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Michelle Kanaar

Michelle Kanaar

Adjunct Lecturer

Michelle Kanaar is a photojournalism adjunct lecturer at Medill.

Originally from Miami, Florida, Kanaar is the proud daughter of immigrants. She began her career at The Miami Herald, and has since focused her work on social justice and issues of labor, education and immigration. She has reported on Haitian sugar cane workers in the Dominican Republic who were denied their pensions, the school closure crisis in Puerto Rico and the challenges faced by young African refugees transitioning to life in Chicago. Currently her freelance clients include the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Atlantic and Propublica.

Kanaar is a co-founder, and the art director, for Borderless Magazine, an award-winning nonprofit news outlet that is reimagining immigration journalism for a more just and equitable future. There she has worked on such projects as Asylum City, a year-long look into the stories of asylum seekers in Chicago culminating in a 10-part project that included first person narratives, illustrations, reported pieces, video and a non-fiction comic.

Kanaar is also a co-founder of the Prism Photo Workshop, an annual workshop with the mission of providing resources and support for young photographers of diverse backgrounds to tell the stories of underrepresented people and communities with dignity. She is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.