Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

JMS 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

JMS Student Chosen for Social Justice Reporting Project

by Alexandra Gex

​September 24, 2020

Savannah Cadet-Haynes, a Journalism and Media Studies (JMS) student at SDSU, was chosen for a new civic engagement project by the San Diego Union-Tribune to produce a digital journalism project on a social justice topic of her choice.

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 lucky six journalists throughout San Diego County were chosen for this initiative after a review of more than 130 applicants. Funded by a $30,000 grant from Google, each journalist chosen will receive $5,000 to produce a digital journalism project focused on a community of their choice. The project began in August and each journalist will have three to four and a half months to create, edit and publish their work.

Being a proud San Diego native, Cadet-Haynes will be focusing on African American women in San Diego for her project.

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

Due to the months-long duration of the project, the San Diego Union-Tribune Director of Community and Public Relations Luis Cruz is hopeful that the journalists will be able to form deeper connections with the communities they’re highlighting.

“It can take a long time to establish that level of trust and be able to properly convey the stories of unheard communities,” says Cruz, who was one of the judges who selected Cadet-Haynes among the other applicants. “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 says that 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,” says Cadet-Haynes. “I’m using this as experience to see if this is something that I can envision myself continuing as a career.”

The six journalists chosen will also receive mentorship from members of the San Diego Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists San Diego-Tijuana Chapter, the Asian American Journalists Association San Diego Chapter and the San Diego Society of Professional Journalists.

Works from the participants will start being publicized in October, with rolling deadlines for each journalist. The final works from all journalists will be public in December.

For more information on the Social Justice Reporting Project and its participants and to check back for final works, visit For more information about the SDSU School of Journalism and Media Studies, visit

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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