Award-winning journalist and educator Stacey Patton, Ph.D. has consistently spoken truth to power; using storytelling to amplify how systemic racial inequities have shaped America’s social, cultural, and political landscapes. The Howard University professor is being honored by the Rainbow PUSH Coalition for her transformative work around advancing equity in education and using media as a vessel to elevate the voices of historically marginalized communities.
The civil rights organization—which was founded by political activist and minister Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.—will bestow Dr. Patton with the PUSH for Excellence award in January. Launched in 1975, PUSH for Excellence’s mission is rooted in ensuring there is equity in educational funding and policies so that every child can have the resources needed to thrive in the classroom and beyond. The nonprofit partners with educators, community leaders, parents, and other stakeholders who are collectively invested in elevating education.
Dr. Patton—who serves as an assistant professor in Howard’s Department of Media, Journalism and Film—has led projects that sit at the intersection of child welfare, race relations, and higher education. Her work has been featured in publications that include The Washington Post, The New York Times, BBC News, The Baltimore Sun, and Al Jazeera. She’s also brought her knowledge and insight to shows on CNN, MSNBC, CBS, Democracy Now, and FOX News.
Dr. Patton also serves as a contributing writer for NewsOne in which she provided breaking coverage of Carolyn Bryant Donham’s unpublished novel and has penned thought-provoking pieces that explored the concepts of performative allyism, the degradation of Black women in film, the call for justice for Emmett Till’s family, and how the disheartening adultification of Black children impacts how they are perceived in society. The celebrated writer has garnered several accolades for her work in journalism from a collective of esteemed organizations including awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Education Writers Association, Scripps Howard Foundation, and New York Women in Communications.
Beyond her bylines and television appearances, Dr. Patton has spearheaded initiatives designed to support scholars in need. She launched the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Textbook Fund to help students at HBCUs purchase textbooks and digital tools needed for classwork.
In an interview, Dr. Patton shared how the past and present are interconnected and many of the projects she’s worked on reflect that. “As a storyteller, I use archival records to make sense of the past, the present, and these historical echoes that we’re living with right now,” she shared.
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