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SF writer wins $100,000 American Mosaic Journalism Prize

SANTA FE, N.M. — A Santa Fe freelance journalist has been named one of two 2019 recipients of the American Mosaic Journalism Prize, which comes with a $100,000 cash award.

Abe Streep was recognized for his New York Times feature titled “What the Arlee Warriors Were Playing for,” focused on a high school basketball team from the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana, and “The Last Best Place,” a Harper’s magazine feature about a Syrian refugee family, also in Montana. Streep is a contributing editor at Outside magazine, headquartered in Santa Fe.

The Heising-Simons Foundation, based in Los Altos, Calif., initiated the Mosaic prize in 2018 for freelancers displaying “excellence in long-form, narrative or deep reporting about underrepresented and/or misrepresented groups in the American landscape,” says a news release.

Recipients are chosen by a panel representing major news organizations, universities and freelance journalism. The other winner this year is Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, of New York.

“To be recognized by these judges and to be mentioned in the same breath as Rachel is a profound honor,” said Streep in a statement released by the foundation.

“I am overwhelmed and deeply grateful—first and foremost to the Abdullahs (from Syria) and the Arlee community (in Montana) for trusting me to tell these stories.”

The judges said of Streep:

“Abe Streep’s reporting bursts with compassion and urgency as he lifts up stories of often-overlooked communities in the American West, such as a Syrian refugee family building a new life in Montana, or a Native American high-school basketball team grappling with a flurry of suicides in its community. With great sensitivity, his work reveals the rich tapestry of cultures and lives that intersect in a part of the country far too often characterized by the stereotypes of an urban-rural divide.”

Streep has also written into about the Santa Fe Fuego minor league baseball team for The Atatvist, in a piece called “The Legends of Last Place: A Season With America’s Worst Professional Baseball Team.” He’s a contributing writer at The California Sunday Magazine.

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