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Rasheeda Kabba

Rasheeda Kabba

Emmy Award Winning Anchor/Reporter

I’m the daughter of two immigrants from Sierra Leone, West Africa, who had a dream. Their dream was to create a life worth living in a country where they knew little to nothing about its customs. Neither my maternal or paternal grandparents knew how to read English, so education was king when my parents had a household of their own. When they arrived in the U.S., my mom and dad rotated between working jobs and taking courses in higher education, until my father earned his PhD in Education and my mother gained her Masters Degree in Public Health. This is why they stressed the importance of an education on my two brothers and me. Through the eyes of their sacrifices, I saw the opportunity lay out before me and wanted to be the best at whatever it was that allowed me to make a difference. I found that in journalism.

For me, journalism is the craft that challenges me and sometimes instantly gratifies me; like when I convince a family to go on camera and tell their story in hopes of them being an agent of change in a system or in someone else’s’ life. It’s the way I can serve my community. It’s what held me together and made me return to college after I lost my mom over Christmas break- months away from walking across the graduation stage at the University of Oklahoma. Journalism is what made me realize that in the wake of her death, my purpose on this earth was much bigger than me. Journalism is how I make a difference in the world.

Because I know the importance of my family’s story, it allows me to see the importance in other people’s stories- regardless of whether the rest of the world sees it. If you really listen and pay attention to what people say, everyone has a story. You can train someone how to shoot a camera, write a package and even have a better voice, but what I think I have in addition to those things, is a good ear. An ear that allows me to hear someone’s story, translate it for the everyday person and find an effective way to present it that makes people feel heard.

I pride myself on amplifying unheard voices, whether it is telling the story of a Nebraskan family living with with autisim, or creating a 30-minute special on homelessness in Idaho. I even won an emmy on the Forgotten Souls of North Carolina’s Black cemeteries.. My work is meant to be a tool to elevate voices like my parents who were also once overlooked because they were new immigrants.

I’m a proud member of the first Black collegiate sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. I’m also a member of National Association of Black Journalists. Through these organizations, I am able to provide the kind of mentorship to younger journalist I wish I had when I started my career in Grand Island, Nebraska.

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NABJ Alpha Kappa Alpha Emmy Award