Zshekinah Collier is Report for America Corps member covering education at WYPR 88.1 FM in Baltimore. Previously she was a producer for Disrupted, a weekly talk show on Connecticut Public Radio, and before becoming a producer she was the Radio Production and Storytelling Intern. In 2021, as a member of the Ida B Wells Society’s inaugural summer internship program, she joined USA Today’s investigative team and contributed to Capitol Riots coverage and their Title IX investigation. She was also an Editorial Intern at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists through the Emma Bowen Foundation Fellowship. Collier received her B.A in Justice and Law with a minor in Communication from American University in 2020. During her time at AU she was co-editor-in-chief of The Blackprint, a student-run online and print publication covering issues affecting students of color, news, and pop culture. After graduating, she was a freelancer and covered local events in her hometown, New Haven, CT.
Where is your work featured/what organizations are you affiliated with?
In the near future my audio stories will appear on WYPR 88.1 FM, but shows that I’ve contributed as an intern and producer can be found at www.ctpublic.org. My bylines have also appeared in USA Today, ICIJ, New Haven Independent, and New Haven Arts Paper.
Where did you go to school?
I graduated from American University in May 2020 with a BA in Justice and Law and a minor in Communication.
How many years have you been in journalism/related field?
During my freshman year of college, I started writing for The Blackprint at American University, but professionally I’ve been in the field for 2 years.
What are you doing now? (i.e. any projects you’re working on; partnerships; advancements; or noteworthy stories)
I started my position at WYPR earlier this month where I’ll be reporting on education, so I’m currently getting familiar with my beat by learning about the Baltimore City school district and what topics/issues are currently most important to the community and necessary to discuss.
What pushes you to keep doing the work?
The service aspect of journalism and seeing the power and impact of the work in communities throughout my life is what inspires and pushes me to continue being a journalist. Another reason is that I’m in a field where I have the opportunity to do research and learn about people’s lives and experiences every day, which I love!
You can connect with Zhekinah on Twitter at @zshekinahgf