In 2018, the Anna Julia Cooper Center launched BLACK ON CAMPUS: a student journalism program of in partnership with he Nation. BLACK ON CAMPUS was an extension of he Nation’ long standing commitment to the education, training, and support of student and emerging journalists. BLACK ON CAMPUS was a national program for ten student journalists at top colleges, universities, and graduate schools. These young writers worked closely with Professors Harris-Perry and Williams to develop professional skills as they documented the experiences of black college students and reported on issues of national consequence to a black college student audience. BLACK ON CAMPUS student journalists met with Dr. Harris-Perry and Dr. Williams in weekly virtual sessions to develop skills, pitch ideas, and craft long- term projects. Student writers traveled to Washington, DC, to Winston-Salem, NC and to New York City where they attended The Nation’s annual Student Journalism Conference at The New School.
Black on Campus received more than 110 applications from college and graduate students across the country. The ten cohort members were extremely diverse. Two students attended historically black colleges (HBCUs), two students were pursuing graduate degrees, several were from large state universities, several from smaller private liberal schools, and they represented the a broad geographic diversity from Amherst to Arizona State.
The student journalists of Black on Campus sought to make visible the unique facing black college students. Too often in mainstream media the default student is white, middle class, heterosexual and attending a predominantly white institution. Their reporting helped disrupt this norm. At the same time, black college students aren’t a monolith. They have diverse experiences that vary by region, institution, gender, gender identity and class. Their reporting helped to reveal those complexities and what they mean These student reporters also documented the experiences of the 21st century black college students by using the talent and lived experience of emerging black student journalists to amplify the voices of black students as storytellers and experts by centering black students as the primary writers of the stories.