TheGrio’s 100: Rehema Ellis, reporter schooling the nation on education reform

african kings

A seasoned television news correspondent, Rehema Ellis has reported on everything from Obama’s inauguration to Hurricane Katrina, from Michael Jackson’s death to September 11th. But the story that keeps her coming back is education. Ellis was named Chief Education Correspondent for NBC News in 2010 and has become a respected voice in the discussion of education reform in America.

Rehema Ellis is making history … reporting on the most important issues of the past decade and focusing on the issue of the future: education. “”In many ways the nation is failing children,”” Ellis told theGrio. And the journalist is endeavoring to show how the country’s education system could — with reform — pass with flying colors.

In her new post as MSNBC’s chief education correspondent, Ellis closely covered NBC’s first annual “Education Nation” summit in September. Committed to keeping an eye on America’s schools, the summit brings education experts and policy makers together to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. education system.

Ellis’ coverage was featured on NBC Nightly News, Today, and MSNBC, which offered the Emmy-award winning journalist a national platform for her exposition on the topic. “My hope is that by broadcasting stories about what does and doesn’t work in education, more people will see how they can help improve a young person’s life, and enhance their prospects for a brighter future,” Ellis said.

What’s next for Rehema?

“For now,” the journalist said, “my future and current pursuits are the same: I want to keep sharing information on the state of education in America.” Towards this end, she’ll be particularly involved with NBC’s second annual Education Summit, slated for September. Also on the education front, but also an honor: Ellis will be awarded a Columbia Alumni award in April, a recognition of excellence by professional peers.

In her own words …

“Be informed,” Rehema Ellis told aspiring journalists at Fordham University. “We have the greatest access to news and information than we have ever had before but we are the least informed.”

On black history …

“While the number of African-Americans on local television news has grown over the years, there are still only a few African-American female correspondents on the three major network television stations. I am one of them,” Ellis told theGrio when asked how she is making history. “So, I know for a fact, that every time I’m on the air, somebody somewhere is saying, ‘Hmm, it’s a black woman telling the story.’ As long as that’s the reaction, I’m making history.”

A little-known fact …

Rehema Ellis won an Emmy for her coverage of President Barack Obama’s inauguration, where her team extensively covered the entirety of the historical event, including President and First Lady Michelle Obama’s inaugural dance.

Click here for more …