ichardson trains youth to use only smartphones, MP3 players and tablets to report news. She calls her students mobile journalists, or MOJOs. This year, Harvard University selected her for its prestigious Nieman Foundation Journalism Fellowship. The University selects five journalists annually to live as scholars in residence on campus, working on a project that advances the industry. Richardson is coding an online video tutorial platform that will teach people around the world how to become MOJOs.
At age 25, Richardson joined the faculty of Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. She served as coordinator of its journalism program, and launched and directed the Morgan MOJO Lab in 2010. Under her leadership, Morgan State became the first and only historically black college in the country to offer mobile journalism courses.
By April 2011, Richardson was vetting invitations to expand her MOJO Lab project globally. She traveled to South Africa to teach HIV-positive girls how to report news using only an iPod Touch. In the wake of the Arab Spring revolts, Richardson was invited to Morocco to train Muslim women to become MOJOs too.
The National Association of Black Journalists said Richardson empowered her students around the globe “to speak truth to power using new media.” In spring 2012, NABJ recognized her as its Journalism Educator of the Year for her international work. In 2013, Apple, Inc. inducted Richardson into its elite Distinguished Educator program for her innovative uses of its products.In 2013, Apple, Inc. inducted Richardson into its elite Distinguished Educator program for her innovative uses of its products in journalism.
Richardson has given lectures on mobile journalism in more than 40 cities around the world. She has appeared recently at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, Online EDUCA Berlin and many colleges, universities, libraries and United States embassies.
Richardson is the founder of MOJO MediaWorks. Her firm designs mobile journalism workshops for youth, educators and working journalists. Her clients include The Washington Post, PBS, Black Girls Code, GlobalGirl Media, Journalism Educators Association, and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Black Enterprise has called Richardson’s fast-growing company a “feel-good tech firm on the rise.”
Richardson’s writing has appeared in Oprah Magazine, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, JET Magazine, Baltimore Sun.com, the Miami Herald and the Chicago Tribune. She earned the Weinstein-Luby Outstanding Young Journalist Award in 2002, and the Freedom Forum’s Chips Quinn Scholars award that same year.
Richardson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Xavier University of Louisiana and a Master of Science degree in Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School. She will begin her doctoral studies at the University of Maryland College Park’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism in Fall 2014.
She is a mobile media professor at Bowie State University. She lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. with her husband, daughter and pet Rottweiler. The couple is expecting a second child, a son, in June.