Class 17 (2018-2020)
Sarah Champagne, Canada
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – School of Media and Journalism
Sarah R. Champagne is a journalist from Montreal, Canada, and will be joining UNC’s School of Media and Journalism as a Rotary Peace Fellow. Sarah worked for the prominent newspaper Le Devoir and as a freelancer for various Canadian publications, reporting from a dozen countries spread over four continents. Teaming with photographers, Sarah has undertaken a series of multimedia projects, proposing a new way to approach the issue of migration in Turkey, Haiti, Belgium, Mexico, Guatemala and Nepal. Other topics she has focused on in her work include human rights, feminism, development, peacebuilding and international relations.
In 2016-2017, she created a participative journalism project in Benin, West Africa, to give a voice to people with mental illness. Their radio show can still be heard on air in this country, while a special exhibition of pictures taken by patients was held in downtown Montreal in 2017. Sarah was awarded the 2016 James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship, one the biggest Canadian journalism grants, after being identified as an emerging talent by two federations of journalists in Quebec. She has recently contributed to a book about stereotyping in the French language called Dictionnaire critique du sexisme linguistique, and hopes to publish her first essay in 2018. While French is her mother tongue, she is fluent in four languages and aims to become fully bilingual in English in order to reach a wider audience as a journalist. Through the knowledge and skills gained at UNC, she wants to understand how storytelling can better serve peace. She hopes to produce journalism that promotes dialogue, humanizes enemies and sheds light on structural causes of violence.