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Ronald O. Howell
Location: 4161 Boylan Hall
Phone: 718.951.5000 x3663
Ronald Howell has spent three decades as a working journalist, including several years as a foreign correspondent covering Latin America and the Caribbean as well as a stint covering the Middle East in 1991. He has been a full-time journalist with Newsday, The New York Daily News, Ebony, The Baltimore Evening Sun, ABCNews.com and The Associated Press. For several years he was the editor of CUNY Matters, a 40,000-circulation publication for faculty and staff of the City University of New York. He has taught at Brooklyn College (beginning in fall 2009), Long Island University - Brooklyn, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Medgar Evers College. Howell speaks Spanish and French, and he understands Haitian Creole fairly well. In 2000 he published a book about working, One Hundred Jobs: A Panorama of Work in the American City, with The New Press.
M.S., Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism - 1975 (Journalism)
B.A., Yale College - 1970 (History)
Areas of Expertise:
Howell is a print reporter with a love for multimedia journalism, using video clips with Web stories. He is writing a book, Boss of Black Brooklyn: The Life and Times of Bertram L. Baker, about a Caribbean immigrant who in 1948 was elected to the State Assembly, becoming the first black elected official in Brooklyn. Over the past three years Howell has been publishing articles about gentrification and the plight of young black and Latino males.
Books and Publications
"Anger, fear and the city's 'thugs,'" The New York Daily News, Jan. 10.
(Books and Publications: Other Article) 2016
"Brother to brother: A letter to Barack Obama telling him 'What Cuba Can Teach America About Race.'" The Daily Beast Website, March 21.
(Books and Publications: Other Article) 2016
"Is this how black Bed-Stuy dies? A lifelong resident laments, and fights, the gentrification tide," The New York Daily News, March 13.
(Books and Publications: Other Article) 2016
"Journalist Marta Rojas: an unrecognized witness to Cuban history," The Miami Herald, pg. 17. March 20.
The article is about an octogenarian Cuban novelist/journalist, who Howell maintains is one of the most insightful, and overlooked, intellectuals of the Americas.
(Books and Publications: Other Article) 2016
"Catholicism, Francis, NYC & me: Reflections on race and a changing city," The New York Daily News, Sept. 23.
(Books and Publications: Other Article) 2015
"The wars my father fought: My dad, scarred by military segregation, struggled with the responsibilities of family," The New York Daily News, Nov. 11 (Veterans Day)
(Books and Publications: Chapter) 2015
"Ahmed Obafemi Recalls 1983 Meeting With Rev. Al Sharpton and His Bugged Briefcase." New York Daily News, front page, April 13. (Books and Publications: Other Article) 2014
"Finding Our Fathers," a two-page feature spread with personal stories highlighting the critical need for a recognition of the importance of fatherhood in the black community in America. New York Daily News, July 27. (Books and Publications: Other Article) 2014
"Garner Case: Worse than Ferguson. Andrew Cuomo Should Have Named a Special Prosecutor as His Father Did" op-ed. New York Daily News, Dec. 3. The article unfavorably compares current Governor Cuomo with his father, former Governor Mario Cuomo, who appointed a special prosecutor during a critical and racially tense episode three decades previously. (Books and Publications: Other Article) 2014
"Goodbye, My Bed-Stuy" two-page op-ed spread. New York Daily News, Oct. 19. The article shows that time, via gentrification, is doing what "Power Broker" Robert Moses tried and failed to do in mid-20th century. (Books and Publications: Other Article) 2014
"If Black Men Have No Future, Neither Does America." QZ (Quartz, the ideas publication of the Atlantic Media Company), Aug. 20. (Books and Publications: Other Article) 2014
"The Media Need Al Sharpton More Than Black America Does." QZ (Quartz, the ideas publication of the Atlantic Media Company), Aug. 26. (Books and Publications: Other Article) 2014
"There Are Lessons for the U.S. in Jean-Claude Duvalier's Death." QZ (Quartz, the ideas publication of the Atlantic Media Company), Oct. 5. (Books and Publications: Other Article) 2014
"We Need to Hear the Stories of These 382 New Yorkers Killed by Heroin, Too." QZ (Quartz, the ideas publication of the Atlantic Media Company), Feb. 6. (Books and Publications: Other Article) 2014
"The Brown Girl of Bed-Stuy's Brownstones." The Brooklyn Rail, December 2012-January 2013. The article explores the writings and significance to central Brooklyn of Paule Marshall '53, author of the classic coming-of-age novel Brown Girl, Brownstones. (Books and Publications: Peer Reviewed Article) 2013
"Brooklyn's Congressional Battle Heats Up." The New York Amsterdam News. Article portrayed the contest between Hakeem Jeffries and Charles Barron as one of the most significant in the nation: a choice between polar-opposite black politicians in the age of Obama. April 19-25. (Books and Publications: Other Article) 2012
