Dear Fellow Americans,
We are all being held hostage by the coronavirus. Too many have lost their jobs, their lives and their family members. Rays of hope are the courageous ordinary Americans who continue to bring us food, healthcare, safety and the news.
The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation is committed to advocating for the safety of journalists worldwide and for freedom of all Americans held hostage, particularly during this current pandemic. Our mission was crystalized by our son, Jim, an American freelance journalist, who was kidnapped and murdered in 2014 while reporting on the Syrian conflict.
Now, journalists are confronting new risks in bringing us the latest news regarding the coronavirus pandemic. They are facing unprecedented challenges, often with no existing protocols.
We also know that the abysmal detention conditions and serious health issues facing Americans held hostage make them particularly vulnerable to the virus. Our advocacy for these American hostages and wrongful detainees abroad continues. This includes our recently published 2nd annual research study on U.S. hostage policy, “Bringing Americans Home 2020.”
So they need our help more than ever!
Hope for us at the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation comes from three generous donors — Make it Better Media Group, Jean Ann Wensell and The Soufan Group — who have pledged to match a total of $20,000 in donations to allow us to continue to assist journalists and hostages and their families during this unprecedented health crisis.
This Foley Freedom Fund matching challenge will run from May 3, World Press Freedom Day, through June 24, 2020, which is the anniversary of the 2015 Presidential Policy Directive 30 creating procedures to assist hostage families in their dealings with the federal government.
As World Press Freedom Day nears, our work is more urgent than ever. On May 1, we are releasing our latest journalist safety curricula, The James W. Foley Journalism Safety Modules, to provide aspiring journalists with essential safety tools, including those that apply to covering COVID-19. We are delighted to share these safety modules with Marquette University, Northwestern University, New York University, University of Oklahoma, University of Florida, University of Texas at Austin, American University, Arizona State University, West Virginia University, University of New Hampshire, Weber State University, the University of Central Missouri, the University of Missouri and Quinnipiac University. We continue to collaborate with the ACOS Alliance, the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma and other critical partners to increase access to safety training for freelance journalists.
I send you my deepest gratitude for caring about some of the most vulnerable amid this pandemic. I humbly ask, if you are able, to support the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation. Together, we will bring innocent Americans home and protect journalists who bring truth to light.
–Diane Foley, president and founder, James W. Foley Legacy Foundation
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