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Cheryl Thompson-Morton to Lead Black Media Initiative

  • By Newmark J-School Staff
Cheryl Thompson-Morton
Cheryl Thompson-Morton

Cheryl Thompson-Morton, a leader in promoting diversity and equity in the news industry, has been named Black Media Initiative Director for the Center for Community Media at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

In her new role, which starts June 1, Thompson-Morton will work to support Black media outlets through training, research, convenings, and connecting them to financial resources.

“Cheryl has a deep understanding of the Black media landscape, particularly in Philadelphia, where she has been running several projects in support of the sector,” said Sarah Bartlett, dean of the Newmark J-School.

As program director for the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, she has created, launched, and executed several initiatives to increase equity in news media. including the Lenfest Next Generation Fund, the Community Listening and Engagement Fund, and the Philadelphia News Ecosystem Collaboration Grant Program.

She also leads Lenfest’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy, focusing on individual support to journalists of color, investment in news organizations owned by people of color, and newsroom collaboration programs.

She will be building on relationships she already has with several of those in our school community. Over the past year, she has worked closely with Strategic Initiatives Director Anita Zielina and J+ Director Marie Gilot on the Constellation News Leadership Initiative, a career development program Thompson-Morton conceived and managed to support mid-career media professionals of color in the Philadelphia region.

Thompson-Morton succeeds Aaron Foley, who left the Black Media Initiative in April.

She earned a business administration degree from Drexel University, where she graduated summa cum laude.