"Saving the Soul of a Gentrifying Community: The Story of Monique Greenwood." The New York Amsterdam News, New York City's oldest black newspaper. The article is about Monique Greenwood as a Bedford Stuyvesant commercial property owner who insists that her entrepreneurial tenants live in the community. She is also known to forgive monthly rents of businesses going through rough patches. July 26-Aug. 1. (Books and Publications: Other Article) 2012
"The New York TImes Gives a (Very Reluctant) Kudos to Al Jazeera." Columbia Journalism Review website. The article argued that The New York Times, in its article about the cholera epidemic in Haiti, did not give sufficient credit to the Arab news service Al Jazeera, which was otherwise praised in the international journalism community for its outstanding reporting on the epidemic. April 13. (Books and Publications: Peer Reviewed Article) 2012
"The New York Times Goes to the Dogs." Columbia Journalism Review website. Article showed that the number of stories about dogs has increased substantially since Jill Abramson took over as editor-in-chief of the paper. Abramson is the author of The Puppy Diaries, about her deep love for dogs. The article went viral on journalism websites around the country. (Books and Publications: Peer Reviewed Article) 2012
"The Tragedy of Charlie Rangel." The New York Daily News. Article ran two days before the June primary election in which Congressman Charles Rangel faced Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat. The article was based, in large part, on research I did showing Rangel in 2009 told a Congressional Committee that police in New York City did not make arrests for marijuana. Rangel said this at a time when police, in fact, were making $50,000 arrests annually for pot possession. June 24. (Books and Publications: Peer Reviewed Article) 2012
"Towns Withdraws: The End of an Era." Our Time Press, a central Brooklyn weekly newspaper. Article called Bedford Stuyvesant the "Ohio" of the Congressional race that was receiving significant media attention at the time, between Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and Councilman Charles Barron, to replace retiring Congressman Ed Towns. April 19-25. (Books and Publications: Other Article) 2012
"What the Jesuits Taught JoePa." The New York Daily News. Article reflected on the now-shuttered Brooklyn Preparatory High School -- the alma mater of college football legend Joe Paterno, and my alma mater as well. The article drew dozens of e-mails and phone calls in response. Jan 25. (Books and Publications: Peer Reviewed Article) 2012
"Why Jeffries Will Defeat Barron Handily." Bed-Stuy Patch, a website affiliated with AOL. Multimedia interview with Andra Gillespie, associate professor of political science at Emory University and author of the recent book The New Black Politician: Cory Booker, Newark, and Post-Racial America. New York University Press. May 13. (Books and Publications: Other Article) 2012
"Before Their Time." Yale Alumni Magazine. Article showed that alumni of color from 1960s classes were dying at a much higher rate than white alumni. There was an immediate and continuing reaction to the article, including published comments from former Democratic Presidential candidate Howard Dean and from Howard S. Friedman, author of The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life From the Landmark Eight-Decade Study. (Books and Publications: Peer Reviewed Article) 2011
"Yale Grad: My Classmates Are Dying." The Root, a website affiliated with The Washington Post. It was written at the request of the top editor at The Root and used some of the data from the Yale Alumni Magazine article about mortality rates of black students from the 1960s, but the article was otherwise original in style. It included details about a black Yale grad from New Jersey who had been cultivating marijuana and was murdered in summer 2011. June 14. (Books and Publications: Peer Reviewed Article) 2011
Wrote several articles in The Amsterdam News and Our Times Press denouncing the city police department's stop-and-frisk policy that appeared to single out black and Latino young men. (Books and Publications: Other Article) 2011
One Hundred Jobs: A Panorama of Work in the American City. The New Press. Cover notes by Howard Zinn, praising the book. (Books and Publications: Book) 2000
Conferences, Seminars and Symposiums
One of four Yale alumni/panelists opening a three-day gathering titled "Inspiring Global Leadership in the 21st Century" in celebration of the 45th anniversary of the Afro-American Cultural Center. New Haven, Conn., Oct. 17. (Conferences, Seminars and Symposiums: Contributed Talk) 2014
As a Vice Chair of the Black Faculty and Staff Association, organized and moderated a "Black History Month Tribute to Dr. Khalil G. Muhammad." Muhammad is the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. He is scheduled this summer to begin professorships at Harvard and Radcliffe. Held Feb. 11. Sponsored by the Black Faculty and Staff Association, the Department of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies, the Department of Africana Studies, and the Black and Latino Male Initiative. (Professional Leadership: Public Service) 2016
"Streets by VICE: Bedford Ave, Brooklyn." Selected by the popular online news service Vice to speak for Bed-Stuy, in this imaginative exploration of Brooklyn's longest street: Bedford Avenue. Vice highlighted several neighborhoods the avenue. Vice has been doing this with a number of big cities across the United States. Dec. 15. The 20-minute video has had half a million views.
