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Morgan State seeks Vernon Jarrett Medal nominees

Morgan State University’s School of Global Journalism & Communication seeks submissions for its 2021 Vernon Jarrett Medal of Journalistic Excellence Award, an annual honor recognizing exemplary reporting, in broadcast or print, on the Black condition.

This year’s submissions must be related to reporting about the impact racial reckoning has had in helping to close the social/racial wealth gap for Black people in America.

The school invites entries from any U.S. media organizations which were published online, in newspapers, magazines or were broadcast during the period of Jan. 1 to Sept. 30, 2021. The award winner will also receive a $10,000 grant funded by the Open Society Foundations.

The deadline for entries is March 31. The award ceremony is scheduled for April 21 at the National Press Club in Washington.

A jury of five members from the School of Global Journalism & Communication’s Board of Visitors will review the applications and nominate three finalists. A three-member panel of judges chosen from the board will select the winner, who will receive the Jarrett Medal and a $10,000 prize. On the recommendation of the judges, a runner-up prize may be awarded.

Entries may be emailed to [email protected]. An organization may not submit more than three nominations. No more than five stories/reports may be included in a single entry. There is no application fee. Entries should include a nomination letter and short bio about the nominee.

The Vernon Jarrett Medal of Journalistic Excellence is awarded annually in recognition of exemplary reporting on the Black condition. It is named for the late Vernon Jarrett, a pioneering African-American journalist who was the first African-American columnist at the Chicago Tribune and creator of the NAACP’s Act-So program, which encourages academic excellence among black youth. He also was a founding member and a former president of the National Association of Black Journalists. The inaugural award was presented in 2015.

Previous medal winners are: Errin Haines, The 19th, and Adam Serwer, The Atlantic (both 2020); Audra D.S. Burch, The New York Times (2019); Helen Ubiñas (2018) and Mesa Dean (2017), both from the Philadelphia Media Network; Kirsten West Savali, a writer, cultural critic and associate editor of The Root, (2016), and Stacey Patton, a reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education (2015).

The Vernon Jarrett for Medal Journalistic Excellence is funded by a grant from the Open Society Foundations.