The Society for Features Journalism has awarded Diversity Fellowships to two minority journalists to attend the organization’s 2012 annual conference.
Helaine R. Williams, features writer and columnist at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and Christina Rosales, breaking news reporter for the Dallas Morning News, will receive all-expense paid trips to attend the conference Aug. 22-25 at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism in College Park, Md., near Washington, D.C.
Williams has been a journalist for more than 30 years. A graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, she started as a part-time newsroom clerk, was a consumer affairs columnist and a bridal editor at the Arkansas Democrat. She became a features writer at the Democrat-Gazette in 1989. She has covered beauty, fitness, women’s issues and nonprofit organizations. She also writes a weekly humor column, “Let’s Talk,” and a regular fashion column, “Dressing Room.” Williams says she finds it rewarding to give a “written wake-up call for readers to help solve the community’s lesser-known problems and challenges.”
Christina Rosales has a bachelor of science degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She worked on the Chicago Innocent Project, part of the school’s investigative journalism class. She was an intern at the Dallas Morning News and was hired as a breaking news reporter in September. Rosales has also worked at the Austin American-Statesman and the Laredo (Texas) Morning Times. Of the stories she writes, she says, “I feel lucky to have found them. I feel luckier to be able to share the treasure with our readers.”
The Diversity Fellowship offers an opportunity for journalists of color to gain a broader experience in features and underscores SFJ’s commitment to diversity within our newsrooms. The society’s membership is open to any features writer interested in sharing and learning from a community dedicated to advancing storytelling in our society.