MEET THE SPEAKERS

ELISE JORDAN

Political Analyst, MSNBC and NBC
 
Elise Jordan is a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC and a contributor to TIME. She was a policy advisor to Senator Rand Paul’s 2016 presidential campaign. During the Bush administration, Elise worked in the White House Office of Presidential Speechwriting and at the State Department as a speechwriter and advisor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. In 2007, she joined the National Security Council, where she worked on press and communications strategy for the administration’s Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan policies. While at the White House, Elise worked for extended periods at the U.S. Embassy Baghdad and the Commanding General’s Strategic Advisory Group at the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. She was born and raised in Holly Springs, Mississippi, and is a graduate of Yale University. Elise, her husband Mike Hogan, and her Corgi Bobby Sneakers live in New York City.
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RL NAVE

Editor-in-Chief, Mississippi Today

Ryan L. Nave, a native of University City, Mo., oversees the Mississippi Today newsroom and works with the editorial team to make sure we're fulfilling our mission of producing high-quality journalism in the public interest. Ryan has been with Mississippi Today since February 2016 and is an original member of the editorial team. He became news editor August 2016 and editor-in-chief May 2017.

KATRICE HARDY

Executive Editor and Regional Editor for the South, USA Today Network

Katrice Hardy is the Executive Editor of the Greenville News and the South Regional Editor for USA today Network, overseeing news organizations in South Carolina, North Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Virginia. Previously, Katrice worked at the Virginian-Pilot for 20 years where she started as an intern and left as the managing editor. Katrice is a past board member of the Associated Press Media Editors and a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, where she is a former president of the Hampton Roads, Virginia chapter of that organization. She is also an executive board member for the South Carolina Press Association, board member for the News Leaders Association and a recent graduate of Furman University’s Diversity Leadership Institute.

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CURTIS WILKIE

Nationally known journalist and author

Curtis Wilkie, nationally known journalist and author, is the inaugural fellow of the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics. His work as political writer for the Boston Globe has been recognized around the world.  Wilkie is a native of Greenville, Miss., and graduated from Ole Miss in 1963. Wilkie was a reporter and editor at The Clarksdale Press Register from 1963 to 1969, a time when the civil rights movement was at its height. While at The Boston Globe for 25 years, he served as national and foreign correspondent.  He covered seven presidential campaigns for the Globe and served as White House correspondent 1977-82. He established and headed the Globe’s Middle East bureau and lived in Jerusalem from 1984 to 1987. He covered numerous wars and conflict in the Middle East. He is a frequent contributor to national magazines and has written or co-written five books.

 

MORE SPEAKERS

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Ko Bragg

Ko Bragg is a Mississippi-based reporter currently working at FRONTLINE as the lead reporter on an upcoming interactive documentary project examining civil rights cold cases.  Most recently, she served as an investigative fellow at Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting where just she published a radio and print investigation that showed overt racial bias in how kids are sentenced as adults in Mississippi, providing the first-ever data analysis of this trend. 

 

After graduating from Columbia Journalism School and Sciences Po École de Journalisme in Paris, she has been covering criminal justice issues in Mississippi — winning eight awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, mainly for her coverage of officer-involved shootings and kids charged as adults at the Jackson Free Press. Her work has also appeared in Scalawag Magazine and The Appeal. This summer, she was selected as one of 12 journalists to participate in the Data Institute 2019, a rigorous, intensive workshop by the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica. 

Ko is also a mentor with the Freedomways Reporting Project, a fellowship program from Press On that equips storytellers and community activists in the South to do journalism that advances justice.

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Scott Stantis

Whether skewering warring politicians, bemoaning hapless sports teams, or throwing darts at the absurdities of pop culture, Scott Stantis has a keen eye for the hilarious and has no fear when taking a stand on a controversial issue. The editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune since 2009, Stantis uses deft, complex caricatures to add the perfect amount of visual zing to his take on key domestic and international issues.

