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Monday, March 20, 2023

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Savannah Cadet-Haynes Savannah Cadet-Haynes

SDSU Student Chosen for Social Justice Reporting Project

Savannah Cadet-Haynes is one of six journalists in San Diego County selected to represent a community of her choice.
By Alexandra Gex

“I’m really excited that I was given an opportunity to be the voice of a community that typically isn’t heard.”

Savannah Cadet-Haynes, a student in San Diego State University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies (JMS), is among six San Diego County journalists selected for a new civic engagement program that aims to amplify the unheard voices in San Diego through social justice. The digital journalism project was launched by The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The goal of the Social Justice Reporting Project is to bring awareness to communities in San Diego County and the Tijuana region through authentic voices and faces of the racial and social justice movements. The six recipients were selected from more than 130 applicants. 

The project was funded by a $30,000 grant from Google, and members of the San Diego Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association San Diego Chapter and the San Diego Society of Professional Journalists will serve as mentors.

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Each journalist chosen will receive $5,000 to produce a digital journalism project focused on a community of their choice. 

Cadet-Haynes’ project will focus on Black women in San Diego.

“I’m really excited that I was given an opportunity to be the voice of a community that typically isn’t heard,” said Cadet-Haynes. “Throughout everything that’s been going on these past couple of months with the Black Lives Matter movement, I am really passionate about shining a light on the Black community.”

Luis Cruz, director of community and public relations for the Union-Tribune, said the project gives its participants time to make connections with the communities they wish to spotlight.

“It can take a long time to establish that level of trust and be able to properly convey the stories of unheard communities,” said  Cruz. “I was very impressed with [Cadet-Haynes’] vision for the project and her focus on racial identity. I’m excited for her to build the necessary relationships to tell her story and share it with the community.”

Cadet-Haynes said her passion for the Black community ultimately inspired her interest in journalism. As a current JMS major heading into her junior year, she expressed interest in broadcast journalism, but is open to gaining other experience within the industry.

“Since this is my first time doing a project of this magnitude, I’m very excited to see the outcome,” said Cadet-Haynes. “I’m using this as experience to see if this is something that I can envision myself continuing as a career.”

The final works from all journalists will be published in December.