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The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is pleased to announce that Maria Perez has been selected as our 2021 Richard C. Longworth Media Fellow.

The Longworth Media Fellowship is a collaboration with the Pulitzer Center that promotes international reporting by Chicago and Midwestern journalists. Thanks to the generous support provided by the Clinton Family Fund to honor Richard C. Longworth, a former Chicago Tribune foreign correspondent and current Distinguished Fellow at the Chicago Council, the $10,000 fellowship is awarded to the winning recipient.

Perez is an investigative reporter with USA TODAY who has covered issues affecting immigrant and minority communities since 2013, first in Florida and then in Wisconsin, as part of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigative team. She has reported on topics ranging from the exploitation of Mexican veterinarians by U.S. farms to patient deaths at the hands of Florida cosmetic surgery clinics.

“The purpose of the fellowship is to promote reporting abroad on issues impacting Chicago and the Midwest, especially at a time when budget constraints limit foreign reporting by media,” Longworth said. “Maria’s project aims to tell us something that we really need to know, and I’m delighted she is taking this on.”

“Maria has already compiled an impressive body of work on the exploitation of migrant workers in the U.S. agriculture and food industries—a domestic story with international implications,'' said Pulitzer Center senior editor Tom Hundley. For the Longworth Media Fellowship, Perez’s project will investigate the hazardous work conditions and labor violations suffered by foreign farmworkers.

“I’m very excited about receiving the Longworth Media Fellowship,” Perez said. “The fellowship will help us dig deeper to tell a stronger and more detailed story about an issue that affects an especially vulnerable group.”

“Her reporting project will build on her work and shed new light on this underreported topic," Hundley said.

Learn more about the Richard C. Longworth Media Fellowships.