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Imani M. Cheers Faculty Member

Dr. Imani M. Cheers is an award-winning digital storyteller, director, producer and filmmaker. As a professor-of –practice, Dr. Cheers uses a variety of mediums including video, photography, television and film to document and discuss issues impacting and involving people of the African Diaspora. Currently she is working on a virtual reality documentary film about agricultural apartheid, specifically land and water rights in South Africa, Namibia and Palestine. She was recently awarded a 2019-22 CCAS Dean’s Research Chair; the SMPA Char Beal’s research award; 2018-19 University of Maryland Digital Humanities Scholar award and a grant from the GW Institute of Middle Eastern Studies totaling $9500 in scholarly travel for this research. Dr. Cheers is passionate about mentoring and advising both undergraduate and graduate students. In the fall of 2018 founded “Mentor Moments: Conversations with Dr. Cheers” a biweekly mentoring and networking group for students, faculty and staff who identify as black women. In partnership with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Cheers was awarded $10,000 from the Luther Rice Society Advisory Council to continue and expand her mentoring program for the 2019-2020 academic year. Traditionally, she focused on the intersection of women/girls, technology, health, conflict, agriculture and the effects of climate change in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Cheers is an expert on diversity in Hollywood, specifically the representation of Black women in television and film. Her book Mammies, Matriarchs and Mistress: The Evolution of Black Women in Television is forthcoming from Routledge/Taylor & Francis in the fall of 2017. Dr. Cheers is the co-creator and Managing Editor of Newsroom U an innovative, immersive multimedia journalism initiative for high school and college students. She successfully fundraised $17,000 for the inaugural program and co-led a similar program, "Harlem Re-imagined" in October 2018. That project brought together university and college students from GWU, San Jose State University and two New York high schools for 5 days of multimedia reporting in Harlem, NY. Before joining SMPA, Dr. Cheers was director of educational resources and a multimedia producer for the PBS NewsHour, a producer/writer at Howard University Television and a multimedia producer at Newsweek.com. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, DAWN (Diaspora African Women's Network) and a 2013 New Media Fellow with the International Reporting Project. Dr. Cheers is also a regular contributor for CGTN America and CTN Canada offering insight into American race relations and popular culture.

Research Areas

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