AfroLA up for 8 journalism awards in June

But we're already winning

It’s our interns’ last day, so you’re stuck with AfroLA’s fearless tired leader for this extra special edition of The Breakdown.

I’m proud to announce that we have made finalist for *EIGHT* different SoCal Journalism Awards. The awards ceremony isn’t until Sunday, June 23, but this is already a big win.

The SoCal Journalism Awards from the Los Angeles Press Club honor the best reporting from across the region. There were more than 2,300 entries submitted this year from (mostly) bigger, more resourced, and more established newsrooms. So, the fact we’ve accomplished this feat with barebones finances, no paid employees (just a corps of intrepid paid freelancers and contributors) and have only been in full operation for a year and a half is a damn big deal.

I’ll keep this brief. Check out the entire list of finalists for all categories here, and keep scrolling to see our work that’s competing to win.

Happy Friday,


* AfroLA Staff, AfroLA,

Special shout outs to Aaron Gleen of GRAY+ who designed our gorgeous 🤩 website. He’s an L.A.-grown designer who worked with us from the Philippines to get this done. Our tech manager Justin Allen developed the site, and keeps us up and running day-to-day.


AfroLA is solutions-focused, data-driven and community-centered journalism for Los Angeles, told through the lens of the Black community, and with emphasis on how news may disparately impact L.A.’s most vulnerable groups and communities of color.

But what exactly does “solutions journalism” mean? SoJo, as it’s called, isn’t about us solving the world’s problems. Or, even just writing about them. That’s actually the point: Don’t keep reiterating the litany of problems that are well-known and well-documented. Explain with insight, context and nuance their impact, who’s accountable and who they affect.

(Credit: Barbara Kinney/Emerson Collective)


Photo illustration of an oversized man with legs sticking out from under a pile of moving boxes on a city street.

(Photo illustration by Shawntel Johnson; created in Procreate and Lightroom using assets from Unsplash, Pexel, and Pixabay)

New teachers, particularly in cities like San Francisco and L.A., face the daunting task of allocating a significant portion of their income to secure housing. The result? The prospect of home ownership is bleak.


Price increases may seem nominal to those outside prison walls or who don’t have experience with the carceral system. But for some who are incarcerated, canteen food items are not just a way to supplement nutrition they say they’re not getting from the state, but to replace food that’s nearly inedible or makes them sick.

(Photo illustration by Hal Marie Saga/AfroLA; Photo credits: Unsplash)


A U.S Navy Search and Rescue team veteran, Jordan Hunter isn’t afraid of the water, in spite of his parents’ trauma and unfamiliarity with swimming that could’ve made him fearful. His mission is to help other Black people embrace swimming and overcome generational traumas with the water, one lesson at a time. 

In a broader context, there is systemic underfunding and biases against Black-led initiatives, hindering their growth and social progress. We need to acknowledge racial disparities and historical injustices in grantmaking while emphasizing that philanthropy alone cannot replace comprehensive and equitable government support.


Marty and the Hands That Could unpacks the many layers of generational trauma within one Black family in Philly. These people could be anyone. They could—and might be—us, or our families.

(Photo credit: Matthew Parham)


On the road to sustainability we need to establish more recurring support. We gained six new monthly donors during our 2023 NewsMatch campaign, but we have to keep pushing. Even $5, $10, $20 a month helps us put a dent in operating expenses (aka BILLS).

Screenshot of donation platform

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