Kathy Roberts Forde, Associate Dean of Equity & Inclusion and Professor of Journalism, is an American journalism historian with research interests in democracy and the public sphere, the Black freedom struggle and the press, the First Amendment, literary journalism, and the history of book and print culture. She has taught undergraduate courses in American journalism history, American media and civil rights history, media law, literary journalism, and information gathering and evaluation. Her graduate courses include seminars in mass communication history and qualitative methods in communication research. 

Her recently released book Journalism & Jim Crow: White Supremacy and the Black Struggle for a New America has received wide acclaim. Co-edited with Sid Bedingfield, the book explores the active role white newspapers publishers and editors played in supporting violent white supremacist political economies and social orders across the South from 1875-1920. The book has received numerous awards, including the AEJMC History Division Book Award and the 2022 American Journalism Historians Association Book Award. Professors Forde and Bedingfield are currently working together as co-editors on a new book series, Journalism and Democracy at the University of Massachusetts Press. 

Through her teaching and research endeavors, Professor Ford actively mentors both undergraduate and graduate students through the process of researching, writing and publishing scholarly books and peer-reviewed journal articles. Most recently, she worked with two undergraduate journalism majors, Sophia Gardner '22 and Brie Bristol '21 on collaborations between the Mississippi press and the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission to maintain white supremacy in the state in the wake of the Brown v. Board decision. Their work resulted in two articles published in The Washington Post (available here and here).

In November 2022, Professor Forde took part in the Democracy Summit as part the opening of the Center for Journalism & Democracy at Howard University. The Center, led by founder Nikole Hannah-Jones, is focused on journalism as activism, as well as promoting the histories and work of the Black press. Professor Forde's panel, "The Call is Coming From Inside the House," focused on the past and present complicity of the mainstream American press in white supremacy.

For more information on Professor Forde, visit her directory profile