The very nature and face of journalism is changing. Created for the advancement of education, diversity and excellence in the field of journalism, the Foundation for Progress in Journalism (FPJ) is designed to help journalists – both present and future – rise to meet the challenges of 21st century  journalism.


The Foundation for Progress in Journalism (FPJ) is a nonprofit organization based in Birmingham, Ala., that believes a strong media is an essential part of a healthy democratic society. FPJ was formed with the expressed purpose of promoting journalism specifically, but not exclusively, to minority college and high school students who have expressed an interest in the field.

The foundation was established in honor of minority journalism pioneer Dr. Jesse J. Lewis Sr. An entrepreneur and innovator in his own right, Lewis is the founder, publisher, editor and columnist for The Birmingham Times. Started during the height of the civil rights movement in 1963, The Times has never missed a publication in 50 years of service to the Birmingham community. Fifty years later, Lewis’ courage and ingenuity are an inspiration for the challenges facing journalism today.

Our vision is to be recognized as one of the premier foundations established to encourage and promote journalism.

Our mission is to provide students with a strong journalism foundation and prepare them to tackle the digital age through training focused on the fundamentals needed to develop as strong, independent communicators. We also will provide internships through our partners, allowing students to get real-life experience and improve their skills, reinforcing their interest in journalism and strengthening their ability to land journalism jobs.