The IWMF’s Underreported Stories Grants is a new funding initiative to support journalism produced by women journalists on underreported issues around the world. This round of funding will support journalism covering the issue of forced labor in the U.S. agriculture sector in Texas.
Labor trafficking remains a hidden side of human trafficking, receiving little to no attention in U.S. media. Media coverage of the issue is sorely needed to do two things: provide education at the local and regional level within two target regions in Texas, generally South Texas (including the Rio Grande Valley) and Northwest Texas (including the Panhandle, the South Plains and a portion of West Texas), reaching communities directly affected and law makers with the power to change the status quo; and better understand the scope, and nuance, of forced labor in the agriculture industry in Texas.
Funded through the Buffett-McCain Institute Initiative to Combat Modern Slavery, this project seeks address the need for reporting and increased media coverage of forced labor issues by providing opportunities for women journalists to produce investigative reporting projects that touch on a wide variety of themes related to forced labor that not only humanizes the issue of forced labor, but also enable readers to appreciate the reality of the systems and policies that contribute to its perpetuation. Neither the McCain Institute for International Leadership, nor the Howard G. Buffett Foundation – the funding partner – have editorial control over any of the content produced through these grants.