Next Challenge

Noticias Para Inmigrantes Announced As Grand Prize Winners Of The Next Challenge For Media & Journalism

Media Contact: 

(Spanish) Irene Velarde Graciano, [email protected], 323-806-0375 (English) Tsering Yangchen, [email protected] 
ST. PAUL, Minn., Feb. 25, 2022 – Accelerate Change congratulates its close partner, Noticias para Inmigrantes, on its recent recognition in the Next Challenge for Media & Journalism. 

The Next Challenge for Media & Journalism Grand Prize totaling $50,000 was awarded to Noticias para Inmigrantes, a non-profit media and communications organization providing Spanish news and information to over two million immigrants on emerging digital platforms. Noticias para Inmigrantes was also the winner of the News & Information Division.

Noticias para Inmigrantes (NPI) was launched in 2020 by a group of immigrant women and has grown to over 2 million online subscribers and followers. NPI’s trusted content about pandemic food assistance, stimulus checks, and public charge was read over 7 million times and watched 

over 14 million times across social media. Immigrants who are struggling to learn English and find resources can connect with Noticias para Inmigrantes on these digital platforms: 

Irene Velarde Graciano, Director of Growth and Marketing, accepted the award saying, “I am so honored to see Noticias para Inmigrantes be recognized this way, it means so much for us to see that the work my team is so passionate about resonates with others. This award will help Noticias para Inmigrantes reach 2.2 million more Latinx immigrants in their native Spanish language, and give them valuable resources to help them thrive in the United States.” 

Upon presenting the award, Neal Scarborough, Vice-President & General Manager of American Public Media’s Marketplace said, “Let’s give them (Noticias para Inmigrantes) a congratulations for all the work they’ve done for the hardest working Americans.” 

Glen Nelson Center at American Public Media Group (APMG) hosted the Next Challenge for Media & Journalism and the national showcase that announced the winners. The Next Challenge was a national competition seeking groundbreaking startups and student-led ventures that will reinvent media over the coming decade. It launched 20 weeks ago with a strong commitment to promoting racial and gender equity in media, embracing the demographic shift occurring in our communities and seeking out startups with diverse teams. 482 total participants representing 265 startups from 37 U.S. states and two U.S. territories kicked off the application process. By the end of the competition, 84 percent of all participants identified as Black, Indigenous or people of color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+, and/or female/non-binary. 

In December 2021, 39 division finalists were paired with industry mentors to help hone their business plans and prepare for judging rounds. More than 60 judges from across the country participated in three rounds of the competition to determine the division and grand prize winners. 

APMG hosted the competition in partnership with WarnerMedia, Google News Initiative, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Thomson Reuters, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University, the Carlson Family Foundation, TechNexus and Supernode Global. American Public Media’s Marketplace was the national promotional partner and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP provided legal service. 

A national showcase event took place virtually and the winners were announced on February 24. Other award winners include: 

  • Civic Engagement Division: A $20,000 grant was awarded to Bridgemakers, an initiative that bridges the Gen Z civic media gap by building Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) youth-led journalism capacity. 
  • Distribution Channels Division: A $20,000 grant was awarded to Black & Sexy TV, a media company closing the content gap for Black Millennials. 
  • Student Ventures Division: A $10,000 grant was awarded to The Yappie, a leading publication dedicated to tracking the rise of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) political power. 
  • The Vision Award was given to The Plug, a digital news and insights platform redefining who we call genius. This award recognized a startup with a bold vision to reinvent media over the coming decade. 
  • The Community Service Award was given to CivicLex, a startup that helps communities build civic media that reinforces our democracy. This award recognized a startup with a powerful impact on the community it serves. 
  • The Future Tech Award was given to the Emblematic Group, a no-code solution for creating and sharing immersive content across any device. This award recognizes a startup using new technology to advance media in the public interest. 

“We were thrilled with the quality and diversity of applicants to the inaugural Next Challenge,” said Jean Taylor, President and CEO of American Public Media Group. “Now, we are eager to see how all of the startups in the competition continue to grow and explore new and innovative ways to touch media audiences across the country and around the globe.” 

“This is only the beginning of our support for these groundbreaking media startups,” said Jeff Freeland Nelson, Executive Director of Glen Nelson Center. “We will continue to work with these founders and their teams as they build their business plans, seek out customers and investors and develop new media products that serve the public interest.” 

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About the Glen Nelson Center 

Launched in 2018, Glen Nelson Center at American Public Media Group identifies, elevates, and invests in groundbreaking media ventures led by a diverse group of visionary founders. Connecting startup founders and teams with APMG staff, advisors, and board members informs strategic planning, supports long-term revenue and audience goals and strengthens the APMG innovation culture. For more information, visit

About American Public Media Group 

American Public Media Group (APMG) is the largest station-based public radio organization in the U.S., combining multi-regional station operations, national programming creation and distribution and innovative digital, social and mobile services in one organization. APMG’s operations include Minnesota Public Radio® (MPR®), a 46-station network serving nearly all of Minnesota and parts of surrounding states, and Southern California Public Radio, a five-station network serving Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura County, Coachella Valley, Santa Barbara, and the Inland Empire. Programs produced by MPR’s national programming division, American Public Media® (APM), reach over 17 million listeners with nearly 1,000 public radio stations and over 400 commercial stations nationwide each week. APM is one of the largest producers and distributors of public radio programming in the world, with a portfolio that includes BBC World Service, Marketplace®, and the leading classical music programming in the nation. APM Studios, a division of APM, also offers a diverse array of podcasts featuring the best in food, culture, entertainment, business and investigative journalism. For more information on APMG, visit