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Ava Greenwell

Ava Thompson Greenwell


Ava Thompson Greenwell teaches video journalism courses and has served as associate dean and department chair. She is the co-director of Medill’s South Africa Journalism Residency Program and is currently in production on “Mission Possible, Chicago’s Free South Africa Movement,” a historical documentary. Her research interests focus on the intersection of race, gender and journalism.  She worked as a reporter at WFLA-TV, Tampa, FL; WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, MN; WEHT-TV in Evansville, IN and as a freelance correspondent at WTTW-TV and WGN-TV in Chicago.


“Unseen, Yet Heard: Invisible Power and Gendered Racism Among Black Women Television News Managers in the U.S.”

Authored Works

  • "I Never Felt Any Cold Feet: How Age Gender and Family Background Shaped the Sit-in Movement in Henderson, Kentucky,” Souls, a critical journal of black politics, culture and society, Vol. 15, Issue No. 1-2, July 2013. (Peer Reviewed)
  • “Twentieth-Century Ideology Meets Twenty-First-Century Technology: Black News Websites and Racial Uplift,” Fire!!!: The Multimedia Journal of Black Studies 1, no. 2 (2012): 111-138. (Peer Reviewed)


  • “Telling Stories of Victims in Indiana Serial Killings,” October 27, 2014, Chicago Reporter 
  • “Women in Power: Hypervisible, Yet Unseen, March 4, 2014, CNN
  • “Power to the People: Hair Texture and Gender Matter to TV News Audiences,” December 28, 2012, Huffington Post
  • “Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin and the ‘Threatening’ Black Male,” December 8, 2012, Huffington Post 
  • “Teaching Our Children to Tell and Talk Can Help Heal,” November 26, 2012
  • “Helpless as my son, 13, was profiled and cuffed,” September 19, 2012, CNN
  • “What’s Missing From Television Coverage of Missing Persons?”January 20, 2012, Huffington Post
  • “Troy Davis Execution, Suppression of Race Discussion?” September 23, 2011

Awards And Honors

  • 2016 Kartemquin Diverse Voices in Doc. Fellow
  • 2014 Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy Fellow
  • 2007 Associated Student Government Faculty Honor Roll
  • 2006 Educator in the Newsroom Fellowship
  • 2001 McCormick Distinguished Clinical Professor Award