Black Student Magazine Project Expanding

A Grant to Journalistic Learning Initiative from the Oregon Community Foundation is Extending the After School Project Throughout Oregon


June 15, 2021 (Eugene, Ore.) – The non-profit Journalistic Learning Initiative (JLI) recently received a $15,000 grant from the Fred W. Field Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation to expand its successful Black Student Magazine project to middle and high school students in all 36 Oregon counties. The Black Student Magazine project was piloted in the Eugene-Springfield area winter of 2020 in partnership with Lane Education Service District and the inaugural issue can be accessed online at

“We are so grateful to Oregon Community Foundation for its support in helping us to lift the voices of Black students in the state who often go unheard or don’t have a platform,” said JLI Executive Director/Co-founder Ed Madison, Ph.D. “Having a magazine written and produced by Black students with guidance from mentors who look like the students they’re serving is essential to not only addressing the achievement gap, but adding more diversity into media, and a feeling of inclusivity in school for Black students, many of whom are often the only person of color in their classrooms.”

The JLI and Lane ESD pilot project was partially supported by Oregon’s Student Success Act (HB3427) and the African American/Black Student Success Plan (HB2016). Middle and high school students in Lane County learned how to research, interview, write, edit, and take photographs, along with gaining the critical social-emotional skills of communications and collaboration while practicing publications skills that they can use in any field.

“When we share the Black Student Magazine: Lane County, people are incredulous that it was written by students,” said Lane ESD School Improvement Executive Director Carlos Sequeira, E.D. “The magazine is high quality and not what is usually associated with a high school project. Black Student Magazine has created a lot of conversations about what is possible for our Black kids in Lane County. And seeing the students’ faces when they first saw the magazine they had produced was priceless. We can’t wait to do the magazine again!”

Research confirms that students who engage in journalistic storytelling earn better grades, become stronger writers, and are more prepared to excel professionally than their peers who do not take journalism. Journalistic learning also builds character, strengthens critical thinking, and supports competency.

Any Black middle or high school student in Oregon is eligible to participate in the after-school project and, with support from a teacher or parent, can sign up at

The Black Student Magazine project begins September of 2021 and will run weekly online through January 2022. Additional 1:1 mentoring sessions occur during the writing and editing portion of the project. The course is recorded so students who work after school can participate and there are fun coupon raffles to keep participants engaged.

Black Student Magazine: Oregon will be printed and distributed in February 2022, just in time for Black History Month.

Founded in 2015, in collaboration with the University of Oregon School of Journalism and College of Education, the JLI empowers students to discover their voice, improve academic outcomes, and engage in self-directed learning through project-based storytelling. Students learn to research, interview, write, edit, and collaborate, making them more effective communicators. Since its inception, JLI has helped more than 5,000 young people in Oregon and California succeed.


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