Historically, Black investigative journalists have used the power of the pen to unearth and underscore societal truths and reclaim their narratives. Now, Morehouse College is teaming up with the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting to empower the next generation of journalists and editors.
Founded in 2015 by a collective of award-winning Black journalists—including Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, Topher Sanders, Ron Nixon, and Corey Johnson—the organization has a mission rooted in elevating diverse voices and increasing the representation of reporters and editors of color within the realm of investigative journalism. Through the partnership with the Atlanta-based HBCU, the nonprofit and the institution will work in concert to equip scholars with social justice-centered reporting and investigative skills to cultivate a solid foundation for a career path in journalism. The Society will also help align Morehouse students with internships, mentorships, and career opportunities.
During an on-campus ceremony in February, Hannah-Jones shared the collaboration with Morehouse will instrumentally advance the Society’s mission of fostering diversity. “I am very excited to announce that Morehouse College will be the new home of the Ida B. Wells Society,” she said. “This partnership helps our young organization settle more deeply into our mission, which is to increase the number of investigative reporters of color. Being located on the campus of a historically Black college located in Atlanta in proximity to other HBCUs and coming to Morehouse just as it gets its journalism major off the ground provides a tremendous opportunity for us to increase our impact on the field and society.”
Ron Thomas, Chair of Morehouse’s Journalism in Sports, Culture and Social Justice department, added “The Society is a natural fit for the emphasis that Morehouse College and our journalism program have placed on social justice. So often, keen investigative skills are needed to unearth the truth when social justice issues are explored.”
Co-founded by visionary and Morehouse alum Spike Lee and the late legendary sports columnist Ralph Wiley, the Journalism in Sports, Culture and Social Justice program—which officially became a degree-granting major in 2021—sits at the intersection of multimedia reporting, social justice, arts and entertainment, and sports. The program will work closely with the Society to cultivate pathways for scholars.
Several HBCUs are furthering their efforts to support rising storytellers. In December, Spelman College received a $1 million endowment from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation for the development of a center focused on documentary media studies; making the institution the first HBCU to harbor a documentary filmmaking center.
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