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Sonja D. Williams

Throughout her professional career, Sonja D. Williams has served as an educator as well as a multi-award-winning writer and producer of features and documentaries for National Public Radio (NPR), Public Radio International (PRI), the Smithsonian Institution and local radio stations throughout America. Also, she has served as a media trainer/writer in South Africa and the Caribbean.

For three consecutive years, Williams received one of the American broadcast/cable industry’s most prestigious honors, the George Foster Peabody Award for Significant and Meritorious Achievement. She was so honored for her role as a writer/producer for the NPR and Smithsonian Institution’s series Wade in the Water: African American Sacred Music Traditions(1994); the NPR series Making the Music(1995); and the PRI/Smithsonian Institution’s series Black Radio: Telling It like It Was(1996). In addition, Williams’ Howard University students received Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award recognition (nicknamed the “Poor People’s Pulitzer”) for their documentary special, In Touch: AIDS in the African American Community (1992). More recently her students’ work has been featured on SiriusXM’s HBCU Channel 142.

Williams holds an M.A. in broadcast management from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Currently she serves as professor in the Howard University Department of Media, Journalism and Film in the Cathy Hughes School of Communications in Washington, D.C. Her research interests include concerns about trends in mass communications as well as African American history and culture. In 2018 the audiobook version of Williams’ book, Word Warrior: Richard Durham, Radio, and Freedom, was published. This biography examines the life and times of Richard Durham, a pioneering African American writer/activist, gifted radio and television dramatist and National Radio Hall of Fame inductee.