Deborah Douglas is an award-winning journalist, cultural critic, and thought leader specializing in the African American lived experience.
Deborah lives in Chicago, where she was born, but is a self-described product of the Great Migration: She started school in post-uprising Detroit and came of age in metro Memphis. After graduating from Northwestern University, she traveled the country as a reporter, landing in Jackson, Mississippi. She’s taught best practices to journalists in Karachi, Pakistan, taught in South Africa twice, studied HIV and malaria prevention in Tanzania, and traveled to Kenya, Tunisia, and Senegal, and throughout Europe. She is currently the Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor at DePauw University, creating courses to show student-journalists how to center marginalized voices in their work.
She served as the managing editor of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, a reporting project examining the economic realities of Memphis, Tennessee, 50+ years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated there. Previously, she was the No. 2 at the Chicago Sun-Times editorial page and a columnist. She served as an adjunct lecturer at Medill where she designed a Civil Rights Act of 1964 graduate capstone, and has contributed to VICE, Time, American Prospect, The Root, The Grio and The (NAACP) Crisis magazine. She is a senior leader at The OpEd Project, an initiative that amplifies underrepresented expert voices. In her career, she’s had the honor of speaking with civil rights icons, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. James Lawson, Diane Nash, Bernard Lafayette, Bree Newsome, Rev. Bernice King, and Rev. Martin King III. Her work has been cited by the New York Times, and she’s won numerous awards for her writing for Oprah magazine and other outlets.