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WKU photojournalist-in-residence wins award for project in Mexico

Josh Meltzer, a photojournalist-in-residence at WKU’s School of Journalism and Broadcasting, recently won a PhotoPhilanthropy award for his project about the internal migration of indigenous people within Mexico.

Meltzer was the Professional Grand Prize Winner in PhotoPhilanthrophy’s 2010 Activist Awards. He received a $15,000 prize for the project about people who move from rural regions to large cities.

WKU photojournalism student David Kasnic, a native of Wenatchee, Wash., was a runner-up in PhotoPhilanthropy’s student category. PhotoPhilanthropy supports photographers who work closely with non-profits around the world.

Meltzer worked with American Hands Aiding Latin American Youth (AHALA) and its Mexican non-profit partner CODENI, A Collective for the Rights of Children. The project was produced in and around Guadalajara, Mexico, while Meltzer was on a Fulbright Scholarship before he started teaching at WKU in 2009.

AHALA and CODENI help offset costs and other hurdles to education and provide daily after school tutoring to the city’s most marginalized populations. AHALA and CODENI educate the children and their parents about human rights, including rights to health, education and civility through workshops, retreats and home visits.

During the year in Mexico, Meltzer also taught a photo course to about 18 children who work in the streets.

Meltzer, a native of Athens, Ga., is a 1995 graduate of Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., and was a staff photographer at the Roanoke (Va.) Times from 1999 to 2008. He has won numerous awards for photography and multimedia storytelling.

In “Colour of Kandi,” a project for the Wenatchee Women’s Resource Center, Kasnic photographed a culture of teen and young adult ravers who call themselves “kandi kids.” Kandi kids get their name from the bright and unusual clothing they wear and the similar appearance of candy and to the designer drugs that they use.

The Wenatchee Women’s Resource Center aids men and women in abusive relationships involving heavy drug use, domestic violence and child neglect. The goal of the project is to photograph homelessness in Washington and teen and young adult drug use in general, in order to educate kids involved with the center on the negative effects of heavy drug use.

Contact: Josh Meltzer, (270) 745-2070.

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