This taskforce is comprised of 19 Trustees and a Dean, who will all oversee this initiative in the upcoming year. Each month, the trustees will award metro Detroiters $1,000 micro-grants for innovative journalism and civic media projects that create ripples of inspiration and engagement throughout the city. Their first grant will be awarded in March, then every month thereafter for the entire year in 2012.
Tim Hwang started the Awesome Foundation in Boston In July of 2009. It has since expanded to 30 chapters around the world, giving out a total of nearly $40,000 so far. To extend the Awesome model to more serious endeavors, the Institute of Higher Awesome Studies, Inc. (IHAS) was born in February 2011. Armed with a Knight News Challenge (www.knightfoundation.org/funding-initiatives/knight-news-challenge/) grant, the Awesome News Taskforce was started.
The taskforce is looking to fund news-related projects that are not mainstream stories. Marshalle Montgomery, Dean of the Taskforce says, “We’re looking for citizen reporters. People who have ideas for creating unique projects that will help the community and will use non-traditional media outlets to get that story out to others through social media, community news, mobile apps, etc.”