The Ida B. Wells Symposium at Columbia Journalism School

Celebrate and commemorate her life, work and legacy

In conjunction with Women’s History Month, the Ida B. Wells Symposium will commemorate the life and journey of Ida B. Wells on Monday, March 25, 2024. Held at Pulitzer Hall, we aim to honor her contributions to journalism, the civil rights movement, and American history.

Panel Topics

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America's Tug of War
for Racial Equality

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Carrying the Torch

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The Legacy Continues 

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Fireside Chat with Bust
Artist Dana King

Photo of statue of Ida B. Wells was erected in 2021 in Memphis,Tennessee, adjacent to the Beale Street Baptist Church where she published a newspaper in the late 1800s.

This unique event will bring together distinguished thought leaders throughout the journalism industry, scholars, Columbia Journalism School alums, faculty, students, and other practitioners to explore the ongoing opportunities and challenges facing the journalism industry around representation, inclusion, and equity.

The crown jewel of this event will be the unveiling of a bust of Ida B. Wells, celebrating her iconic status and cementing her as a pillar of journalism.

Panelists include...

Dean Jelani Cobb
Kimberlé Crenshaw
June Cross
Dan Duster
Paula Giddings
Dorothy Butler Gilliam, '61 M.S.
Errin Haines
Nikole Hannah-Jones
Dana King
Soledad O'Brien
Marquita Pool-Eckert, '69 M.S.
Joy-Ann Reid
Jacqueline Woodson

Thank you to the Symposium Advisory Committee: Akintunde Ahmad; Kevin Bentley, Major Gifts Officer; Wayne Dawkins, '80 M.S.; Brandon Drenon, '20 M.S.; Dawn Kissi '05 M.S.; Cydney T. Laine '16 M.S.; Pamela McKelvin-Jefferson, Director of DEI; and Kelley Spencer, Director of Alumni Relations.

This Symposium is made possible by the generosity of Betty Baye,  ʼ80 M.S., Wayne Dawkins, ʼ80 M.S., Cheryl Devall, ʼ82 M.S., Karen Gray Houston, ʼ73 M.S., Michelle Johnson, ʼ82 M.S., David Peterkin, ʼ82 M.S., Randall Pinkston, Gayle Pollard-Terry, ʼ73 M.S., Janelle Richards, ʼ10 M.S., Reginald Stuart, ʼ71 M.S., and Linda Wright-Moore, ʼ73 M.S.

Columbia Journalism School extends its gratitude to Carolyn "Cookie" Mason and Mark Mason for their support of the Ida B. Wells bust and pedestal. 

Ida B Wells

Ida B. Wells was an American investigative journalist and leader in the civil rights movement. An educator and innovator, she was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) — and dedicated her career to combating prejudice and violence against women and Black people.

Her courage in the face of unspeakable personal danger is what most journalists strive to have. She is an anchor of the industry and a symbol of the great heights a dedicated reporter can achieve.