As The Root’s resident sports junkie—who moonlights as its sports, culture and music writer—I can’t help but take tremendous pride in fellow Black reporters and commentators like Malika Andrews, Maria Taylor, Jemelle Hill and Cari Champion every time they drop gems on some of my favorites sports shows.
Just yesterday, I had the privilege of watching Malika cook on ESPN’s The Jump and was blown away as she described what it was like to report on the NBA bubble while also having the unique experience of living there herself for over 100 days.
Despite their capabilities, these types of opportunities are few and far between for Black reporters—especially those who are women. But in looking to address this disparity, the Alliance for Women in Media has partnered with ESPN to provide Black women with an easier path to a career in sports media by announcing a new student scholarship.
By assisting one female undergraduate student and one female graduate student, the goal is to help diversify a sports media landscape that far too often omits the input and perspectives of some of its most valuable contributors: Black women.
“It has been wonderful to collaborate with ESPN to conceptualize this scholarship,” Becky Brooks, the executive director of Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, said in a statement to The Root. “Through this strong partnership, we’re proud to continue our work in pursuing greater diversity in the sports journalism workforce.”
“Diversity and inclusion is ESPN’s No. 1 focus, and we want to support and create concrete ways to grow the pipeline of Black talent in the sports industry,” said Katina Arnold, Vice President, Corporate Communications at ESPN and Alliance for Women in Media Board Member, in a statement to The Root. “The ESPN and AWMF scholarship is the perfect way to fulfill ESPN’s mission of supporting Black and African-American women pursuing careers in media.”
So how can you (or someone you know) be down?
Student winners will be selected from a pool of applicants who knock out a 750 to 1,000-word essay highlighting the importance of Black women in sports media. And winners won’t only receive a scholarship payable to their educational institution, they’ll also get a complimentary (yes, free) ticket to the Gracie Awards Luncheon in New York City in June 2021.
So with applications due on November 20, you might wanna start writing.
To learn more about this scholarship and apply, hit up the Alliance for Women in Media website. Good luck!