Environmental Health Sciences, in collaboration with ALTAVOZ LAB, welcome their 2023-2024 Environmental Fellows

Environmental Health Sciences, which publishes EHN.org, and ALTAVOZ LAB proudly introduce Alejandra Martinez and Wendy Selene Pérez as the 2023-2024 Environmental Fellows.

For the past 9 months, the two journalists have investigated how fenceline residents near the Houston Ship Channel are affected by pollution from the massive petrochemical buildout in the region. This spring they’ll undertake an innovative, on-the-ground outreach effort to ensure impacted communities have access to their reporting and to foster dialogue around solutions.

Alejandra Martinez is The Texas Tribune’s Fort Worth-based environmental reporter. She joined the Tribune in the fall of 2022. Alejandra was previously an accountability reporter at KERA, where she began as a Report for America corps member and then covered Dallas City Hall. Before that, she worked as an associate producer at WLRN, South Florida’s public radio station. Alejandra studied journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, and interned at KUT and NPR’s Latino USA. She’s a native of the Aldine area of Harris County and speaks fluent Spanish.

Wendy Selene Pérez is a freelance journalist with a two-decade career spanning various media outlets in Mexico, Argentina, and the United States. Her work focuses on social justice, victims of violence, government accountability, transparency, and immigration. Wendy’s articles have been featured in El País, Gatopardo, Proceso, The Baffler, Vice, and Al Día Dallas/The Dallas Morning News. She has held positions such as bureau chief of CNN Mexico, editor of Domingo magazine (El Universal), and multimedia editor of Clarin.com. Previously, she served as the chief multimedia editor of the newspaper Mural (Grupo Reforma).

Wendy holds a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Diario Clarín-Universidad de San Andrés-Columbia University, with her thesis titled “La Tierra de las Fosas,” a data-driven journalistic investigation. She has been honored with the National Journalism Awards in Mexico (2019, 2022), the Walter Reuter German Journalism Award (2020), the Breach-Valdez Human Rights Award (2022, 2023), the Texas APME 2021 News Spanish-Language award, the ICFJ’s COVID-19 reporting story contest, and received an honorable mention in the Latin American Investigative Journalism Award (COLPIN, 2022).

Perla Trevizo — serving as a mentor to both fellows — is a reporter for the ProPublica-Texas Tribune Investigative Initiative. Trevizo is a Mexican-American reporter born in Ciudad Juárez and raised across the border in El Paso, Texas, where she began her journalism career. Trevizo spent more than 10 years covering immigration and border issues in Tennessee and Arizona before joining the Houston Chronicle as an environmental reporter. Her work has earned her national and state awards including the Dori J. Maynard Award for Diversity in Journalism, French-American Foundation Immigration Journalism Award, and a national Edward R. Murrow for a story done in collaboration with Arizona Public Media. She was also honored as the 2019 Arizona Journalist of the Year by the Arizona Newspaper Association

ALTAVOZ LAB is a mentorship organization designed to produce collaborative projects to strengthen reporters at community outlets that serve Black, Indigenous, immigrant and other communities of color in the U.S. with the goal of publishing stories that will enable local audiences to participate fully in democracy.

“We want to invest in journalists who tell stories not only about but for marginalized communities in innovative ways, fostering collaborations between local publications and Spanish-speaking outlets to deliver information where it can have the greatest impact,” said Valeria Fernández, founder and executive director of ALTAVOZ LAB which started in 2022.” This collaboration between Alejandra Martinez and Wendy Selene Pérez is a powerful example of what’s possible when we center our journalism on those most impacted by public policies, striving to serve them.”

The fellows will bolster community networks and bring information about the health and environmental consequences of the expansion of petrochemical projects in Texas to audiences who normally do not have access to such information. Their work will be published in both English and Spanish

Support of the ALTAVOZ LAB environmental fellowship is a crucial component of Environmental Health Sciences’ commitment to increasing access to environmental health and justice reporting in Spanish through our EHN en Español initiative.

Stay tuned for our upcoming reporting projects.