Journalism prof embarks on audio documentary

During campus protests and public discussions of race and social justice at Humboldt State University over the past few years, assistant journalism professor Kirby Moss has noticed what he calls an “ironic lack of cross cultural awareness amidst the solidarity of the moment.”

One example of this came from his questioning of students who were protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) project last year.

“I asked some Black and Latino students if they knew what DAPL stood for and how the project impacted American Indian communities,” Moss explains. “None of them knew, yet they protested in support of American Indian rights.”

Moss says he hopes to explore cross cultural conversations – in hopes of addressing and minimizing cultural divisions among students -- with a new research project, funded by a recent $4,000 Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities award.

“I'm excited about the award,” Moss says. “It opens a difficult, but hopefully transformative, conversation about stereotypes and misinformation folks of color have about each other. As folks of color, we are complicit in unique ways. This research is an acknowledgement of that and a conversation to explore what we do with that.”

In his research, Moss combines his expertise in anthropology with his experience in journalism. He’s the author of “The Color of Class: Poor Whites and the Paradox of Privilege,” which explores the incongruities of social class in a Midwest city.