Jennifer Welch

Jennifer Welch (Producing Artistic Director) is the founder and creator of StoryWorks, a groundbreaking documentary theater project that transforms investigative journalism into theater. Since launching the project in 2013, Welch has developed 12 new plays with Reveal and The Center for Investigative Reporting, HuffPost, The Kansas City Star, NJTV, KCPT, The Arizona Daily Star and Mississippi Today. She is also a contributing producer for “Reveal,” the Peabody Award-winning public radio show and podcast from CIR and PRX. Welch is a 2017 recipient of the Midwest Innocence Project’s Sean O’Brien Freedom Award for bringing the story of Bryan Sheppard, who was unjustly imprisoned for 22 years, to a national audience. She is based in San Francisco, California.

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Aallyah Wright

Aallyah Wright is a native of Clarksdale and a Mississippi Delta reporter covering education and local government. She is also a guest radio host for WROX Radio (97.5 FM) and was a playwright/reporter for "Beautiful Agitators," a 2017 project by StoryWorks/Reveal Labs from the Center for Investigative Reporting in partnership with Mississippi Today. In 2018, Aallyah earned a fellowship with Hechinger Report to report on Mississippi’s teacher shortage and its effects. Her reporting with the Mississippi Today Education Team for "Behind the Headlines:Cleveland Central" received third-place at the 68th Annual Green Eyeshade Awards. Her work has appeared in The Hechinger Report, The Daily Journal and Delta Magazine. She is a Community Advisory Board Member for Aspen Youth Leaders Fellowship Delta and a board member for Lower Mississippi River Foundation.

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George Flaggs, Jr.

George Flaggs, Jr. is in his second term as mayor of the City of Vicksburg, Mississippi. He is also on the executive committee of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, a coalition of mayors that promotes promoting economic and environmental security and stability along the Mississippi River Corridor. Prior to becoming mayor, Flaggs represented his legislative district in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1988 until 2013.

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Anna Wolfe

Anna Wolfe, a native of Tacoma, Wa., is an investigative reporter specifically reporting on poverty and economic justice and the intersection between beats.Before joining the staff at Mississippi Today September 2018, Anna worked for three years at Clarion Ledger covering city, county and state government, politics and health care. She also worked as an investigative reporter for the Center for Public Integrity and Jackson Free Press.

She has received numerous awards and recognition for her work, including the Bill Minor Prize for Investigative Journalism June 2019 and June 2018; first place for in-depth investigative reporting from the Mississippi Press Association, June 2019 and June 2018; and being named a finalist for the Food Sustainability Media Award in Written Journalism, October 2018.

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Adam Ganucheau

Adam Ganucheau has covered politics and state government for Mississippi Today since February 2016. A native of Hazlehurst, Adam has worked as a staff reporter for AL.com, The Birmingham News and The Clarion-Ledger and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Adam earned his bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Mississippi and was a 2016 finalist for the Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) Breaking News Investigations.

He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters & Editors and Leadership Greater Jackson.

Jon Bernson

Jon Bernson is a playwright, musician and interdisciplinary artist from San Francisco. He is a former artist-in-residence at the de Young Museum and member of the Resident Playwrights Initiative at Playwrights Foundation. He has written four plays for StoryWorks, each based on extensively researched investigations: A Guide to the Aftermath (2013), North by Inferno (2015), Overnighters is Over (2016), and When Lighting The Voids (2018-19).Recent art installations include Sound Affects, a large-scale multimedia collaboration at the Sonos Studio in Los Angeles and Beautification Machine, his sound-sculpture with Andy Diaz Hope, which was collected by the Nevada Museum of Art and Third Eye Moonwalk, an interdisciplinary work that has been exhibited at Minnesota Street Project and Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco.

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WJTV Jackson

Jerry Mitchell

The stories of investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell have helped lead to convictions of Klansmen guilty some of the nation’s most notorious crimes — the 1963 assassination of Mississippi NAACP Medgar Evers, the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham church that killed four girls and the 1964 slayings of three civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andy Goodman and Mickey Schwerner. His work also led to the 2016 conviction of Felix Vail — the oldest conviction in a serial killer case in U.S. history. For more than thirty years, his stories have exposed injustices, corruption, and abuse of power. His work has prompted prosecutions, spurred reforms of state agencies, and led to firings of state board officials.

A winner of a $500,000 MacArthur “genius” grant and more than 30 other national awards, including being named a Pulitzer Prize finalist, his memoir about his pursuit of civil rights cold cases, Race Against Time, for Simon & Schuster, is expected to be released in 2020.

