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This past week, Ark Valley Voice (AVV) received word that it has received a grant through the Chaffee County Community Foundation (CCCF), to begin its first news pilot program in diversity. AVV was awarded $2,750 in funding to begin the “AVV Diverse Voices  Project” in partnership with Colorado Mountain College.

Crew time for Lake County students attending a Second Day school Support program during the COVID-19 pandemic at 100 Elks Outdoor Center in Buena Vista. Photo by Rachel Polidevin.

The grant is part of the CCCF Spring 2023 Municipal Grant program, with much of the grant coming from the city of Salida.  While there are many minority and immigrant populations in Chaffee County, AVV is beginning with the Hispanic audience as one of the largest populations of unheard voices.

The effort will involve reaching out to and meeting with the Hispanic/Latinx community to begin to understand their challenges, better represent them in our news coverage, and allow their voices to be heard.

Among the questions we are hoping to begin to uncover:

  • What would it take to ensure that local news coverage reflects, respects, and reaches out to the county’s communities of color?
  • What actions must this journalistic newsroom, and the community take to create a future in which the county’s Hispanic population feels it can share and contribute to our news coverage of communities of color?

“Congratulations and thank you for your incredible work in the community,” read the notification from the CCCF.

The work will begin in May, 2023. Stay tuned for more about this journalism project, done in conjunction with the Colorado News Collaborative Diverse Voices Initiative.