Winners (top left to bottom right): Lark Lo, Abner Bonilla, Jane Havsy, Kamau Kujichagulia and Asia Martin. (Not pictured: Gil Andrei Fontimayor)

Center for Cooperative Media awards six more grants to NJ journalists for AWSM, NAHJ, NABJ and AAJA events

The grants aim to help NJ journalists attend events in 2018 by organizations that work to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in media

Joe Amditis
Center for Cooperative Media
5 min readJul 6, 2018


Earlier this year, the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University launched a grant fund dedicated to helping New Jersey journalists attend trainings, events and conferences in 2018 put on by organizations that work toward improving diversity, equity and inclusion in media.

Such organizations include the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM) and NLGJA — The Association of LGBTQ Journalists.

We’re thrilled today to announce the second round of grant recipients!

The grant provides stipends of $500 on average for these six local journalists to attend eligible events. The funding for these grants is made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Local News Lab Fund, a partnership between Democracy Fund, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the Community Foundation of New Jersey.

Below you’ll find bios of our second round of grantees:

Meet our second round of grantees

Jane Allison Havsy is a veteran sportswriter at the Daily Record who still works at a small community newspaper, which she says has provided her with a fabulous opportunity to get different perspectives on how the job can be done. Havsy will be using her grant to attend the Association for Women in Sports Media convention in Scottsdale, Arizona. AWSM has expanded into college chapters, allowing Havsy to serve as both mentor to the students and mentee of those at larger organizations — particularly ESPN, which is a partial sponsor of the event.

Asia Martin is a reporter for the trade publication Financial Advisor magazine. She has worked as a freelancer for and as a reporter for covering local governments and events. While still pursuing journalism, but desiring to help local communities during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Martin worked as a Community Partnership Specialist for the non-profit Ocean County Family Success Center (OCFSC). Martin will be attending the 2018 National Association of Black Journalists conference in Detroit.

Kamau Kujichagulia is the publisher of Nubian News, the only black-owned and -operated daily or weekly newspaper in New Jersey. Kujichagulia will attend the 2018 National Newspaper Publishers Association convention in Norfolk, Virginia, where he hopes to learn how to grow Nubian News and provide coverage to the majority of the 2 million African Americans who live in the Garden State. He also hopes to meet with those who have already made those kinds of connections in their local communities.

Gil Andrei Fontimayor Gil Andrei Fontimayor is a visual journalist living in North Jersey. Currently he serves as an assistant production/art editor for The Wall Street Journal. Gil Andrei’s interests in digital news design include data visualization, immersive storytelling and animated graphics. He will attend the 2018 Asian American Journalists Association convention in Austin, Texas.

Abner Bonilla is an aspiring Latino journalist who is dedicated to creating a wave of local news tailored for young audiences through social media. He currently works as a research assistant on the Digitizing Latino Newspapers project, and is a former staff writer for The Daily Targum at Rutgers University, where he recently graduated with a degree in journalism and media studies. Bonilla will attend the 2018 National Association of Hispanic Journalists International Training Conference and Career Fair in Miami.

Lark Lo is the editor-in-chief of the journal V.E.L.O. and the producer and host of Black Kids in Outer Space, an editorial vodcast about urban planning, architecture, the environment, public transportation and bicycles. She was formerly a segment producer on Pacifica’s Feminist Magazine. Her journalism has appeared in Bustle, Montclair Local, Next City, Village Voice’s LA Weekly, Ebony, Counterpunch, Time, Streetsblog, USA Today,, Truth Dig, Bloomfield Life and Zocalo. Lo will attend the 2018 National Association of Black Journalists conference in Detroit.

What will this money be used for?

The grants can be used to cover registration, travel costs or member dues related to the event.

Eligible events could include, among others:

The funds can be applied to more than just the events and organizations listed above; applicants were asked to indicate which training or conference they were applying for on their application.

Some of the larger organizations that focus on increasing diversity in media were mentioned above, but if you’re looking for more information on this subject or want to find other institutions and opportunities for training, conferences and mentoring, check out this Journalism Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Tracker spreadsheet (very useful stuff).

The stipends were open to journalists of all backgrounds.

To qualify, journalists must:

  • Reside or work in New Jersey.
  • Provide proof of employment in media, or proof of being a student studying journalism or a related field.
  • Detail which event they will use grant funding to attend.
  • Agree to share information about what they learned after the event, for the benefit of others in the New Jersey ecosystem.

For more information, or if you have any questions, let us know. Send us an email at We’re hoping to offer another round of these grants in the fall.

Joe Amditis is the associate director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. Contact him at or on Twitter at @jsamditis.

About the Center for Cooperative Media: The Center is a grant-funded program of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. The Center is supported with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Democracy Fund, and the Abrams Foundation. Its mission is to grow and strengthen local journalism, and in doing so serve New Jersey residents. For more information, visit



Joe Amditis
Center for Cooperative Media

Associate director of products + events, Center for Cooperative Media; host + producer, WTF Just Happened Today podcast.