Past Forums

The Ifill Forum carries on Gwen Ifill’s legacy as a ground-breaking Black woman journalist by bringing together important national voices for a public conversation on a key question of the day. In addition, the Gwen Ifill Next Generation Award is presented at the event.

Ifill Forum 2019: Media, Race and Democracy

The Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities Hosted the First Annual Ifill Forum on Saturday, October 19, 2019.

Featured Panelists

Yamiche Alcindor

Yamiche Alcindor

Yamiche Alcindor is the White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour and a political contributor for NBC News and MSNBC, often appearing on shows, including Morning Joe, Andrea Mitchell Reports, Hardball, and Meet the Press. Previously, she was a national reporter for The New York Times, covering politics and social issues, and USA Today. Alcindor has reported extensively on the intersection of race and politics. She was named “Emerging Journalist of the Year” in 2013 by the National Association of Black Journalists. Alcindor earned a master's degree in broadcast news and documentary filmmaking from New York University and her bachelor's degree from Georgetown University.

Asma Khalid

Asma Khalid

Asma Khalid is a national political correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR) and co-host of the NPR Politics Podcast. She is a lead campaign reporter at NPR and reported on the intersection of demographics and politics during the 2016 and 2018 elections. She was awarded the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in journalism. Khalid previously worked for Boston's NPR station WBUR where she led a biz/tech team and reported on a range of stories, including the Boston Marathon bombings and the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger. She began her journalism career in her home state of Indiana.

Maya Valentine ꞌ19

Maya Valentine '19

Maya Valentine ꞌ19 is Press Assistant for the U.S. House of Representatives. She graduated from Simmons University in May 2019 with a degree in journalism and a joint degree in public relations and marketing communications. After graduation, Valentine moved to Washington, DC, to pursue a career in political communications. She is interested in the intersection of race and policy, especially within the issue areas of human and civil rights, technology, and the environment.

Judy Woodruff

Judy Woodruff

Broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff is the anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour. She has covered politics and other news for more than four decades at NBC, CNN and PBS. Woodruff joined PBS as chief Washington correspondent for the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour and anchored PBS’s Frontline with Judy Woodruff. She served for 12 years at CNN before returning to NewsHour. In 2013, she and the late Gwen Ifill were named the first two women to co-anchor a national news broadcast. Woodruff is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award and the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism.


Rachel Gans-Boriskin

Rachel Gans-Boriskin is Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Communications in The Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities at Simmons University where she teaches courses in communication theory, media culture, journalism, the sociology of news, public speaking, storytelling, and health communication. Her research has focused on the changing conceptions of objectivity and authority in journalism, journalistic framing and presentation of political information, and political messages in primetime fiction. She has a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University, a master’s degree in media ecology from New York University and a master’s degree in communications from the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania.