Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and documentary filmmaker Javier Manzano, whose career has taken him to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Nigeria, among many other places, has been named the 2016 winner of the Pell Center Prize for Story in the Public Square. The prize honors a storyteller whose work has significantly influenced the public dialogue.

As the fourth winner of the prize, conferred by the Story in the Public Square program at Salve Regina University’s Pell Center, Manzano joins journalist and two-time Pulitzer winner Dana Priest, who received the inaugural award in 2013; Emmy-winning screenwriter and actor Danny Strong, the 2014 winner; and last year’s honoree, Lisa Genova, the best-selling author of Still Alice and three other novels.

“I am deeply honored to be receiving the 2016 Pell Center Prize for my work as a journalist,” Manzano said. “Be it a local or international investigative story, a feature or in my case documentary films and photography, we all strive to bring to the public human stories that spark or further important conversations or remind us that certain truths need not be forgotten.

“We often believe that events such as conflict or man-made human disasters happen to ‘others in faraway places’ and do not have an impact on our far-removed lives across the world. They do. Policy can be changed. Man-made disasters can be averted. Individuals living in democratic countries have a say in the foreign policy of their own nations. I am thrilled that Story in the Public Square recognizes this type of storytelling.”

“Javier’s astonishing images tell some of the most important stories of our time in a way that no other media can,” said G. Wayne Miller, Story in the Public Square director, Pell Center visiting fellow and Providence Journal staff writer. “His courage in capturing them is extraordinary. We are thrilled to be bringing Javier to Rhode Island to accept the Pell Center Prize.”

“It is impossible not be deeply moved by the human dramas captured by Javier’s work,” said Pell Center executive director Jim Ludes. “He alternately enlightens, amazes, disturbs – and always prompts deeper thought and discussion about resolving some of the planet’s most pressing problems.”

Manzano’s work can be viewed on his web site: www.javiermanzano.com.

A native of Mexico, Manzano, 40, holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business from Loras College in Iowa and a bachelor’s in photojournalism and documentary film production from California’s Brooks Institute of Photography. After internships at several American newspapers, Manzano was hired by the Rocky Mountain News in Denver. When it folded, in 2009, Manzano began his independent career. He is currently based in the Middle East.

Manzano won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for his photo, distributed through Agence France-Presse, of Syrian rebel soldiers guarding their position as light streams through bullet holes in a wall. Among his 12 other awards are two World Press Photo Awards, in 2010 and 2013, and the 2013 Bayeux-Calvados Award for war correspondents.

Manzano will speak, present some of his work, and receive the Pell Center Prize in a ceremony at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 21, at the Pell Center on the campus of Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I. Details about the event will be released in the coming weeks.

While in Rhode Island, Manzano will be interviewed for an episode of “Story in the Public Square,” a new monthly feature of the national PBS show “White House Chronicle.” The show is taped at the Providence studios of Rhode Island PBS.

Founded in 2012, Story in the Public Square is an initiative to celebrate, study and tell stories that matter. A partnership of the Pell Center and The Providence Journal, the program sponsors public seminars and discussions, annually names a local and national story of the year, and is guided by a culturally and creatively diverse Story Board.

Visit the program at pellcenter.org, like on Facebook and follow on Twitter @PellCenter.

Image courtesy of Agence France-Presse.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.