College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

PBS Producer Joins Overby Panel to Examine Images of Minority Women in the Media

Images of minority women in the media – ranging from rapper Nicki Minaj to Olympian Gabby Douglas to first lady Michelle Obama – are the focus of the next program at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi.

The discussion will examine how images of minority women in the media change – and also stay the same and become part of our culture. Set for 11 a.m. Wednesday (Sept. 5) in the Overby Center Auditorium, the program is free and open to the public.

Imani Cheers, an award-winning journalist and scholar, joins Ole Miss faculty members Deirdre Cooper Owens and Kirk Johnson in the program, which also will include a look at reality-based TV shows that feature African-American casts. Cheers is director of educational resources and a multimedia producer at “PBS NewsHour.”

Cooper Owens, an assistant professor of history, teaches about slavery, race, gender and the history of medicine. Before coming to Ole Miss, she was a Carter G. Woodson postdoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia.

Johnson, an associate professor of African-American studies, has conducted research about news images of African-Americans. He was senior researcher for the Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years.” His analysis of news images of African-Americans in Boston was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in affirming the need to make operating licenses available to minority broadcasters.

Mark K. Dolan, UM associate professor of journalism who teaches and writes about the black press, will serve as moderator.

“This is an exciting opportunity for all of us to learn more about an always timely issue,” said Susan Grayzel, interim director of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies, which is co-sponsoring the program. “We are delighted to partner with the School of Journalism in bringing Dr. Cheers to our campus to join with our own distinguished faculty in helping us to think about the representations of race and gender in our culture.”

For more information or for assistance related to a disability, contact Dawn Jeter at 662-915-1692. For more information on programs at the Overby Center, go to