Wendi C. Thomas, Editor & Publisher: Wendi C. Thomas founded MLK50: Justice Through Journalism in 2017 as a one-year project that grew into a nonprofit newsroom that focuses on poverty, power and public policy in Memphis. She is a member of ProPublica’s 2020 Local Reporting Network and was in its 2019 LRN cohort.
Previously, Thomas was metro columnist and assistant managing editor at The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal. She has also worked for The Charlotte Observer, The (Nashville) Tennessean and The Indianapolis Star. Thomas was a 2016 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.
Thomas is the 2020 Selden Ring Award winner for investigative reporting and won first place in the Association of Health Care Journalists’ 2019 awards for business reporting. Her “Profiting from the Poor” investigation tied for first place in the Investigative Reporters & Editors 2019 awards in the print/online division 1.
In 2019, Thomas received the National Association of Black Journalists’ Best Practices award. In 2018, she was named Journalist of the Year by Journalism and Women Symposium. She was inducted into the Scripps Hall of Fame for commentary in 2008. She’s a graduate of Butler University and a proud product of public schools.
Adrienne Johnson Martin, Executive Editor:
Adrienne Johnson Martin is the first executive editor for MLK50: Justice Through Journalism. She is the former managing editor of Duke Magazine, Duke University’s alumni publication. Martin spent five years as a copy editor and writer at the Los Angeles Times, where she was part of the 1994 Pulitzer Prize-winning team for spot news for coverage of the Northridge earthquake. She joined The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1997, covering radio, television and film — winning an American Association of Sunday and Feature Writers prize — before becoming the associate features editor.
A Bronx, N.Y. native, she is a graduate of Syracuse University and earned her masters in journalism at Columbia University.
Adrienne lives with her husband Dietrich and her son Gavin in a house with a red door. A good cookie makes her happy. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrea Morales, Visuals Director: Andrea Morales, visuals director, is Peruvian-born, Miami-bred and Memphis-based: After years of existing in spaces heavy with the constructs of socioeconomic binaries, her work moves with the hope of observing the things in between.
A decade in community newspapers taught Morales to value both the ceremonial and the mundane while a graduate education in visual storytelling at Ohio University helped her think about giving that life off the printed page.
Stephanie Wilson, Digital Editor: Stephanie Wilson, digital editor, has been working in journalism for 20 years. She spent 14 years working at The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal covering a variety of roles, most recently as senior producer of digital content. She also spent a number of years as a community editor, copy editor, assistant night news editor, and team editor for crime, courts and general assignments.
Wilson was born in Ohio and spent her early years living all over the United States as her father pursued his career in commercial construction. She is a graduate of the University of Memphis with a degree in journalism.
When she’s not working, and sometimes while she is, Wilson spends her time trying to keep up with her young daughter and her Corgi, Jax. She also enjoys reading, crocheting, and trying out new recipes. Email her at email@example.com.
He is a Report for America corps member. Prior to joining the nonprofit news organization, he was the lead reporter for the Memphis Business Journal. His best stories there included an investigation into a low-income housing program and an in-depth look at why so few commercial realtors are Black.
Steimer and his wife, Caroline Bauman, have fallen in love with Memphis in their five years here. They are proud residents of Vollintine-Evergreen and attendees of Downtown Church; you’ll be able to find them frequenting Alex’s Tavern, Cozy Corner BBQ, and various breweries.
Brittany Brown, Reporter: Brittany covers workers and labor.
A Report for America corps member, Brown joins MLK50 from her home state of Mississippi.
She has worked as a reporter with NPR’s Gulf States Newsroom, covering criminal justice issues across Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. She also worked at Mississippi Today, where she was the inaugural Emerging Reporters Fellow covering the state’s criminal justice system through the lenses of racial justice and equity.
Brown studied journalism at the University of Mississippi, where she worked diligently in student media publications as an editor and reporter before graduating in 2019. She’s also reported across the country, in Puerto Rico, with the Baltimore Sun and with Carnegie-Knight News21.
Brown is excited to be with MLK50 and explore all things Memphis.
Andrea Faye Hart, Operations and Organizational Development Specialist: Andrea Faye Hart is an award-winning media-based organizer and interdisciplinary educator who co-founded the Chicago-based civic journalism lab City Bureau. She is currently supporting MLK50 as a part-time organizational development consultant. She is invested in helping local news nonprofits push for good trouble across the country and in bringing her Chicago approach to organizing further south while pursuing a master’s of divinity at Vanderbilt University as a Dean’s Scholar.
Hart also serves as the Board Co-Chair for Scalawag, a journalism and storytelling nonprofit that pursues justice and liberation while standing in solidarity with marginalized people and communities in the American South.
In 2019 she was honored as a catalyst by Northwestern University for their “150 Years of Women” celebration. She’s a proud queer femme dog mama to a pitbull named Studs (as in Terkel) and shares her ramblings on Twitter at @lenifaye. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.