Journalist’s talk to explore social justice, equity, and public health

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, award-winning journalist/activist, author, and the first black woman to attend the University of Georgia, will be at Yale on Tuesday, Feb. 5, for a tea at Branford College. Her talk is titled “Social Justice, Equity and Public Health.”

The event, which will take place at 4 p.m. in the Branford College common room, 74 High St., is open to the public, and is sponsored by the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism at Yale. John Bradley, associate master of Branford College, and James P. Comer, M.D., founder of the School Development Program, will join Hunter-Gault for a discussion at the tea.

Hunter-Gault will also receive the International Festival of Arts & Ideas’ third annual Visionary Leadership Award. The Visionary Leadership Award honors a leader whose "trailblazing work is impacting the world." The award will be presented during a luncheon in Ms. Hunter-Gault’s honor. The presentation will include an on-stage conversation between Hunter-Gault and Beverly Gage, professor of history at Yale. While in New Haven, Hunter-Gault will also visit Gateway Community College.

In addition to being noted for her professional accomplishments, Hunter-Gault is also known as an important figure in the civil rights movement: in 1961, she was one of the first black students to be admitted to the University of Georgia. Her attorney during this time was Constance Baker Motley, a New Haven native who would later become the first black female to serve as a federal judge.

Hunter-Gault began her 40-year career as a reporter for The New Yorker and went on to be national correspondent for PBS, chief correspondent for CNN, and Johannesburg bureau chief and correspondent for NPR. She is also the author of three books, "To the Mountaintop: My Journey Through the Civil Rights Movement" (2012), "New News Out of Africa: Uncovering the African Renaissance" (2007), and "In My Place, a Memoir of the Civil Rights Movement" (1993), fashioned around her experience as the first black woman to attend the University of Georgia.

Hunter-Gault is currently Africa bureau chief for Essence magazine and is on the board of — and a frequent contributor to — The Root. Her numerous honors include two Emmy awards and two Peabody awards — the first for her work on “Apartheid's People,” a NewsHour series about South African life during apartheid. Over the years, she has been the recipient of numerous other awards and citations from the National Association of Black Journalists, including for her CNN series on Zimabawe. Named the Good Housekeeping Broadcast Personality of the Year, she was also honored by the Sidney Hillman Foundation, American Women in Radio and Television, and Amnesty International for her human rights reporting, especially for her PBS Series, “Rights and Wrongs,” a Human Rights Television magazine. In August 2005, she was inducted in the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame. In 2011, she received the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award.