Isabel Fajardo, 17, is a freshman at Pomona College after graduating as valedictorian from Emerson Preparatory School in Washington, D.C. She has a variety of interests, particularly journalism, fashion and design, media and social justice.
Isabel has written for the NorthWest Current, a local D.C. newspaper, and is the founder and president of an ACLU club in which students discuss social justice issues with a mission of giving young people a chance to make themselves heard as activists. The inspiration for the club came from attending the 2017 ACLU Summer Advocacy Institute. Her interest in finance came from living in a gentrifying Latino neighborhood, a summer economic pre-college course at Brown University and research about the D.C. Latino community for Hola Cultura, a local nonprofit Latino cultural magazine. She has also worked with the New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA) Mural Arts Project, helping to gather signatures on a petition for mural ordinance reform -- tying in nicely with the values of the ACLU.
Recently, she became the ambassador to the InLight Magazine chapter at her school, a multicultural magazine with a focus on unique student perspectives. One of her proudest achievements is being awarded the Critical Exposure Youth Leadership Award, a program for which she is a fellow. She most enjoys spending time with dear friends and family, as well as reading and baking.
Davon Harris attends Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia. He is a freshman majoring in Mass Communication with a focus in Broadcast Journalism. He was recently elected Freshman Class Senator for the 2019-2020 academic school year. He has been a part of UHMP for about two years.
Sierra Lewter is a sophomore at New York University and a young adult who is passionate about addressing issues that specifically impact minorities and people of color. Through her work with the Urban Health Media Project, she has been able to successfully research, write and publish articles addressing the systematic mistreatment of African American males, the existing inequalities in health facilities primarily used by people of color, and most notably, the code of silence in the African American community as it relates to domestic violence and sexual assault. In fact, she was invited to speak on Capitol Hill regarding this code of silence and how girls and women of color have largely been left out of the popular #MeToo movement. The code of silence prevails within the black community, leading to many issues of unaddressed mental illness and post-traumatic stress.
Sierra hopes to help students pursue their interests and dive into their passion. She has been a huge advocate for addressing issues of bullying and inclusiveness. To this end, she has started her own YouTube page: "The Girl with no Fame" where she plans on addressing issues including global inequities and problems related to young minorities including exclusion and self-esteem. She also blogs about finding one's place in a world that doesn't seem to validate or acknowledge the beauty and magic of young African American girls
Joshua Mitchell is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in journalism and minoring in photography, digital studies and environmental studies. He is attending UW-Madison on the Posse Leadership Scholarship, a full-tuition scholarship awarded to leaders in their communities and schools. He has been a fellow in the Urban Health Media Project since its inception in 2017 and is now a paid intern. He has been published in USA TODAY, the Daily Cardinal, The Black Voice, and contributed to the Washington Informer and Hill Rag.
He has also traveled to the United Arab Emirates and Australia with the Global Scholars Foundation. At UW-Madison, he has been apart of the executive board for the Black Student Union. He is currently a graphic designer and writer for the university’s digital publication The Black Voice. He also writes for the school newspaper, Daily Cardinal focusing on crime and city news. Joshua has aspirations of becoming a photojournalist for National Geographic, where he hopes to explore the world and tell the stories of those who aren’t able to.
Reginal “Reggie” Payne is an intern and creative director at the Urban Health Media Project. Reggie is not only a journalist but also a student who performs in the visual arts using drawing, painting and photography and in the performing arts as a musician. He is a freshman at the University of the District of Columbia where he is majoring in music. He also fronts “A Band Called Lynx,” a trio of young, black DMV (D.C., Maryland and Virginia) musicians that is not only a band but a “movement.” He is one of the founding members of UHMP and says he “gets his points across with creativity, logic and satirical humor.”