Are you or someone you know looking for a paid summer internship at a news outlet that digs deep to illuminate the struggles of oppressed peoples? Check out Toward Freedom's summer internship program, the Claudia Jones Editorial Internship. Deadline for applications: 11:59 p.m. ET, May 22, 2022
Toward Freedom welcomed Jacqueline Luqman onto the board of directors on March 17. Jacqueline brings a background in activism and in journalism, and describes herself as a "Pan-Africanist, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist revolutionary." She recently told TF Editor Julie Varughese why she joined the board.
Regular contributor Sanket Jain has been named a Top 10 finalist for Oxfam's 2021-22 Journalism for an Equitable Asia Award for his coverage of India's rural poor during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dear Toward Freedom readers:
This week, Toward Freedom’s Board of Directors bids farewell to guest editor Charlotte Dennett, welcomes Toward Freedom’s new editor, Julie Varughese, and extends a heartfelt thanks to Sam Mayfield who stepped down as President of Toward Freedom’s Board of Directors in December, 2020.
Charlotte Dennett stepped in as Toward Freedom’s guest editor last October. Her decades-long experience as a scholar, author and activist allowed Charlotte to seamlessly step into the position serving Toward Freedom’s mission, “to publish international reporting and incisive analysis that exposes government and corporate abuses of power, while supporting movements for universal peace, justice, freedom, the environment, and human rights.”
Now that my Toward Freedom guest editorship has come to an end, I am reflecting back on the stories we ran for the past 6+ months and the writers who wrote them.
The scenes coming out of Modi’s India and its pandemic nightmare have been particularly horrific, causing me to inquire about the health of Toward Freedom contributor Sanket Jain. Sanket is a freelance journalist based in western India. TF ran two of his stories in December and February about how India’s poorest citizens were barely coping with Covid. He emailed me back: “Fortunately, I am safe. For the past few weeks, I have been on the field documenting the disaster that’s unfolding in remote villages of India. Last week, I was shooting photos at the crematorium to see how many people have died of COVID because the Government is hiding official numbers. It’s a nightmare to see a human disaster unfolding at such a massive scale. From lack of oxygen, improper vaccination policy, COVID patients facing ostracism in the village, to frontline healthcare workers facing verbal abuse and even physical assault, India is witnessing a humanitarian crisis. I hope we come out of this disaster soon.”
By Charlotte Dennett
The televised trial of (former) officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd has once again brought home how deeply embedded racism is in our “Anglo-Saxon” culture. New video footage of Floyd’s cries for help, accompanied by bystanders’ anguished protests throughout the entire 9 minute and 29 seconds of his painful demise, will hopefully have far-reaching ramifications regarding police reform and legislative actions to redress racist policies in the U.S.
What you may not know is that the demonstrations following George Floyd’s death last summer caused considerable introspection and angst in American newsrooms over an issue that may strike some as relatively trivial, but to editors throughout the U.S. was long overdue and fraught with meaning: whether to capitalize the word “black” in reference to “peoples of African ancestry.”