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Apr 13, 2021

From Biology to Bearing Witness While Black with Allissa Richardson, Ph.D.

Habari Gani my friends! 

It’s another great episode of 3 friends TALK with our highly accomplished Super friends Dr. Allissa V. Richardson.  Dr. Richardson gives us a master class in following your passion and purpose strategically!  Listen in and learn how Dr. Allissa went from being accepted to Howard University medical school to teaching students and the journalism profession how to tell Black stories! She has traveled the world doing what she loves and says all you need is a cell phone to bring the news!


Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode about how to pivot strategically:

  • The smart way to follow your passion and purpose
  • Journalism made simple with a cell phone
  • Being fearless when charting new paths
  • What to do and what not to do when changing your major




About Dr. Allissa:

Allissa V. Richardson is assistant professor of journalism at USC Annenberg. She researches how African Americans use mobile and social media to produce innovative forms of journalism — especially in times of crisis.

Richardson is the author of Bearing Witness While Black: African Americans, Smartphones and the New Protest #Journalism (Oxford University Press, 2020). The book explores the lives of 15 mobile journalist-activists who have documented the Black Lives Matter movement using only their smartphones and Twitter.

Richardson’s research is informed by her award-winning work as a journalism innovator. She is considered a pioneer in mobile journalism (MOJO), having launched the world’s first smartphone-only college newsrooms in 2010, in the U.S., Morocco and South Africa.

Richardson won the National Association of Black Journalists’ prestigious Journalism Educator of the Year (‘12) award for her international work. Richardson is an inductee into Apple’s elite Distinguished Educator program. She is the recipient of two esteemed Harvard University posts: the Nieman Foundation Visiting Journalism Fellowship (‘14) and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society Fellowship (‘20). Lastly, she is a fellow in Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism (‘20). 

Richardson’s research has been published in Convergence, Journal of Communication, Digital Journalism, Journalism Studies and The Black Scholar. Richardson serves on the editorial boards of Digital Journalism and the International Journal of Communication. She is an affiliated researcher with New York University’s Center for Critical Race and Digital Studies (CR + DS) as well.

Richardson holds a PhD in journalism studies from the University of Maryland College Park; a master’s degree in magazine publishing from Northwestern University’s Medill School; and a bachelor of science in biology from Xavier University of Louisiana, where she was named a “Top 40 Under 40” alumna.

Awards and Honors

Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society Fellowship, Harvard University (2020). 
Tow Center for Digital Journalism Fellowship, Columbia University (2020).
NewsPro Top 10 U.S. Journalism Educator, Crain Communications (2020).
Nieman Foundation Journalism Fellowship, Harvard University (2014).
Journalism Educator of the Year, National Association of Black Journalists (2012).


Connect with Dr. Allissa:


Connect with Dr. Courtney, Dr. Leah, & Dr. Sylvia: