to support our members in acknowledgment of the hardships they’re facing and celebrate stories that deserve to be amplified—and not just during Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
We’re excited to launch our first-ever AAJA-SF Storytelling Project: Rising with the Tides, with the support of Comcast California and media partner, NBC Bay Area. In the coming month, we’ll put out a call for story pitches about the AAPI community here in the Bay Area that reflects one of our chosen themes: “Resilience” and “Solidarity.” We especially welcome stories on communities that are underrepresented within the broad AAPI descriptive.
We will award up to 10 journalists between $500-$1,000 each to produce a piece in any medium, including print, audio, or visual. Pitch submissions are open to students and working journalists in the Bay Area, with special consideration given to AAJA-SF members and those experiencing financial hardship.
We’re excited to support local journalists in their efforts to amplify important Bay Area AAPI stories during a time of uncertainty and challenges in our world. We thank Comcast for recognizing the value of this journalistic work, and for continually supporting our organization’s mission.
For more information, visit aajasf.org and follow @AAJASF on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on this exciting new program in the coming weeks.