Celebrated Women

Joshunda Sanders '96 - Humanitarian and Global Service

Joshunda Sanders ’96 is an author, journalist, and educator. Equity and justice frame her work, and her focus is amplifying the voices of those who have been and are still marginalized. She has a drive to present people of color with opportunities to share their voice and story, and calls attention to film, television, journalism, and publishing as four key platforms where people of privilege could shape change by simply yielding the floor to an equally deserving marginalized person.

Her work has appeared in Oprah Daily, TIME Magazine, Poets & Writers, The New York Times, Oxford American, and many other publications. She writes a monthly newsletter about her writing life and books. She is the creator and host of a BookTube channel, Black Book Stacks, along with a companion Substack newsletter of the same name.

Joshunda has been the recipient of writing residencies, fellowships, and awards from the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, Lambda Literary, Bronx Council on the Arts, Hedgebrook, Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation, and the Key West Literary Seminars. In 2018, she was awarded the competitive Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) Award for excellence in fiction. She has been a speaker at Princeton, JusticeWorks, NYCPride’s Human Rights Conference, South by Southwest Interactive, Bard, Old Dominion University, and Emma Willard School. She has taught writing and journalism at the University of Texas Austin and The New School. She currently teaches writing at Lehman College and is a lead instructor of a writing course for teenagers as part of the faculty at The School of the New York Times. In her TEDCity2.0 talk from 2014, Joshunda tells the powerful and poignant story of her mother's mental illness which has been a catalyst for her own life’s work.  

In Summer 2019, her first book in a children’s book series, I Can Write The World, featuring Ava Murray, a Black girl journalist from the Bronx, was published by Six Foot Press. The next book in the series, A Place of Our Own, is scheduled for publication in 2021. Her previous publications include How Racism and Sexism Killed Traditional Media: Why the Future of Journalism Depends on Women and People of Color and a memoir, The Beautiful Darkness: A Handbook for Orphans.

For her sustained efforts to bring equity and justice to the world through the voices of those who have been marginalized, the Emma Willard community proudly bestows on author, journalist, and educator Joshunda Sanders ’96 the 2021 Humanitarian and Global Service Award.
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