Clark Atlanta University Senior Selected as One of Six HBCU Students to Earn the Rhoden Fellowship for Sports Journalism
03/31/2021ATLANTA, (March 31, 2021) — Clark Atlanta University senior Ashton Edmunds was selected as one of six journalism and communication students from six Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to make up the 2020-2021 Class of Rhoden Fellows. Each student will participate in a year-long sports journalism internship with The Undefeated, ESPN’s platform that explores the intersections of race, sports, and culture.
“The Clark Atlanta University community is so proud of Ashton Edmunds for being selected to take part in the prestigious Rhoden Fellows program,” said Dr. George T. French, President of Clark Atlanta University. “We are thrilled for Ashton to have the opportunity to learn from the brightest minds in sports journalism while working alongside other exceptional students from top HBCUs.”
A Tallahassee, Fla. native, Ashton Edmunds is a mass media arts major and serves as the sports editor for Clark Atlanta University’s student newspaper, The CAU Panther. In addition to being selected as a Rhoden Fellow, Edmunds was chosen as a 2020 summer intern for SLAM Magazine and as an inaugural Turner Diversity Fellow at WarnerMedia.
“I am excited to welcome a fourth class of talented Fellows into the fold,” said Bill Rhoden, head of the Rhoden Fellows and columnist for The Undefeated. “[I am] so grateful to The Undefeated, Kevin Merida, ESPN, and the Disney company for continuing to provide this extraordinary opportunity to aspiring young journalists from HBCUs.”
Founded by Rhoden in 2017, the Fellowship was established as part of The Undefeated’s goal to highlight new voices — particularly voices of color — while serving as a launching pad for young sports journalists of color. Each year, hundreds of undergraduate students from HBCUs across the U.S. apply for the Fellowship, with only a small handful being selected by a panel of senior editors at The Undefeated and Rhoden himself.
Throughout the year, Edmunds and his Fellowship colleagues will cover sports and general news related to their respective universities for The Undefeated’s HBCU vertical. The students will also produce weekly multimedia content, including podcast episodes tackling issues geared toward younger audiences. During the summer, Edmunds’ cohort will gain first-hand work experience at ESPN Studios in New York City and at The Undefeated headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Kevin Merida, Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of The Undefeated, hopes programs like The Rhoden Fellowship will push the next generation of talented journalists of color to keep pursuing their dreams. Merida’s words for the Fellows are encouraging and hopeful: “Keep striving. Keep dreaming. You are next. It’s your time.”
About Clark Atlanta University
Established in 1988 by the historic consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869). Clark Atlanta University continues a 150-year legacy rooted in African-American tradition and focused on the future. Through global innovation, transformative educational experiences, and high-value engagement. CAU cultivates lifted lives that transform the world. Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson; American civil rights activist, poet, and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing "The Black National Anthem"; Ralph David Abernathy Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway Director; Jacque Reid, Emmy Award-winning Television Personality and Journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit www.cau.edu.