FAMU alumna’s research focuses on racial equity and justice issues for Black students, faculty at UF

Yewande O. Addie is a doctoral student in the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications.
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By Andrew J. Skerritt
FAMU Office of Communications

FAMU journalism graduate Yewande O. Addie is making issues of racial equity and justice in academia a key element of her research. 

Addie, a doctoral student in the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, and Bernell Tripp, an associate professor of journalism at UF, are recipients of a Research 2020: Advancing Racial Justice Through Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access at the University of Florida grant. 

Their research proposal, “The Recruitment and Retention of Black Faculty at UF,” is one of 14 chosen from 45 applications to receive funding from the UF Racial Justice Research Fund, a $400,000 commitment by UF to support research and scholarship that will inform understanding of the Black experience, racial justice, diversity, equity and inclusion on campus and beyond. 

Addie, a 2009 School of Journalism & Graphic Communication graduate, said her undergraduate experience informs her work.

“I’m a product of FAMU’s ‘Excellence with Caring’, so I recognize the special, nurturing relationship that can exist between Black faculty members and Black students,” said Addie, who is scheduled to earn her Ph.D., this summer. “I also understand that part of that magic requires an inviting, supportive environment. This is what prompted me to investigate student and faculty experiences; to see if there are any patterns and ways where we can work to fill any gaps as a community.”  

The grant includes $60,000 in funding for one-year. Tripp will serve as one of the co-investigators and Addie will coordinate faculty-student discussions. 

Addie also is a co-principal investigator on a grant about Black student experiences titled “Black Students Sharing Stories for an Equitable UF.”  The project, which also received $60,000 in funding, will gather, analyze and archive the personal narratives of a cross-section of Black students at UF to better understand opportunities and impediments to educational attainment and campus representation. 

“These projects were most certainly informed by my time working in student media at The FAMUan and Journey Magazine,” said Addie, who served as editor-in-chief for both FAMU student publications before graduating in 2009. “That training ground helped cultivate my understanding of how powerful stories can be. I’m looking forward to hosting a virtual space for these stories to live and analyzing them for research insights.” 

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