DePaul University Newsline > Sections > DeBuzz > Journalism professor to lead Chicago Reader’s Racial Justice Writers’ Room

Journalism professor to lead Chicago Reader’s Racial Justice Writers’ Room

Judith McCray mentoring eight journalists, including DePaul alumna

Journalism professor Judith McCray meets with a student in a conference room.
Judith McCray, an adjunct faculty member in the College of Communication, meets with a DePaul student. (DePaul University/Jonathan Aguilar)

Judith McCray, a senior professional in residence in DePaul's journalism program, is coordinating the recently launched Racial Justice Writers' Room, an initiative of the Reader Institute for Community Journalism, which publishes the Chicago Reader.

McCray meets bi-weekly with the cohort of eight early- to mid-career journalists to discuss their projects related to racial justice. One-to-one mentoring and special topic sessions are also provided by other experienced journalists. DePaul's Center for Communication Engagement is providing space and refreshments for meetings.

"Having it at DePaul is a natural extension of the types of courses I teach," says McCray, who teaches social justice reporting, documentary production and media ethics. "Equally as important is the Center for Communication Engagement's support in assisting the development of writers who expose injustices, particularly involving race, and also provide information about current and potential solutions for social change."

The inaugural cohort includes a Double Demon. Cam Rodriguez is a data and graphics reporter at Chalkbeat with both a bachelor's and master's from DePaul's journalism program.

The Racial Justice Writers' Room is a 12-week program that runs through April. A second cohort is planned for fall 2023.

Mary Hansen is a manager of strategic communications in the University Marketing and Communications division.