2020-2021 Carter Fellows

The Carter Center Awards Eight U.S. journalists Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism

The Carter Center will train fellows on effective mental health reporting and support them as they report on a mental health topic of their choice.  


ATLANTA — The Carter Center, a global leader in mental health, is pleased to announce the eight U.S. recipients of the 2020-2021 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism.

The group includes a nonprofit news leader, local reporters, freelancers, and the inaugural awardee of the Benjamin von Sternenfels Rosenthal Grant for Mental Health Investigative Journalism.

The new grant is a partnership between The Carter Center’s Mental Health Program and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. It honors Benjamin von Sternenfels Rosenthal, the late son of Inka von Sternenfels and Robert J. Rosenthal, former executive director of Reveal and current member of its board. Benjamin took his life in August 2019.

[About the Benjamin von Sternenfels Rosenthal Grant for Mental Health Investigative Journalism]

The center, in collaboration with The National newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, announced two fellows from the UAE in August. Fellowships to Latin American journalists will be announced by fall 2020.

Beginning in September, fellows will pursue innovative mental health journalism projects during the year-long, non-residential fellowship. The projects tackle some of society’s biggest behavioral health challenges, and seek to strengthen reporting, to drive change in their communities, and help reduce stigma through storytelling. 

This year’s fellows are accomplished journalists who have a high interest in diving into mental health reporting. Fellows are selected by a committee of current and former journalists, mental health experts, and the Fellowship Advisory Board, with an emphasis on diversity and the communities their fellowships project will cover.

“The Carter Center has worked for more than two decades to develop a cohort of journalists who can have a significant impact on the public’s understanding of mental illnesses,” said former First Lady and Carter Center co-founder Rosalynn Carter. “These journalists are making important contributions to lifting some of the stigma associated with mental health issues.” 

Carter Center U.S. fellows receive intensive training from leading mental health and journalism experts and a $10,000 stipend to report on a mental health topic of their choice.

The fellowships challenge recipients to delve deeper into learning about a mental health issue to ensure the public gets reliable information about mental illnesses. 

Fellows will receive virtual training on effective behavioral health reporting from past fellows and advisors, connect with alumni, be paired with their mentors, and gain a deep understanding of behavioral health. 

The Carter Center is pleased to welcome the 2020-2021 U.S. class of Rosalynn Carter Fellows for Mental Health Journalism: 

Christie Diez

Christie Diez
News anchor/Reporter
WXIA 11 Alive News
Topic: The relationship between dementia and mental illness and a new paradigm for treatment and care


Susan Greene

Susan Greene – Inaugural Benjamin von Sternenfels Rosenthal Grantee for Mental Health Investigative Journalism
The Colorado Independent
Topic: The mental health effects of COVID-19 in a state whose population is particularly vulnerable to suicide


Janelle Harris Dixon

Janelle Harris Dixon
Freelance Writer & Editor
Topic: Self-injury in the Black community: Triggers and healing


Abigail Jones

Abigail Jones
Freelance journalist
Topic: ‘911 for the brain’: What the U.S. needs to make a mental health hotline happen


Yanick Rice Lamb

Yanick Rice Lamb
Co-founder, writer, editor
Topic: Hidden Scars: The impact of COVID-19 on the Black community


Alisa Roth

Alisa Roth
Mental Health Correspondent
Marketplace and MPR News
Topic: How COVID-19 is affecting rural America and opportunities for real systemic change


Bakari Savage

Bakari Savage
Topic: Adverse impacts of COVID-19 on young adults and navigating the new normal


Eileen Truax

Eileen Truax
Freelance journalist and writer
Topic: How young adults deal with the responsibility of helping immigrant parents navigate the U.S. system


“We’re living through an historic time that’s having a significant impact on global mental health,” said Kari Cobham, senior associate director of the The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism and Media. “We believe fellows’ stories will provide context and accurate information to help make sense of it all.”

The fellowship program is part of the Carter Center’s Mental Health Program, which works around the world to improve access to mental health care and reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental illnesses. The program is committed to providing journalists with the tools they need to report on mental health and distributes a Journalism Resource Guide on Behavioral Health, so journalists can accurately cover stories that include behavioral health. Fellows’ mental health reporting are curated on @CarterFellows on Twitter.

 [Learn more about Rosalynn Carter Fellows for Mental Health Journalism]


 About The Carter Center 

A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.

Contact: Rennie Sloan, rennie.sloan@cartercenter.org +1-404-420-5129

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Michelle Rivera