Founders Library at Howard University
Founders Library at Howard University Credit: Courtesy of Wikipedia

A new partnership between Howard University in D.C. and Morgan State University in Baltimore will provide local high school students an opportunity to engage in a journalism program, aimed at promoting and featuring their work surrounding health disparities in underserved communities.

The “Urban Health Media Project,” funded through a $300,000 grant by W.K. Kellogg Foundation, will enable students who apply to study journalism and urban health disparities at the two universities “to bring the power of multimedia journalism to bear on persistent health disparity issues in underserved communities,” according to a Howard University statement.

The project is the brainchild of Reed Tuckson, a member of the board of trustees at Howard University, and Jayne O’Donnell, the health care policy reporter at USA Today who will serve as program director.

The principal investigator of 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.”

Participating students, working under guidance of professional journalists, faculty and college interns, will have their multimedia work featured on a new website, in a book and occasionally on

While interested students can apply in January for the year-long program, Morgan and Howard will host students on Saturdays in Baltimore and D.C. for a series of 10-week sessions that begin February 2017.

The application is available at For more information about the program, contact Howard University in Washington at 202-806-7927 or, and Morgan State University in Baltimore at 443-885-3502 or

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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