The Alhambra Source Youth Feed was awarded Monday night two Inter-Ethnic Relations Awards by the Los Angeles Multicultural Leadership Network and New American Media. It joined ethnic media from across the city in the honor, including the Carib Press, Watts Times, Pacific Citizen, L.A. Sentinel, and Impulso.
The purpose of the awards, which were launched this year, is to recognize excellence in reporting that connects the different ethnicities in Southern California. Mainstream, ethnic, newcomer, and community news organizations in the greater Los Angeles were invited to apply.
Judges for the 2009 Inter-Ethnic Relations Awards were Stewart Kwoh, President of Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Prof. Jose Luis Benavides of CSU-Northridge, Yolie Flores of LA Unified School District, Carmen Morgan of Asian Pacific American Legal Center, and Prof. Ken Wong of UCLA.
Alhambra Source swept the youth journalism category, winning for two stories: one reporting about students' diverse relationships to the city's changing Main Street and another about the shortage of Latino students in leadership positions at Alhambra High School.
Anthony Perez, Stephanie Lee, Maia Villa, and Libby Gutierrez were members of the first summer multimedia journalism workshop that the Alhambra Youth Feed ran last summer. Perez and Lee graduated from Alhambra High in 2010. Perez is a rising sophomore at Middlebury College in Vermont, and Lee at Loyola Marymount. Both worked on the Alhambra High newspaper. Villa recently graduated from Mark Keppel High School and Gutierrez is a rising seior at Alhambra High. This was the first piece that all of the students reported for the Alhambra Source.
In Summer Workshop takes on Main Street they studied how Main Street, Alhambra went from a predominantly Caucasian to the world mix it is today. In a multimedia story that was also featured in the collaborative national documentary Mapping Main Street project, the students investigated how Alhambrans relate to the street and each other and using video, images, and print they reported on their personal connections to Main Street.
Perez also won for the story "Anthony Perez wants to know why so few other Latino students are in leadership positions." In the first-person piece, Perez tells how he was student body president at Alhambra High School. But even though the school is nearly half Asian, half Hispanic, he was often the only Latino student in the room. Last year out of 52 elected officials, all are Asian students. Anthony wanted to know why and used his microphone to interview professors to fellow students to teachers about the achievement gap. Since then, more Latino students at Alhambra High have run for student government, to varying success. The Youth Feed continues to cover this story, most recently in "A flare of ethnic tensions — and a push for change — at Alhambra High."
Other award recipients were Sheanette Virtue for Iraqi Immigrant’s Formula for Success in South L.A., Larry Aubry for A Black Perspective on Immigration, Nora Alicia Estraada for More than Latinos at May Day March, and Nalea J. Ko for Former Asian American Gang Members Erase Tattoos, Their Past. In the Professional Online Category, Darlene Donloe won for her story Phil Fixico—a True Native Son, and Walter Melton for Collaborators in South Los Angeles.
Winners received a certificate as well as monetary prizes.
The California Community Foundation supported the awards. The Los Angeles Multicultural Leadership Network (LAMLN) is composed of leaders from business, media, nonprofit, and philanthropic organizations. One of LAMLN's goals is to foster better communications and understanding amongst the many racial and ethnic groups in greater Los Angeles. New America Media (NAM) is the country's first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations.