Justice Fund Toronto and The Walrus announce the appointment of Julia-Simone Rutgers as Writer in Residence

Justice Fund and The Walrus are pleased to partner on the launch of the inaugural Writing Residency for Emerging Black Journalists at The Walrus. Julia-Simone Rutgers was selected as the top candidate among strong applicants from across Canada. Thanks to the generous support of Justice Fund Toronto, Rutgers will work on a long-form project for publication in The Walrus.

The purpose of the program is to provide an early career Black journalist with the opportunity to join an established national publication to develop their work. The program allows for the candidate to focus on research and writing while receiving mentorship from an experienced editorial team.

The Walrus thanks Justice Fund Toronto for partnering with the organization to launch its first Writer in Residence program exclusively for emerging writers who identify as Black. The program is an essential part of The Walrus’s commitment to creating a more inclusive and representative tomorrow.

“I am beyond honoured to join The Walrus as the inaugural Justice Fund Toronto Writer in Residence. I look forward to strengthening my skills as a longform writer, digging into a story that matters to my community, and learning everything I can from the phenomenally talented team at The Walrus,” said Rutgers.

The six-month program is a paid opportunity focused on creating a published piece. As part of the Writer in Residence program, Rutgers will be mentored by The Walrus editors, and has already begun working on a Manitoba-focused story for publication.

“We’re thrilled that Julia-Simone Rutgers has been selected as the first Justice Fund Black Writer in Residence at The Walrus. Canada has the potential for remarkable diverse stories from purposefully unheard Black communities. We can’t wait for Julia-Simone’s first long-form feature,” said Yonis Hassan, the CEO and co-founder of Justice Fund Toronto.

Julia-Simone Rutgers considers herself a writer first. As a journalist, essayist, and sometimes poet, she centres her work on intersections of identity, reflections on justice/injustice both historic and present, interrogating systems of power, and amplifying the voices of those most marginalized. She has spent time writing daily news for the Winnipeg Free Press and the StarMetro Halifax, and has contributed work to the Globe and Mail, the Coast, and The Discourse. Currently living in Winnipeg, she also dabbles in visual art curation and music-making, finding inspiration in the way the arts foster connection between ideas and communities.