The Outlier Team

Sarah Alvarez, founder and lead reporter

Sarah started her career in civil rights law in New York but is much happier as a journalist than she ever was as a lawyer. Before founding Outlier she worked as a public radio producer and reporter at Michigan Radio covering issues important to low-income families, child welfare and disability. Sarah developed Outlier’s model after years of trying to figure out how journalists could do a better job filling information gaps and increasing accountability to low-income news consumers. She lives in northwest Detroit. Get in touch:

Kenichi Serino, senior reporter

Kenichi grew up in Vanderbilt, a small town in Northern Michigan, and has worked in Washington D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Johannesburg, South Africa as a journalist and as a media trainer. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, the Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, Reuters and Al-Jazeera. You can reach Kenichi at

Our community

Outlier is a fiscally sponsored project of Investigative Reporters and Editors and runs with help, support and brainpower from an incredible community of public service minded journalists. Most importantly, we work to serve and learn alongside our news consumers in Detroit.

Outlier owes a particular debt of gratitude to the JSK Fellowship at Stanford University, Kimberly Springer, James Hamilton, Dawn Garcia, Jim Bettinger, Aaron Glantz, Andrew Haeg, Jennifer Brandel, and the crew at Michigan Radio; in particular Tamar Charney, Sarah Hulett, Vince Duffy, Jennifer Guerra, Dustin Dwyer, and Brittany Bartkoviak.

Our funders

This project is supported by a pilot grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Our utility reporting is supported by a joint grant from the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan, the Knight Foundation and the Ford Foundation. We are so grateful for their generous support.




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