A city government reporter for the Baltimore Banner, a nonprofit newspaper, Willis has covered Baltimore’s recent infusion of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal pandemic aid. He previously reported for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead out of Bismarck, North Dakota, where he covered energy, the environment, and rural issues. He has also worked as a historical researcher in Washington, D.C. and written stories for the Atlantic, the Boston Globe, Politico Magazine, and the Virginia Quarterly Review, among other publications. His 2018 reporting on the response of the Philippine Catholic Church to the country’s war on drugs was supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
The $12,500 annual award was established to commemorate Matthew Power, a wide-roving and award-winning journalist who reported empathetically on the human condition. Matt died in March 2014, while on assignment in Uganda. An endowment fund has been established to make the award possible in perpetuity. To date, more than 650 friends, family, and journalism colleagues have contributed.