«Class of 2016

Jenée Desmond-Harris

Jenée Desmond-Harris ('16)

Former staff writer, Vox.com, Washington, D.C.
jenee.desmondharris@stanford.edu, @jdesmondharris

Jenée Desmond-Harris spent her JSK year investigating how journalists who cover stories related to the African-American experience can enrich their work with essential context about race and racial inequality. She worked with Stanford’s experts in African-American studies, psychology and political science to develop a deeper understanding of academic insights that would benefit journalism about race. She attended classes offering insight into the modern media landscape, studied entrepreneurship at the Graduate School of Business, and explored the ways in which human-centered design can help journalists and editors better understand how to tell compelling stories about race in America to their audiences. After conducting a survey of 50 top journalists about their insights, priorities, and challenges when it comes to covering race, she collaborated with JSK fellow Tonya Mosley to present her findings in a workshop for a Bay Area news organization. Post-fellowship, they’ll present the curriculum at conferences, journalism schools, and additional newsrooms.

Journalism Challenge

KQED Workshop

What are the best practices for journalists covering race in America?

How can we enrich journalism about the African-American experience with essential context about race and racial inequality?

Posts by Jenée


What a Stanford sociologist’s research on race can teach journalists

The concept of “racial mobility” can advance and enrich research on race and inequality — and I’m convinced awareness of this concept and others like it could do the same for journalism.

About Jenée

Before becoming a JSK fellow, Jenée Desmond-Harris worked as a staff writer for Vox.com, covering race, law, and politics in news articles, explainers, and features. Previously, she was an editor at The Root, an African American news site, where she served as White House correspondent, authored an advice column answering race and culture-related ethics and etiquette questions, and hosted “The Confab,” a politics and pop culture podcast. A graduate of Harvard Law School, her journalism career began in 2008, when she began freelancing for Time, The Root, and MSNBC while she was still working as an attorney in the antitrust practice of a large law firm.

Information on this page is from the fellowship year.