Isaac Bailey | Columbia Journalism School

Isaac Bailey

Laventhol Visiting Professor

Visiting Professor

Issac Bailey is a veteran journalist who has won numerous writing and reporting awards and has conducted investigations that led to changes in the way the S.C. Department of Social Services handles child protection cases. His criminal justice reporting spurred the Myrtle Beach Police Department in South Carolina to create a position to focus on young people after Bailey's investigative pieces highlighted the struggles of young black men in the Booker T. Washington neighborhood. He is also a certified guardian ad litem and has served as the legal representative in Family Court for children in distress and has spent several years mentoring troubled youth in a variety of capacities.

Bailey was one of 12 journalists in the country chosen to be a 2014 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where he studied child brain development, child welfare and race relations law and taught journalism for a year at Harvard's summer school. He is a 1995 graduate of Davidson College.

Bailey is Davidson College's Batten Professor and taught journalism and applied ethics at Coastal Carolina University for several years. In the spring of 2022, Bailey led a small group appointed by President Quillen to craft the first of its kind statement on freedom of expression for a college like Davidson as well as conducted a campuswide survey on the subject. He will be a visiting professor at Columbia University in the spring of 2023 and return to Davidson in the fall of 2023 as a Professor of Practice.

He has been published in hundreds of publications, including The New York Times, Politico Magazine, Time Magazine, the Washington Post, the Charlotte Observer and and has appeared on NPR, CNN and MSNBC. Bailey also created a race relations seminar in which he explores the complexity of implicit and other types of biases and has given presentations at several dozen institutions, including Duke University, Central Michigan University, the Education Writer’s Workshop and Horry County prosecutors.

He's been married for 24 years to Dr. Tracy Bailey, founder and executive director of non-profit literacy organization, Freedom Readers, and CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand. They have two children. Bailey's 2018 book, "My Brother Moochie," which discusses the effects of the criminal justice system on black families, has received critical acclaim and has been featured in the New York Times. He recently released "Why Didn’t We Riot? A Black Man in Trumpland."