Social Justice and Journalism class

The University of Central Oklahoma Mass Communications Department will be presenting the first ever, Social Responsibility and Journalism class this spring.

It will be a seminar course held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. For students who are concerned about social distancing, the class will be exclusively through extended classroom online.

The class will be taught by Ayanna NaJuma who was a keynote speaker at UCO’s Fusion and Ethics conference earlier this month.

Mass Communications Chair Mary Carver said she believes that this class will not be a time thing. She foresees students enjoying this class and Dr NaJuma.

Born an Oklahoman, Najuma began her time as an advocate for social justice at the early age of 7 years old. She is to be considered a woman of many talents and a pioneer of her time.

Najuma was one of the original people to stage a sit-in at the Katz Drug Store in Oklahoma City, which was held several years before the North Carolina sit-ins. She also has over 25 years of international experience in communications.

Najuma has worked with clients that range from authors, artists, and entertainers to trade associations, nonprofit organizations and Fortune 500 corporations.

Carver said to credit professor Joe Hight for working with her to form the idea for the class.

“He sent her bio to me and upon reading her background you knew that she was a worthy candidate,” Carver Stated.

NaJumas  background is vast. She is Principal for Lincoln McLeod, a well known public marketing firm, she has  fought for equity and equality on many issues for social justice and change.

In 2019, she was asked to be the opening speaker for the women’s march in Oklahoma. She was also a Mistress of Ceremony For MLK Day celebrating the ringing of the bell and speaking on the significant movement Dr. King had during his time.

With all of her accomplishments, knowledge and wisdom, “she jumped at the offer to teach this class when I offered it to her,” Carver said.

“She was willing to do this and share her wisdom with our students,” Carver said.

Carver speaks to the passion Najuma shows for her appreciation of being able to teach students. Carver says “She has really amazing guest speakers that I know she will bring in for the students.”

Carver also believes that this class can be one to inspire change, even if it’s a small step in the right direction. Najuma said during her panel on the Fusion conference, “the best is right now! Honor It! Embrace It! Live It! If 2020 has taught us anything. Wouldn’t it be exactly that?”

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