Leoneda Inge, an experienced and award-winning public radio journalist, has been named North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC's first-ever Race and Southern Culture Reporter.
The new position will explore modern and historical societal constructs to tell stories of poverty and wealth; health, wellness and food culture; and education and racial identity in the unique context of a changing American South.
"The Race and Southern Culture Reporter will be one of the few full-time, station-based beats devoted to covering issues important to communities of color, and the only such position based at a public radio station in the South," said WUNC News Director Brent Wolfe. "And Leoneda Inge is the perfect reporter to tackle these important subjects."
Inge comes to the new beat after 15 years as WUNC’s Changing Economy Reporter. In that role, she told stories of the state’s declining textile, furniture and tobacco industries, and its growth as a tech and banking hub. Recently, she completed "Perils and Promise," an in-depth series focused on the challenges of rural education in Vance County.
"I'm looking forward to telling these important stories, and bringing an educated yet fresh perspective to issues of race, class, and culture in North Carolina," said Inge, whose "Race and Southern Culture" work has already included stories ranging from "Organic Tobacco" to "Rebuilding Slave Cabins."
Inge is the recipient of three Gracie Awards from The Alliance for Women in Media, and several awards from the Associated Press, the Radio, Television, Digital News Association (RTDNA) and the National Association of Black Journalists. In 2006, she and a team of WUNC journalists won an Alfred I. DuPont Award from Columbia University for the series "North Carolina Voices: Understanding Poverty."
Inge was born in Mobile, Alabama. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University and Columbia University, where she received her Master’s Degree in Journalism as a Knight-Bagehot Fellow. In 2014, Inge traveled to Berlin, Brussels and Prague as a German/American Journalist Exchange fellow with the RIAS Berlin Commission/RTDNF.