Scripps, SIT Morocco alumna Nejra Kravic named Alice Rowan Swanson Fellow

Publication Date: November 17, 2022
Publication Location: Brattleboro, Vermont
Contact: Kate Casa  |  [email protected]

Journalism project aims to empower youth

Nejra Kravic, standing fourth from right, with her SIT Morocco cohort in 2021.

BRATTLEBORO, Vermont—SIT Morocco and Scripps College alumna Nejra Kravic has been named the newest Alice Rowan Swanson Fellow, School for International Training announced today. Nejra participated in the spring 2020 program Morocco: Field Studies in Journalism and New Media, but her time in the country was cut short due to the outbreak of Covid-19. She graduated from Scripps College in 2021 with a major in media studies and a minor in Middle East and North Africa studies.

The Alice Rowan Swanson Fellowship was established in 2009 by the family of SIT Study Abroad alumna Alice Rowan Swanson as a living tribute to her desire to bridge cultures and help others, and the role that SIT Study Abroad played in her life. An alumna of SIT Nicaragua and a 2007 graduate of Amherst College, Alice was killed while riding her bicycle to work in 2008.

Media can be used to expose human rights violations, advocate for justice, raise awareness about critical issues, and empower marginalized communities to take action.

Nejra Kravic

“I am incredibly honored to have been selected for the Alice Rowan Swanson Fellowship,” said Nejra. “Beyond the immense privilege of being able to go back to Morocco after my experience abroad was cut short in 2020, it is an honor to continue Alice’s legacy of helping others and advancing human rights. I look forward to reconnecting with Moroccan culture in the coming months.”

For her fellowship project, Nejra plans to return to Morocco to partner with a nonprofit organization, Connect Institute, to conduct a series of media literacy workshops for young people. The goal of the workshops is to empower young Moroccans to think critically about the media, recognize its role in a democratic society, and see it as a tool for positive change and activism, she said.

Nejra said each workshop will have a different theme, such as misinformation, privacy, or social media activism, and would be “experiential and interactive, in true SIT fashion.”

Although the SIT journalism program in Morocco is no longer active, former Academic Director Daniel Bernard said Nejra’s project corresponds with one focus area of the SIT program: the evolution of the media sector in Morocco amid challenges such as competition for revenue in the digital era and government restrictions.

“Her proposal to partner with the Connect Institute is well-founded in that the institute was a firm partner in the study abroad program and has demonstrated its interest in working with international students to promote global values of pluralism,” he said.

Alice Rowan Swanson fellowships are awarded twice annually to SIT Study Abroad alumni seeking to pursue locally led human rights projects in the countries where they studied abroad.

“Even though largely forgotten and underrated in discussions about social justice, media rights are human rights,” Nejra wrote in her application. “In any of its forms, the media can be used to expose human rights violations, advocate for justice, raise awareness about critical issues, and empower marginalized communities to take action.”

Born and raised in Sarajevo, Nejra currently lives in Bosnia and Herzegovina and works as a freelance journalist. In addition to her study abroad experience, which included an internship at Morocco World News, in college she was editor of the Claremont Journal of International Relations. She has held numerous competitive internships and was a Peace and Security Fellow at ReThink Media in Washington D.C., focusing on diplomacy, security, and ending wars through strategic communications.

She won the prestigious Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics in 2021 for her essay on the modern challenges of Bosnian Muslimness. She is currently a fellow at the Witness Institute, a leadership program dedicated to continuing the work of Elie Wiesel. She is also a Humanity in Action Mapping Inequities 2022 Fellow and a UCLA Law 2022 Fellow. Her goal is to attend law school to focus on media law and press freedom.