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'Uprooted' Garners Numerous Awards

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A recent documentary from WHRO Public Media is earning accolades around the country. Uprooted won several awards recently and is the finalist in another upcoming competition. 

The documentary took First Place in the documentary film category of Pictures of the Year International.

It was also awarded the  2024 Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award in the category of "Series of stories" for the reporting contained in “Uprooted: An Eminent Domain Documentary. The Paul Tobenkin Award, named in honor of the late New York Herald Tribune reporter, recognizes outstanding achievements in reporting on racial or religious hatred, intolerance, or discrimination in the United States.

Brandi Kellam, an investigative journalist with the Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism (VCIJ) at WHRO, and Louis Hansen, an editor and investigative journalist at VCIJ worked on the reporting series. Other contributors to the reporting include former ProPublica research reporter Gabriel Sandoval, Christopher Tyree of Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism at WHRO, and Lisa Riordan Seville and Mauricio Rodríguez Pons, both of ProPublica.

The film and its journalists are also finalists in the Education Writers Association’s 2023 National Awards for Education Reporting competition for stories published last year. Those award winners will be announced soon.

Congratulations to everyone who worked on this reporting series and documentary!

About the Film

In the 1960s, residents wanted a thriving Black neighborhood in Newport News, Virginia, to keep growing. White city leaders wanted that land for a new college. Only one side had the power of eminent domain. The Johnsons, one of the last families in the neighborhood, tell the nearly forgotten story of a college expansion like the ones that broke up Black communities across Virginia and the country.

Watch the film online.

Read the reporting series that inspired the documentary.

Related Event

Erasing the Black Spot

In a recent panel discussion, VCIJ at WHRO journalists shared their findings and stories from the residents who were displaced by the rapid growth of public universities across Virginia. Watch the panel discussion below.

See all the awards WHRO Public Media has won so far in 2024.