Our Communications and Media division provides the full range of communications services, including strategic planning, issues management, media relations, social media and Web communication, and internal communications. We use many mediums to offer insight on a wide range of topics related to racial equity issues.

The Institutes digital strategy includes multimedia, multiplatform/mobile web and social media channels, and together provides overall leadership of Kirwan Institute’s communication efforts, combining tried and tested tools such as web, video, and photography with the rapidly expanding world of mobile and social media to drive all aspects of our work.

Our staff regularly attends conferences and meetings to share our research and exchange ideas. We engage with news media and credible blogs about the Institute’s findings and implications of our research. The Institute uses multimedia and social media platforms to communicate our research, implications of our research, and perspective in diverse ways.

Contact the Director of Communications for media inquires opportunities with our staff: Ashley Wilson at wilson.1871@osu.edu or (614) 247-1633

What We Do

Strategic Communications Management

Strategic Communications Management works to ensure quality, consistency and coherence to communications. By taking a strategic approach to communications, we promote planning and integration, cost-effectiveness and heightened impact. We provide high-quality design and creative expertise as well as a commitment to evaluation aimed at defining the direction and effectiveness of communications vehicles.

Identity Management

Our Communications and Media department has primary responsibility for management of the institute’s identity. We focus on building the understanding of the Kirwan Institute by defining it clearly and consistently and focusing on key messages that convey the value, importance and distinctiveness of the Kirwan Institute.

Internal Communications

Communication to build an institute- and university-wide understanding of and support for the institute’s strategic direction and initiatives is a critical component of our strategy. We plan and produce content aimed at the institute and university community and delivers that content through multiple communications channels.

Video and Film

The visual arts are a crucial element in the institute’s communications strategy. Professional photographers and videographers provide high-quality content for the institutes’s Web presence, printed materials and other promotional vehicles.


Our team develops many print and digital publications including issue briefs, research reports, and annual reports. We implement creative ways to forward our work using the latest in layout and graphic design software and hardware.

Social Media

We implement the institute’s social media strategy and work closely with partners, staff, and supporters engaged in social media as part of their communications strategies.

Media Relations

We work closely with our staff to tell the institute’s story and to share our research through local, regional, and national news media. In a media relations program, we promote the work of the institute through personal and targeted press contacts, press releases, and media tours.

Documentaries and Digital Shorts

This is a non-fiction film commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” The film stars community leaders of Columbus, Ohio and educators and leaders of The Ohio State University. The Letter from Birmingham Jail is an open letter written on April 16, 1963, by Martin Luther King, Jr. The letter defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racial discrimination, arguing that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws. After an early setback, it enjoyed widespread publication and became a key text for the American civil rights movement of the early 1960s. Learn more… 

Former Morehouse President Reaction to The Letter

TRAILER: A Reading of the Letter from Birmingham Jail

Morehouse Alumni Conversation About The Letter

Coming Soon

Is public transportation a civil rights issue? Free To Ride follows a community group in Dayton, Ohio and their four-year struggle to gain access to jobs and education by bus to a booming neighboring suburb of Beavercreek. The Beavercreek administration doesn’t want buses in their community in fear of what public buses bring into their community. What are these fears and why block buses? This clash between neighbors captures the attention and intervention from federal government. How did this problem get solved… Did it get solved. Coming Fall 2015!  Learn more…

Free To Ride Featurette: Civil Rights and Transportation

Free To Ride Featurette: What is Legal Aid

Coming Soon

Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity’s documentary on the community youth orchestra, Urban Strings. URBANStrings The Documentary is a story about a community group creating opportunities and exposing arts and culture to the youth of Columbus, Ohio. This documentary will also feature interviews with the musicians, families, and directors. The film will include the history of African Americans and stringed instruments. Learn more…

URBANStrings The Documentary: Official Teaser

URBANStrings Featurette: Introducing Stephen Spottswood

Short productions in support of The Ohio State University and the Kirwan Institute’s goals and initiatives.

Do You See Me, Hear Me, Know Me: Students of Color Address Cultural Misconceptions

Student panelists shared personal experiences in response to misconceptions about their ethnicity and culture. Panelists also talked about how they encourage understanding and not judgment.

[January 22, 2015] Hale Black Cultural Center
Moderated by Eric Troy, MA; Program Manager, ODI

This a part of an ODI Diversity Discussion Series led by Robert Decatur, Program Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion Scholars Program

The Value of Students in the Columbus Community

The 2015 Office of Student Life Multicultural Center’s United Black World Month “Repairing the Breach” intro video.

Media and Content Experts

In The News

Media Releases

Kirwan Experts

Sharon Davies, Executive Director

Davies talks about prejudice.

Jason Reece, Associate Director

Reece talks about Stimulus funds not targeted properly and about how economic resources are being spread too thin, adversely affecting those communities in greatest need.

Staff Articles