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High School Students to Report on Health in Washington and Baltimore

Cathy Hughes School of Communications
525 Bryant St. NW
Washington, DC 20059


Brittany A.B. Surratt
Media Relations l External Affairs

Howard University and Morgan State University Receive Kellogg Foundation Grant to Train High School Students to Report on Health in Washington and Baltimore

WASHINGTON — Howard University and Morgan State University are partnering to help high school students bring the power of multimedia journalism to bear on persistent health disparity issues in underserved communities in Washington and Baltimore. The project is funded by a $300,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan.

The Urban Health Media Project is the brainchild of Reed V. Tuckson, M.D., a member of the Board of Trustees at Howard University, and Jayne O’Donnell, the healthcare policy reporter at USA Today who will serve as program director. The principal investigator on the grant is fellow health journalist Yanick Rice Lamb, chair of the Department of Media, Journalism and Film in the Cathy Hughes School of Communications at Howard. Her counterpart at Morgan State is Jacqueline Jones, chair of the Department of Multimedia Journalism in the School of Global Journalism.

“As I witness the formulation of policies intended to create healthy and safe communities, I have become aware of the startling absence of informed voices of our young people,” Dr. Tuckson said. “As the former Commissioner of Public Health for the District of Columbia, and former president of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in South Central Los Angeles, I understand the importance of listening to and learning from all stakeholders who are required to realize optimal health strategies.”

High school students are being invited to apply for the yearlong program, which includes three 10-week sessions on Saturdays at Howard University in Washington or Morgan State University in Baltimore. Students will learn how to write news stories, capture audio, shoot and edit video, take photos and incorporate social media. They will develop an understanding of the interrelated social issues — including housing, education and food insecurity — that often make their communities unhealthy.

The students will work under the guidance of professional journalists, faculty members and college interns. Their multimedia work will be featured on a new website, in a book and occasionally on usatoday.com. The goal is to replicate this program in key cities, such as New Orleans and Detroit.

The application is available at http://bit.ly/urban-health-media. For more information about the program, which begins in January 2017, please contact your local site:

About the Department of Media, Journalism and Film at Howard University

The Urban Health Media Project will also serve as a pillar of the department’s STEAM Media Institute, which focuses on storytelling related to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. The Department of Media, Journalism and Film is the largest unit in Howard University’s Cathy Hughes School of Communications, which is led by Dean Gracie Lawson-Borders, Ph.D. Its faculty and alumni include award-winning, internationally renowned filmmakers, journalists, media producers, documentarians and research scholars. USA Today and College Factual recently ranked the journalism program among the top 20 nationally, and the National Association of Black Journalists ranked the program as No. 1 in the United States. Howard is one of two universities in Washington, D.C., and among nine HBCUs accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism
and Mass Communications. The department offers one of the top MFA programs in film and the only one at an HBCU. It was named as having one of the best university cinematography programs. For more information, please visit

About the Department of Multimedia Journalism at Morgan State University

The Department of Multimedia Journalism requires that students learn to report, write, record and edit for traditional print and broadcast, as well as for digital, online operations, with a focus on the use of social media and other technologies. They will be able to produce across all the media platforms that professional journalists use on the job. The department is part of the School of Global Journalism and Communication, led by Dean DeWayne Wickham. The goal of the school is to “Grow the Future and Lead the World” in the teaching of journalism and mass communication. Students use the latest technology to travel the world in their classes and assignments, without leaving the campus. They also see the world through their interactions with our partner programs at universities in distant lands — and they are offered opportunities to travel abroad through the Worldwide Learning Lab program. For more information, please visit http://www.morgan.edu/sgjc.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to help break the cycle of poverty by removing barriers based on race or income that hold back children, so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the United States are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. To learn more, follow WKKF on Twitter at @wk_kellogg_fdn.

February 19, 2017

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