The Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting at Morehouse College in Atlanta announced the appointment of Robbie Morganfield as its new executive director. Dr. Morganfield joins the Society after spending the last three years as a professor and chair of journalism and mass communication at North Carolina A&T State University.
Ida B. Wells was born into slavery in Mississippi. After moving to Memphis, she founded two newspapers and became a leading civil rights leader of her time. Seventy years before Rosa Parks, Wells refused to give up her seat in a first-class railway coach. She was physically removed but later won a $500 settlement from the railroad. Later, Wells was a leader of the anti-lynching and women’s suffrage movements.
“I am honored to join the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting at Morehouse,” Dr. Morganfield said. “This is a pivotal moment for journalism, and I am committed to upholding the Society’s mission of advancing investigative reporting, supporting journalists of color, and nurturing the next generation of reporters. I look forward to collaborating with the Society’s talented team, students, faculty, and partners to drive impactful change in journalism.”
Originally, the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting was housed at the Newmark School of Journalism iof the City University of New York. In 2018, the Society moved its headquarters to the Shorenstein Center at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. In the fall of 2019, it moved operations to the School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Society moved to Morehouse College earlier this year.
Co-founder of the Society, Nikole Hannah-Jones stated, “I am beyond thrilled to welcome Dr. Morganfield as the next executive director of the Ida B. Wells Society as I believe there is no one better equipped to lead our organization through its next stage as we seek to stabilize and grow during our transition to Morehouse College. Dr. Morganfield is a remarkable leader, journalist, educator, and visionary passionate about nurturing future journalists, advocating for journalists of color, and building up mission-driving institutions. He has a particular love for HBCUs and a passion for the work of the Society. This is a pivotal time for our young organization, and having someone like Dr. Morganfield at the helm will ensure we live up to our ambitions and continue to expand the groundbreaking work we have begun to do.”
Dr. Morganfield earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Mississippi. He holds a master’s degree in public affairs journalism from Ohio State University, a master of divinity degree from Texas Christian University, and a Ph.D. in journalism and public communication from the University of Maryland.