Press

Task Force Unveils $240,000 Scholarship Fund For GLBT College Journalism Students

Date: 
October 28, 1999

NGLTF Messenger-Anderson Scholarship Program seeks more balanced media coverage of GLBT movement

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force today announced a $240,000 scholarship program for high school seniors and undergraduate college students who plan to pursue a bachelor's degree in journalism at an accredited four-year college or university.

The Messenger-Anderson Scholarship — believed to be the largest ever of its type — was donated by Larry Messenger and Jim Anderson in memory of Lawrence and Selina Messenger. "The Messengers believed that there is a pressing need to encourage gay and lesbian people to become more involved in shaping media coverage," explained NGLTF Executive Director Kerry Lobel. "Fair coverage of GLBT issues insists upon the basic premise that all of us are created equally. But media coverage today often begins with the discriminatory notion that equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people is somehow a matter for debate. By encouraging GLBT students to pursue journalism and by assisting them with their studies, the Task Force hopes to improve the way the GLBT communities and movement are covered."

During each year of the program's duration, four Messenger-Anderson scholarships will be available at a rate of $5,000 the first year, followed by $2,500 the next two years for a total award of $10,000. Winners are required to participate in the Messenger-Anderson Scholarship Intern Program at NGLTF offices in Washington, D.C. or New York City during the summer. To download scholarship guidelines and an application, please click here .

Applications for the NGLTF Messenger-Anderson Scholarship Fund must be postmarked by Feb. 15, 2000. Winners will be announced in March, and the first awards will be distributed in August 2000. A committee of journalists in both the GLBT and the general circulation media will decide the winners.

NGLTF has a history of helping organize young GLBT leaders. In 1995, it organized the Youth Leadership Institute, which brings together GLBT youth from different racial, cultural, religious and class backgrounds. So far, 95 graduates have emerged from intensive YLI trainings and have returned to their communities more confident and better trained and equipped to organize.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movementís premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.