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Columbia Journalism School Honors Life, Legacy of Ida B. Wells

Columbia Journalism School plans to honor the life and legacy of the trailblazing Black investigative journalist and activist, Ida B. Wells, in a day-long symposium March 25.

The inaugural Ida B. Wells Symposium will feature remarks by Columbia University President Dr. Minouche Shafik and notable voices from national media.

Dawn KissiDawn Kissiโ€œThere is a tradition in this country of the advocacy journalist, and within that long history Ida B. Wells stands as an icon,โ€ said Dr. Jelani Cobb, dean of Columbia Journalism School and Henry R. Luce Professor of Journalism. โ€œHer work not only remains relevant today, but actively inspires the next generation to follow in her footsteps.โ€

Wells, born in Mississippi three years before Emancipation, became a truth-telling, crusading journalist who fearlessly investigated lynchings and advocated for equality in suffrage, housing, criminal justice, and education.

Her namesake symposium will include several panels discussing the current struggle for racial and gender equality and how Ida B. Wells impacted these causes through her journalism

โ€œIdaโ€™s legacy is a powerful one and continues to resonate,โ€ said Dawn Kissi, a 2005 graduate of the journalism school. โ€œAs a journalism school alumna, I and other alums of color see tremendous value in not only recognizing her work and legacy but commemorating it with the work of Dana King.โ€

The event will culminate in the unveiling of a bronze sculpture of Wells by artist Dana King, a former network news anchor. The bust, a gift by Mark Mason and Carolyn Mason, will be placed inside the main lobby of Pulitzer Hall.

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