Cowbird: Unheard Voices


We live in a media landscape dominated by the voices and stories of a privileged few. Even in this age of social media, we still learn most of what we know through filters and pundits, experts and academics, politicians and editorialists.

What voices are not being heard?

We want to help correct this imbalance by using the Cowbird (www.cowbird.com) storytelling platform to amplify unheard, marginalized voices from around the world -- in their own words, sounds and images.

That’s where you come in.

We’re excited to begin accepting applications for the very first Cowbird Unheard Voices Grant.

The work of grant recipients will be part journalism, part facilitation and part community organizing. Grantees will work closely with a community to:

- Help people share their stories on Cowbird.
- Host training and multimedia workshops.
- Build relationships with community leaders.
- Create a collection of their stories on Cowbird.
- Write a narrative overview for the collection that tells its backstory, weaves together its themes, and gives readers vivid places to start exploring.

Strong preference will be given to applicants with deep and existing connections to the communities they hope to work with, and also to applicants with multimedia journalism or storytelling experience.

The grants are intended to supplement ongoing work and are $2,500. Grantees also receive technical and logistical support from Cowbird.

For an example of the type of project we’re looking for, please read about our collaboration with photojournalist Aaron Huey, who used Cowbird to gather stories from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to be published on National Geographic’s website:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/08/pine-ridge/community-project-intro

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/17/photographing-and-listening-to-the-lakota/

http://cowbird.com/collection/pineridge/

Applications are being accepted from now through midnight, May 10th. Once the grant is awarded, recipients will be expected to facilitate the posting of between 20-30 pieces to Cowbird within 3 months. We will announce the grants on or before June 1st.

[Applications are no longer being accepted]