ABOUT MISSISSIPPI FREE PRESS

Deep, Public-Interest Reporting to Inspire Solutions for Mississippi’s Challenges

The mission of the Mississippi Free Press, a new nonprofit journalism website and multimedia network that launched in March 2020, is to publish deep public-interest reporting into causes of and solutions to the social, political and structural challenges facing all Mississippians and their communities. Mississippians need to know each other across regions and share our challenges and solutions despite geographic and other differences. We are introducing Mississippians to each other through our deep accountability reporting and compelling people-focused storytelling, and by convening online and physical “solutions circles,” using our statewide networks to ensure inclusivity and representation.

EXECUTIVE TEAM

FOUNDERS
Donna Ladd
donna@mississippifreepress.com

Kimberly Griffin
kimberly@mississippifreepress.com

DIRECTOR OF GIVING
Cristen Hemmins
cristen@mississippifreepress.com

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
Azia Wiggins
azia@mississippifreepress.com

EDITORIAL AND DESIGN

SENIOR REPORTER
Ashton Pittman
ashton@mississippifreepress.com

CULTURE REPORTER
Aliyah Veal
aliyah@mississippifreepress.com

CONTRIBUTING REPORTERS
Clay B. Morris
Christian Middleton
Mauricio J. Quijano
Ryan Oehrli

REPORTING FELLOW
John McGee

WRITERS
Chera Sherman-Breland

Dr. Emmitt Y. Riley III
Dr. Joseph Martin Stevenson
Jamar Muhammad
Dr. Karla McCullough
Kenneth Thomas, M.D.
Kevin John Fong
Maisie Brown
Ray Mabus
Reena Evers-Everette
Roger Amos
Sherry Lucas
Susan Glisson

DATA/INFOGRAPHICS
William Pittman

DESIGNERS
Kristin Brenemen
Zilpha Young

PHOTOGRAPHERS
Acacia Clark
Drew Dempsey
Ashton Pittman
Kate Medley
David Rae Morris
Delreco Harris

COPY EDITORS
Amber Helsel
Charles Corder

 

MFP BOARD OF DIRECTORS

View Board bios, photos here

Pam Johnson, Chair 
Author and Consultant

Judy Meredith, Vice Chair
Journalism Professor and Filmmaker

Nancy Anne Branton, Secretary
Vice President, Investments
The Branton Schaffhauser Wealth Management Group

Deborah Stockman Hodges, Treasurer
CPA, Quality Control Partner, Prichard, Dewberry & Hodges

Charles Tucker, Dialogue Co-chair
Race-Equity Expert and Partner, Sustainable Equity

Wendy Shenefelt, Dialogue Co-chair
Director of Cultural Organizing, Alternate Roots

Heather McTeer Toney, Director
Mayor of Greenville, Miss., 2004-2012; EPA Regional Administrator
National Field Director, Moms Clean Air Force

Kate McNeel, Director
Director of Marketing Strategy, SAP SuccessFactors

Vicki Slater, Director
Attorney

MFP ADVISORY BOARD

View Advisory Board bios, photos here

Albert Sykes
Executive Director, Institute for Democratic Education in America

A’lelia Bundles
Author and Media Expert

Angie Thomas
Novelist, Filmmaker

Amy Haimerl
Journalist, Author, Michigan State University journalism professor

Arielle Hudson
Student, Rhodes Scholar, Civic Engagement Advocate

Ayesha K. Mustafaa
Journalist; Professor, Tougaloo College

Bridget Smith Pieschel
Emerita Professor of English & Women’s Studies, Mississippi University for  Women

Connie Moran
Mayor of Ocean Springs, Miss., 2005-2017; Economist

Debo Dykes
Theologian, Education Expert

Ellen Ann Fentress
Journalist, Filmmaker, Teacher
Creator and editor, “Academy Stories”

Emily Maw
Criminal Justice Expert, Innocence Attorney

Emmitt Y. Riley III
Professor, Africana Studies and Political Science,
DePauw University

Genesis Be
Hip-hop Artist, Facilitator of Civil Discourse

Dr. Geraldine Kearse Brookins
Expert, Philanthropy, Higher Education, Management

Jennifer “Bingo” Gunter
Executive Director, 
South Carolina Collaboration on Race and Reconciliation

Joe Atkins
Journalism Professor, University of Mississippi

Karla McCullough
Executive Director, Juanita Sims Doty Foundation

Karla Vázquez
Immigration Legal Specialist

Kevin John Fong
Leadership Expert, Dialogue Facilitator

Keith A. Beauchamp
Filmmaker

Maisie Brown
College Student, Education Advocate

Mary Blessey
Filmmaker, Advocate for Justice

Nader Dabit
Software Engineer; Founder, CodeSouth Labs

Natalie Irby
Filmmaker

Okolo Rashid
Co-founder, International Museum of Muslim Cultures

Pete Smith
Communications Professor, Mississippi State University

Randall Pinkston
Former White House Correspondent, Investigative Journalist

R.J. Morgan
Executive Director, Mississippi Scholastic Press Association

Reena Evers-Everette
Executive Director, Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute

Robert Luckett Jr.
Professor and Executive Director
Margaret Walker Alexander Center, Jackson State University

Roberta Avila
Racial Healer, Coach

Stephanie Dreher
Engineer and Project Manager, City of New Orleans

Stuart Stevens
Author, Lead Strategist, Media Consultant

Vernon Hartley
Businessman, Environmentalist

Willie Jones

Businesswoman, Community & Workforce Development, Women for Progress

 

Note: The MFP plans to hire additional staff throughout 2020, including reporters and editors.

Please send confidential inquiries to donna@mississippifreepress.com or kimberly@mississippifreepress.co