Jon_Funabiki_BiggerJon Funabiki, Executive Director, Renaissance Journalism

Jon Funabiki, whose career spans journalism, philanthropy and academia, is a professor of journalism at San Francisco State University. He joined the university after an 11-year career with the Ford Foundation, where he led grant programs to promote ethics, credibility and diversity in journalism. Funabiki is the former founding director of San Francisco State University’s Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism and a former journalist with The San Diego Union. A graduate of San Francisco State University, Funabiki was awarded the John S. Knight Professional Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University; the Jefferson Fellowship at the East-West Center of Honolulu; and a National Endowment for the Humanities Professional Summer Fellowship at the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Valerie Bush HeadshotValerie Bush, Deputy Director, Renaissance Journalism

Valerie Bush is a former journalist who has more than 15 years of experience in communications, media relations, writing and editing, and project management. Prior to joining Renaissance Journalism, she was the communications director at California Institute of Integral Studies, where she spearheaded the university’s integrated communications strategy and new brand identity and website. Her journalism experience includes serving as the executive director of the Asian American Journalists Association, as well as working as a reporter for the Marin Independent Journal and an assistant editor at The Village Voice. She holds a BA from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.


ERP_LynNell_Hancock_HeadshotLynNell Hancock, Project & Fellowship Adviser

LynNell Hancock is a reporter and writer specializing in education and child and family policy issues, who has taught journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism since 1993. She is the director of the Spencer Fellowship for Education Journalism, a program that supports the work of mid-career journalists to study at Columbia and produce significant works of journalism on education topics. In addition to contributing to Newsweek, Columbia Journalism Review, The Nation and The New York Times, she served on staff of The Village Voice, the New York Daily News, and Newsweek where she covered national and local education issues. Hancock is the author of “Hands to Work: The Stories of Three Families Racing the Welfare Clock” (2002).


ERP_Joe Grimm_HeadshotJoe Grimm, Fellowship Recruiter

Joe Grimm has been visiting editor in residence at the Michigan State University School of Journalism since 2008. Prior to that, he spent more than 25 years at the Detroit Free Press, 18 of them as recruiting and development editor. At Michigan State, Grimm teaches reporting, writing, editing and career branding. He also is editor of a series of guides, created by students, to increase cultural competence in news reporting. There are 10 guides in the series. He also helps Renaissance Journalism with the Detroit Journalism Collaborative, formed to cover the Detroit bankruptcy.


Renaissance Journalism wishes to thank the following individuals for their advice and support in making the Equity Reporting Project a reality and a success:

  • Sarah Carr, Editor & Project Director, The Teacher Project, Columbia Journalism School
  • Prudence Carter, Jacks Family Professor of Education, Stanford University
  • Frederick James Frelow, Senior Program Officer, Youth Opportunity and Learning, Ford Foundation
  • Julia McEvoy, Senior News Editor, KQED Radio
  • Jeannie Oakes, President, American Educational Research Association
  • Sanjiv Rao, Program Officer, Youth Opportunity and Learning, Ford Foundation
  • Sean Reardon, Professor of Poverty and Inequality in Education, Stanford University


The Equity Reporting Project was funded by grants from the Ford Foundation.