By Sean Parrish
Traveling 85 blocks by subway from Harlem to Manhattan was my weekday schedule for two months while I lived in the city that never sleeps; New York City.
I was offered an opportunity that I could not turn down. I, along with 18 other young driven individuals from around the country were selected, out of the 100+ people who applied, to participate in the Knight CUNY J Diversity Initiative fellowship at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism (now Knight Newmark J Diversity Initiative fellowship at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY).
This program, made possible thanks to a generous $1.2 million John S. and James L. Knight Foundation grant, “serves to address under-representation in U.S newsroom by helping build a stronger pipeline of academically excellent and digitally trained minority journalist”. Each week professors at the university were invited to teach us a variety set of journalism skills such as; smartphone reporting, research techniques, data journalism, photography, audio, and digital storytelling.
In addition of being in the fellowship, we all had individual internships at news publications that were located throughout the 5 boroughs. My internship was with Voices of New York, which is a publication that highlights work of non-mainstream community and ethnic media outlets located throughout the NYC metropolitan area. Being mentored by such talented individuals was an amazing experience.
Being the only Native American in this intense fellowship in the media capital of the world was definitely a rewarding experience. I learned a lot about NYC like how it has the largest urban Native American population in the U.S, but most importantly I obtained the knowledge and skills that will aid me in achieving my future goals. I highly encourage aspiring Native journalists to apply because you will gain new skills and friends but most importantly because we need to tell our own stories.
For more information about this program you can visit the website at