The Elon University graduate produced a deeply personal story titled “Unlocking My Past & Finding a Connection to Slavery,” which recently won the Gracie Awards’ Original Online Programming in News category.
Prior to the 2021 Juneteenth celebration, Maya Eaglin ’19, in her role as an NBC digital reporter, published a series of stories recognizing student activists, historians and Black Americans working to provide reparations to the descendants of slaves on college campuses around the country.
One such story – the sale of 272 slaves to save Georgetown University from foreclosure in 1838 – proved to be deeply personal for the Elon University graduate. In a document listing the enslaved individuals in the transition, Eaglin spotted her surname. Among those sold and relocated from Washington, D.C., to Louisiana to work on a sugar plantation was a 6-year-old girl named Harriet Eaglin.
The journalism major deftly intertwined her own family’s compelling journey with an update on how Georgetown and its campus community have attempted to atone for its participation in the slave trade. Eaglin’s reporting culminated in a four-minute video titled “Unlocking My Past & Finding a Connection to Slavery” and an accompanying 900-word, first-person narrative.
The imitate look into Eaglin’s family history recently won a national Gracie Award in the annual competition’s Original Online Programming in News category. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation hosts the annual Gracie Awards, honoring exemplary programming created by, for and about women in radio, television, cable and interactive media.
“I’m so excited to share with y’all I just won my first post-grad professional award!” Eaglin posted on social media following the April 13 announcement. “I’m so honored to be among the many talented journalists recognized this year. Huge thank you to my family, friends, coworkers and professors for your continued support!”
This year’s Gracie Awards celebration will take place on May 24 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles, and Eaglin plans to attend. The ceremony will also recognize entertainment and news programming that highlighted female-driven stories and culturally relevant topics, including “48 Hours,” “60 Minutes,” “NBC Nightly News” and The New York Times.