Rochelle Riley is an author, essayist and photographer who spent nearly a quarter century as a news columnist when she left in 2019 to focus on arts, culture and entertainment. She is now the Director of Arts and Culture for the City of Detroit. She left journalism with a bang, getting inducted into the North Carolina Media and Journalism Hall of Fame and receiving the National Headliner Award for best local columns, both in 2019. Her columns were part of the entry that won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting. And she is a winner of the NABJ Ida B. Wells Award. She was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame in 2016. Rochelle also writes books that make you think. She is author of 2018’s “The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery,” which has garnered rave reviews, and the upcoming “That They Lived: Twenty African Americans Who Changed The World.” (both published by Wayne State University Press). She travels the country hosting conversations about the burden that America still bears because it refuses to deal with the aftermath of American enslavement. And she travels the world because it is smaller than we think. She has been to 28 countries and counting.
Director of Arts and Culture