Also: Commercial fishing in NC, slow aid response frustrates Congolese

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A round-up of reporting from our grantees, upcoming events, and news from the Pulitzer Center

The Grit, Time, and Courage Behind Blockbuster Stories

In a hot and dusty field surrounded by cattle, in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, a man stirs the hot syrupy stew that is the makings of fentanyl, the synthetic opioid that contributed to the deaths of nearly 100,000 Americans last year alone. In a stunning three-part series by grantees Monica Villamizar and Zach Fannin, which aired on PBS NewsHour, you’ll see every appalling consequence of this deadly drug, from the armed children serving in local militias in backwater Mexico to the families of overdose victims in Arizona.

Getting stories like this is dangerous, time-consuming, difficult, and expensive. It is also important, bringing us information we need on issues too often hidden in the shadows but affecting us in a myriad of ways. We had a number of such stories among the Pulitzer Center projects published recently.

Grantee Hyury Potter’s 5,000-word exposé for Intercept Brazil revealed the illegal permitting, government corruption, destruction of protected Indigenous lands, and secret air strip behind the industrial-scale Amazon gold mine that is generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Grantee May Jeong, writing for The Cut, documents a culture of rampant sexual harassment and assault among the humanitarian agencies of the United Nations—and the U.N.’s toothless response. Grantee William Freivogel, in a meticulously documented account, shows that in St. Louis, citizen deaths by police chokeholds and no-knock raids remain common, and largely unreported, a full seven years after the police killing of Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson helped fuel the rise of Black Lives Matter.

Over the past two years we have been exploring the roots of racial injustice, as the lead education partner for The New York Times on The 1619 Project. On Facebook’s Lift Black Voices hub, starting today, we are sharing a compelling set of readings, videos, curricular materials, and quizzes drawn from The 1619 Project. Please join the conversation!

All Best,

Jon Sawyer
Executive Director

Photo: Image courtesy of PBS NewsHour. United States, 2021.
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Photoville: Eyewitness: Who Tells the Stories of Our Time?

September 18 - December 1
Brooklyn, NY

The Exit Is Not the End: What’s Next for Afghanistan 

September 23, 12:00pm EDT
Online Event
September 29, 6:00pm CDT
Columbia, MO


The New Humanitarian 
Slow Aid Response Frustrates Congolese Made Homeless by Volcano

Sophie Neiman

PBS NewsHour 
Ordinary People Are Taking the Law Into Their Own Hands to Counter Cartel Threat
Monica Villamizar

Carolina Public Press
Commercial Fishing in NC Adapts to Threat of Warming Seas
Jack Igelman 

The People's Archive of Rural India
‘He Became Irritable ... He Would Snap at Us’
Parth MN

Religion News Service 
Post-Trump, Christian Nationalists Preach a Theology of Vaccine Resistance
Jack Jenkins 

Africa Health and Climate Change
Cost of Farming: How Iseyin Women Farmers Cope with Climate Change and the Credit Crunch
Francis Annagu

Pulitzer Center
‘To Make a Person Whole’: Body, Mind, and Spirit
Maiya Mahoney

Pulitzer Center 
Behind the Story: Cheryl Diaz Meyer on 'Lolas: Survivors of Enslavement'
Katherine Jossi 

Pulitzer Center 
Special Call for Reporting Fellowship Proposals on Gender Equality, Justice, and Climate Science
Kem Sawyer, Libby Moeller, Steve Sapienza

Pulitzer Center
Applications Open for the 2021 Eyewitness Photojournalism Grant
Jackie Calderon

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