(Professional Leadership: Public Service) 2015
"Buried in the Bitter Waters: Racial Motivated Violence, Racial Cleansing and the Turbulent History of African American Entrepreneurship under Segregation" panel participant, with Baruch College Professor Clarence Taylor. 9th Annual Conference of the CUNY Black Male Initiative. Moderator: Baruch College Professor Arthur Lewin. Baruch College (CUNY). New York, Oct. 3. (Professional Leadership: Public Service) 2014
Advisor, The Op-Ed Project, a New York-based national organization for women scholars who are seeking help in crafting articles for publication in newspapers and online publications.
(Professional Leadership: Public Service) 2014
During "College and Career Readiness Day," spent two hours going from one class to another, speaking with students at MS. 35, the Stephen Decatur Middle School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, about my career and my life. May 14. (Professional Leadership: Public Service) 2014
Organizing and moderating a panel titled "Bed-Stuy in Crisis," about the rapid gentrification of the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, the good and the bad of that gentrification, with special attention to the displacement of low-income renters. The panel will offer differing perspectives. Brooklyn College Student Center. Nov. 6. (Professional Leadership: Public Service) 2014
Organized and moderated a panel featuring Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who came to Brooklyn College on Oct. 25 and answered questions from students about the state of American politics, stop and frisk, student indebtedness and other topics. (Professional Leadership: Public Service) 2012
Sponsored a Black History Month lecture by Dr. Khalil Muhammad, the new director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and author of the book Condemnation of Blackness. Muhammad offered a historical background for the stop-and-frisk policy of the New York City Police Department. (Professional Leadership: Public Service) 2012
Sponsored a standing-room-only panel at Brooklyn College on the city's stop-and-frisk policy, featuring Queens College sociologist Harry Levine, as well as City Councilmen Dan Halloran and Jumaane Williams. (Professional Leadership: Public Service) 2011
Appeared on a CUNY-TV program, "Independent Sources," reporting on the economic woes of Johnson Publishing Company, which publishes Ebony and Jet magazines. (Between 1978 and 1980, I was the New York editor of Ebony.) (Professional Leadership: Public Service) 2010
Did volunteer reporting and editing for the New York-based Haitian Times weekly newspaper, following the January earthquake that killed a quarter million people in Haiti. (Professional Leadership: Public Service) 2010
Moderated a panel of journalists at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism following the Haiti earthquake. The panel included reporters from The New York Times, The Haitian Times and ABC News. (Professional Leadership: Public Service) 2010
Published numerous articles and videos for the website BrooklynRon. (Professional Leadership: Public Service) 2010
"Journalism Without Walls," serving as professor with a group of nine Stony Brook University students for a three-week, three-credit course on foreign reporting. The group traveled to Cuba, spending seven days there and created a website featuring student articles and videos about the trip. January 5-14. 2016
Lead faculty member in "Journalsim Without Walls," a joint project with Stony Brook University. Created a winter-session course involving readings about Cuba and discussions with foreign policy experts. Led 10 students on an eight-day trip to Cuba, and we produced a website with more than a dozen articles and videos. One student article (about Cuban baseball) was published in the Detroit Free Press. 2012
Keynote speaker at an evening fundraising event marking the 15th anniversary of the Indypendent newspaper. Oct. 15. The Indypendent is a "free paper for free people." It has offices in Downtown Brooklyn. The print edition comes out 13 times a year and circulates throughout New York City. It has a print and online audience of more than 100,000 readers. 2015
The featured guest on "Education at the Crossroads," a weekly WBAI radio program. The program is hosted by journalist/scholar Basir Mchawi, who invited Howell to speak about Howell?s web postings a year previously. Howell had written that New York City police officer James Frascatore had violent tendencies and had to be controlled by city police officials. A year after Howell?s warning, Frascatore tackled and roughed up black retired tennis star, in a case of mistaken identify. Howell and Mchawi exchanged ideas about police brutality during the hour-long program. 2015
Spoke for good part of an afternoon about my life and career with a dozen black and Latino male students, in the "Mouth of the Phoenix Talk Series," developed by the Black and Latino Male Initiative at Brooklyn College. Sept. 16. 2014