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Lyndsey Gilpin

Lyndsey Gilpin is the founder and editor-in-chief of Southerly, an independent media organization about ecology, justice, and culture in the American South.

 

Born and raised in Kentucky and now based in Durham, North Carolina, I am a reporter and editor who has covered climate change, energy, environmental justice all over the U.S. Her work has appeared in Harper's, Vice, The Daily Beast, CityLab, Undark, High Country News, Columbia Journalism Review, FiveThirtyEight, The Washington Post, Hakai, The Atlantic, Grist, Outside, and InsideClimate News. She earned a master's degree from Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. 

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Larrison Campbell

Larrison Campbell is a Greenville native who reports on politics with an emphasis on public health. She received a bachelor’s from Wesleyan University and a master’s from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Before becoming a journalist, Larrison worked on television shows for CBS, ABC, TBS and FX. She joined the Mississippi Today reporting team March 2016, a week before the site’s official launch.

She is a 2018 National Press Foundation fellow in public health and a 2019 Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts fellow in health care reporting. She is also a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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Eric Shelton

Eric J. Shelton is a 2018 corps member in Report for America, a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms, and joined the team as our first photojournalist. A native of Columbia, Eric earned his bachelor’s in photojournalism from the University of Southern Mississippi. He has worked as a staff photographer for the Natchez Democrat and Texarkana Gazette after serving as photojournalism intern for the Associated Press. He was a multimedia journalist for Abilene Reporter-News, chief photographer for the  Hattiesburg American and photo editor for the Killeen Daily Herald before joining our team June 2018.

Eric’s photojournalism has won awards from the Mississippi Associated Press Managing Editors and the Arkansas Press Photographers Association.

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Marshall Ramsey

Marshall Ramsey, a nationally recognized editorial cartoonist, shares his cartoons and travels the state as Mississippi Today’s Editor-At-Large. Marshall can often be found in communities across Mississippi, promoting public conversations about the news and inspiring audiences to engage in civic life. He’s also host of a weekly statewide radio program and a television program on Mississippi Public Broadcasting and is the author of several books. His cartoons have appeared in the Clarion Ledger, where he worked for 22 years, as well as USA Today, CNN, Fox News, The Today Show, The New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek Magazine and 300 newspapers around the United States. He is a two-time Pulitzer Finalist.

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Desare Frazier

Desare C. Frazier is a native of Springfield, Massachusetts. She graduated from Syracuse University in New York with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and has an M.A. in Political Communication from the University of Albany in New York.

She is the Senior Legislative and Kaiser-NPR Fellow for health news reporting with Mississippi Public Broadcasting in Jackson. She joined MPB News in 2015.  Her news reports and in-depth radio features have won more than 15 awards.

Frazier’s broadcast journalism career spans some 30 years. She worked as an anchor-reporter at WAPT-TV in Jackson from 2001 to 2008, where she earned an EMMY for Hurricane Katrina coverage in 2005 and garnered numerous Associated Press and Jackson Association of Black Journalist Awards. Her stints in broadcasting include working as an anchor reporter and as a radio announcer and engineer. She's also produced and hosted live call-in radio talk shows. Frazier took a break from broadcasting in 2009 to work as executive director of communications for a company that operates Job Corps centers nationwide. She’s also served as an adjunct communications professor at several universities, including Belhaven University in Jackson.

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Heather McTeer Toney

Heather McTeer Toney served as the first African-American, first female and youngest mayor of Greenville, MS. In 2014, she was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as Regional Administrator for Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Southeast Region. She is now the national field director for Moms Clean Air Force, which unites parents around the country against air pollution.

Brett Kittredge

Brett Kittredge is the Director of Marketing and Communications with Mississippi Center for Public Policy. In this role, Brett oversees all media relations and marketing and communications needs for the office.

In 2016, Brett was a contributor to Promoting Prosperity in Mississippi, which was published by the Institute for Market Studies at Mississippi State University.

Prior to MCPP, Brett was the Director of Communications for Empower Mississippi. He has also served in similar roles for the Mississippi Republican Party and the Office of the State Auditor.

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