February 26 2016

fusion logoFebruary 24, 2016 — FUSION today announced it has launched a new journalism fellowship program, Rise Up: Be Heard. The new program in partnership with The California Endowment, aims to empower the next  generation of journalists and community advocates through training and mentorship, and by providing a platform to amplify stories about health and justice issues impacting California communities. The inaugural group of 14 fellows will be mentored by a team of over a dozen FUSION reporters and executives. Their reporting — which will cover a range of topics and issues from environmental pollution to neighborhood violence, food insecurity to homelessness, health care access for the undocumented to mass incarceration — will reach nearly 27 million people a month across FUSION’s digital, social, and television platforms.

“As a diverse media company we are committed to elevating voices that are passionate about the issues that matter to underserved multicultural communities. What ties this group together is a love of their community, passion for social justice, and enthusiasm about using journalism as a tool to inform and drive positive change in the world,” said FUSION Senior Vice President Boris Gartner. “The demographics of California are representative of the changing face of America making it a great location for our inaugural Rise Up: Be Heard program.”

“We know media plays an important role in covering social justice issues through storytelling,” said Maricela Rodriguez, Program Manager at The California Endowment. “We anticipate this partnership with FUSION will lift up issues of inequality and inclusion in bold and creative ways and encourage young journalists to create stories that draw connections between voter participation and healthy community outcomes.”

The fellowship program is one of Rise Up’s first major initiatives. Rise Up is FUSION’s dedicated social impact unit that focuses on using storytelling and technology to mobilize an increasingly diverse generation of young people to create positive social change in the world. Rise Up initiatives, led by SVP of Social Impact Chad Boettcher, live across FUSION, Univision News, Univision Digital, The Root, and also extends through outside partners.

FUSION has tapped Jacob Simas as manager and editor of the Rise Up: Be Heard fellowship program. Jacob previously served as director of youth media at New America Media, a national collaboration of 3,000 ethnic media organizations that advocate for more inclusive journalism.

The six-month long Rise Up: Be Heard program kicked off recently with a two-day retreat in Oakland, CA. Information on the inaugural class of fellows and the FUSION mentors available here.


FUSION is a multi-platform media company that serves ​​​a​ young, diverse, and inclusive ​​millennial generation across its television and digital platforms​. FUSION delivers a unique mix of news, pop culture, and comedy content that is both smart and irreverent​.​ FUSION’s cable network was launched as a joint venture between Univision Communications Inc. and the Disney/ABC Television Network on October 28, 2013; FUSION launched a new website in February 2015. FUSION has agreements with several major distributors to carry the cable network including DirecTV, Dish, Cablevision, Charter, Cox, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS and Google Fiber as well as OTT providers including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Roku, PlayStation, Sling, Android TV, Spotify, Vessel, iPad , Sony IPTV, and Flipps. @ThisIsFusion | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Snapchat | Instagram | Google+ | Tumblr | OTT


The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality healthcare for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, The Endowment has regional offices in Sacramento, Oakland, Fresno and San Diego, with program staff working throughout the state. The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people’s health. Through its ‘Health Happens Here’ campaign and ten-year initiative for Building Healthy Communities, The Endowment is creating places where children are healthy, safe and ready to learn. At its core, The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools, and with prevention.

Media Contact:

David Ford / david@fusion.net / 305-925-8882

Rebecca Dorfman / rebecca.dorfman@fusion.net / 305-925-8811


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