NFOIC Bootcamp for Journalists of Color


The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) is hosting a FOI Bootcamp for Journalists of Color this fall.

The bootcamp is free for journalists of color who fill out the application (below) and are accepted into the program. Applications are due by Friday, Aug. 25, 2023.

The FOI bootcamp will train participants on records access laws, crafting requests, and combating roadblocks. The Society of Professional Journalists Foundation is funding the training, which is in its third year. 

Each participant will be matched with a mentor from their respective state for long-term FOI assistance, collaboration, and enhanced open government advocacy. Participants also receive free registrations to attend NFOIC’s 2022 virtual FOI Summit, Oct. 3-5. 

Bootcamp agenda

Wednesday, Sept. 27, 4 – 5:30 pm ET: Getting Started with public records

Tuesday, Oct. 3 – Thursday, Oct. 5, noon – 4 pm ET: Attend National FOI Summit 

Wednesday, Oct. 11, 4 – 5 pm ET: FOI request writing workshop

Wednesday, Oct. 18, 4 – 5 pm ET: Overcoming roadblocks

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 4 – 5 pm ET: Mentorship networking

Bootcamp instructors

Grace Cheng, an NFOIC board member, is director of Government Practice, Practical Law for Thomson Reuters, and former general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security’s FOIA office. She co-taught FOI training for Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE).

Laura Moscoso is a Puerto Rican journalist and training director for IRE & NICAR. Laura is a professor focusing on data, visualization tools, and media literacy. She has worked in a variety of newsrooms, including Prensa Comunitaria, El Nuevo Día, El Mundo (Spain), the Center for Investigative Journalism, and Todas.

Adam M. Rhodes is a first-generation Cuban American journalist whose work primarily focuses on queer people and the criminal justice system. Rhodes is a training director for IRE & NICAR and was most recently a staff writer and social justice reporter at the Chicago Reader. They have been published in outlets including BuzzFeed News and The Washington Post.

Gunita Singh is a staff attorney for the Reporters Committee where she works on litigation, policy, and amicus work, primarily around state and federal freedom of information laws while also helping reporters and news organizations with records requests.