In June of 2022, the Race and Justice Reporting Initiative from Wayne State University’s Damon J. Keith Center and EL CENTRAL came together to create a newsroom to cover the Southwest Detroit Mexican/Latino community. We felt a commitment to comprehensive reporting on a community long neglected by mainstream media—determined to cover stories that went beyond immigration and crime. We wanted a newsroom that worked towards creating a vibrant, trusted media outlet with journalists that reflect the rich diversity of Southwest Detroit’s residents.
The biggest challenge we faced was creating a newsroom to cover selected beats of arts and entertainment, health and the environment, real estate, and small businesses. In addition, we needed more resources and could not pay anyone a full-time wage. The goal of the Race and Justice Reporting Initiative is to support the work of BIPOC independent journalists and not see freelancers as an outlier but as critical components of the media’s ecosystem.
We were surprised by how many aspiring writers and photojournalists were eager to participate. Since we began, we have written dozens of stories and held weekly editorial meetings. We assign assignments and actively ask the writers to pitch stories. In addition, we mentor aspiring writers and photogra- phers and pair them with media professionals to further their development.
The partnership between the Race and Justice Reporting Initiative and EL CENTRAL is committed to telling stories within a race and justice frame- work, to respond to the information needs of the community in order to strengthen trust and representative democracy.
The Race and Justice Reporting Initiative funding is provided through the Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund at the Community Foundation For Southeast Michigan.
I am very pleased to formally introduce the Race and Justice Reporting Initiative Team!
Martina Guzman, Director
Through community channels, heavy recruiting, and invitations to writers to contribute, the Race and Justice Reporting Initiative and EL CENTRAL
She is the founder and director of the Race and Justice Reporting Initiative at the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School. As an independent journalist and documentary filmmaker, Martina covers race, justice, and systemic inequality. Her work has appeared on NPR, The Guardian, Slate, PBS, Next City, and HOUR Magazine, among many others. With over 15 years of journalism experience, Martina furthers her commitment to representative democracy by fearlessly advocating for fellow journalists of color. She is a graduate of the Journalism School at Columbia University in New York City. Currently, Martina is a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. Born and raised in Detroit, she is a proud daughter of Mexican immigrants.
She is a journalism student at Michigan State University graduating in May 2023. She has reported and edited for her college newspaper The State News, as well as interned at Automotive News and Forbes.
She is a native of Southwest Detroit and a writer, marketer and food entrepreneur. She writes about entertainment, arts, culture and other human-interest stories for EL CENTRAL.
Angela is a special projects manager, voice actress and native SW Detroiter. She is a creative changemaker passionate about wellness and justice in her community and the world.
He was raised right outside of Detroit but has strong roots in the southwest area. Eric has a strong passion for writing about sports, music, and pop culture. He graduated from The University of Michigan-Dearborn with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and strives to make an impact in the world of multimedia.
Irma Maribel Andrade Guzman
She is a born and raised Detroiter, she is passionate about “lifting others as you climb”. She is a daughter of immigrants from San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and a first-generation college graduate from UM-Ann Arbor currently pursuing a Master's in Social Work. When she is not studying or writing, Irma spends her time gardening, crafting, advocating for social justice and being wife & mom of two.
She is a journalist, historian and author. She has a monthly column in Hour Detroit magazine and publishes regularly in the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Punch magazine and NBC News, among others. She also guides historic tours of Detroit and lectures on a cruise ship around the Great Lakes.
She is a local photographer who was born and raised in Southwest Detroit. She is a part of a screen printing co-op, stitching up Detroit, which is a part of the Grace in action collectives network.
He is a Mexico City immigrant and visual storyteller with a profound love for Detroit and its multiculturalism.
Elena Dolores Solano
She was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Ms. Solano is a certified school counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor. Her writing focuses on education, mental health, community events, and her experiences growing up in a large Mexican-American family in southwest Detroit. Ms. Solano enjoys thrifting, reading, and spending time with her children, family and friends.
Asociación entre EL CENTRAL y la Iniciativa de Informes Raciales y de justicia
En junio de 2022, la Iniciativa de Informes Raciales y de justicia del Centro Damon J. Keith de la Universidad Wayne State y EL CENTRAL se unieron para crear una sala de redacción cuyo objetivo es cubrir a la comunidad latina del suroeste de Detroit. Se tiene el compromiso de brindar información integral sobre una comunidad que los principales medios de comunicación habían descuidado durante mucho tiempo, se quería cubrir historias que fueran más allá de la inmigración y el crimen. Se decidió implementar una sala de redacción que trabajara para crear un medio de comunicación vibrante y confiable con periodistas que reflejaran la rica diversidad de los residentes del suroeste de Detroit.
El mayor desafío que se ha tenido ha sido la creación de una sala de redacción donde se cubran temas de arte y entretenimiento, salud y medio ambiente, bienes raíces y pequeñas empresas. Además, se necesitaban más recursos y no se podía pagar a nadie un salario de tiempo completo. El objetivo de la Iniciativa de Informes Raciales y de justicia ha sido apoyar el trabajo de los periodistas independientes
de BIPOC y no verlos como un caso aislado, sino como componentes críticos de los medios de comunicación.
A través de diferentes canales comunitarios, reclutamiento e invitación a escritores para lograr una mayor contribución, la Iniciativa de Informes Raciales y de justicia y EL CENTRAL comenzaron con la construcción de la sala de redacción.
Estuvimos muy sorprendidos por la cantidad de aspirantes a escritores y fotoperiodistas ansiosos por participar. Desde el comienzo, se han escrito decenas de historias y se han realizado reuniones editoriales semanales. Se han asignado tareas y alentado a que los escritores presenten historias.
Además, se ha asesorado a aspirantes a escritores y fotógrafos y se han emparejado con profesionales de los medios para promover su desarrollo.
La asociación entre la Iniciativa de Informes Raciales y de Justicia y EL CENTRAL está comprometida a publicar historias dentro de un marco racial y de justicia, para responder a las necesidades informativas de la comunidad, con el fin de fortalecer la confianza y la democracia representativa.
La financiación de la Iniciativa de reportajes sobre raza y justicia se proporciona a través del fondo Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund en la Fundación Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.
¡Estamos muy complacidos de presentar formalmente al equipo de la Iniciativa de Informes Raciales y