Harrell receives funding to curate Mobile Institute

Published: September 29, 2021

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Joan Harrell, from the School of Communication and Journalism, has received funding from the Luce Foundation at Vanderbilt University's School of Divinity Public Theology and Racial Justice Collaborative to curate the Alabama-based Mobile Institute during the spring and fall semesters of 2022.

The Mobile Institute will be interdisciplinary and will include Auburn University undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and Alabama community advocates, faith leaders and journalists (local, statewide and national).

Harrell is a journalism lecturer and diversity officer for the College of Liberal Arts. She has a certificate of Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University and integrates her experience in reporting and writing and examining how marginalized people and communities, stereotypes, social and geographical locations, cultures, coded language, climate change, health disparities and unconscious bias factor into by what method journalists and media professionals search for truth.

Before entering academia, Harrell worked in local television markets as an award-winning journalist including news anchor at ABC, NBC and CBS television affiliates in Georgia, South Carolina and Missouri; freelance contributor for the Huff Post, researcher and field producer at the ABC News Bureau in London, England; assignment editor at the CBS News Bureau and CSPAN in Washington, D.C.; associate producer for Alvin H. Perlmutter and correspondent and associate producer for Bill Moyers in New York City.

Harrell is also an ordained minister in the American Baptist Church, founder and moderator of the digital humanities project Becoming the Beloved Community and member of the inaugural Cohort in the Henry Luce Foundation Public Theology and Racial Justice Institute at Vanderbilt University Divinity School. She was honored as the 2020 guest lecturer for the Theological Bioethics Within Marginalized Communities Series at Harvard University Divinity School Center for the Study of World Religions.

Her scholarship explores the intersectionality of narrative ethics, racism, media stereotypes, religion, social change, vulnerable populations, xenophobia, theology, religion, alterity and public health injustices.

Submitted by: Victoria Santos