ON THE MEDIA: Call for Story Pitches: After the Storm – Tracking the Puerto Rican Exodus

FEBRUARY 2, 2018, Feet in 2 Worlds

Locals wave at a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew flying above them Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, near Utuado, Puerto Rico. The locals were stranded after Hurricane Maria by washed out roads and mudslides. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric D. Woodall)

The next Fi2W online magazine will report on migration triggered by climate change.  Our focus will be the mass exodus of Puerto Ricans from the island to the U.S. mainland following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, as well as the migration of residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands to the mainland.

Our coverage will examine the impact on communities where Puerto Rican climate migrants are settling as well as changes in their relationship to the communities they left behind.

We will explore the challenges facing people arriving on the mainland as well as the social, economic and political transformation of cities and states with large Puerto Rican populations such as New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Illinois.

We will tell this story through individual narrativ

es as well as more broad-based reporting that explores what it means to be a climate refugee, and the implications of this phenomenon for the nation as a whole.

We are looking for stories in any medium – feature articles, audio, video, photo essay, or maps – that help bring a deeper understanding to these complex issues.   Story pitches should be submitted in English. Stories may be published in English and Spanish

Areas to explore include:

  • How the storms have changed relationships between Puerto Ricans on the mainland and the island -within families, in community-to-community connections, and in philanthropy within the Puerto Rican community.
  • How recovery has varied for those with family or friends on the mainland and those without those connections.
  • The political impact of the storms both on the mainland and the island.
  • New trends and ideas in Puerto Rican arts, culture and sustainability practices that have been prompted or inspired by the storms.
  • How are challenges of housing, education and jobs being met on the mainland?
  • Connections between the post-hurricane recovery and the Puerto Rico economic crisis.
  • How are communities in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands working towards climate change mitigation and adaptation to lessen the impact of future storms?
  • Lessons for planners, emergency management agencies and other local agencies in cities that have received climate refugees.

Deadline to submit your pitch is February 20th.  

To submit your pitch, or for questions, contact Rachael Bongiorno at rbongiorno@newschool.edu