Introduction Bramlett tells how she took an interest in journalism. Her mother always wanted to be a journalist but it didn't work out.
She attended Memphis State, now named the University of Memphis. She received a degree in journalism with a minor in business.
In college, she was part of groups who organized for change in a time of segregation. She says the word "diversity" wasn't a thing yet.
She says she wasn't able to connect activism to journalism in college since she was assigned "a very token area to cover."
After she graduated, she got a job doing public relations for 3 years. But, her true passion was journalism so she worked for the Commericial Appeal for almost 4 years.
She received a master's and was able to get a job as an adjunct professor at the University of Lewisville. This was her introduction to teaching.
An opening was available at the University of Lewisville and the director asked if she would like to join the faculty.
The director told her if she wanted to continue teaching, she needed a Ph.D. She ended up at Indiana University. Here, she became involved with diversity initiatives.
She was asked to develop and coordinate an association of black journalists. She was also teaching news writing at the university.
She also taught in the high school summer institutes at the university. She also went to Northwestern University and taught at their high school program for journalism.
By now, diversity was the key foundation in her career. She was looking at what needed to be done and how.
Bramlett says she brought in pluralism in her teaching. She says gender paucity was an issue along with diversity.
She says going into journalism is being "the eyes and ears of an entire society" and not a select group. And that you must be attuned to historically underrepresented groups.
She went to her first AEJMC convention where she was mistaken for another journalist of color. She said this assumption showed the need for more representation.
She received the theory and methodology scholarship; this was her entree into AEJMC.
She says it's important to challenge what AEJMC has done. Bramlett says diversity is still an issue and that the "progress for people of color has not been as robust."
After leaving Indiana University, she got a job as a faculty member at Arizona State University. She started an association for multi cultured journalism.
She invited students from all backgrounds and majors to join. The goal was to diversify the student media as well as the professional media.
Diversity is a natural part of her courses. She says it's "who we are."
She coordinated a diversity workshop for AEJMC. It related to teaching online diversity media courses. Data says that if you teach these kinds of courses, you can expect to have lower class evaluations.
Bramlett says there are many issues in teaching race and gender courses. She organized a panel and worksop to discuss these issues.
She says that the topics discussed in the workshop were issues that got attention from AEJMC, meaning there is some value. What's important is that the conversation is started.
Another issue is the size of the courses. She likes the challenge of teaching through new media.
Her research looks at media and race issues. Also, the media role in forming thinking. She's presented over 100 papers.
She's looked at media coverage of civil rights leaders, comparing men and women. She discussed Fannie Lou Hamer and how attention was focused more on how she looked rather than her message.
She has studied the "satisfaction" of journalists in the newsroom. She's also looked at media in urban versus rural areas.
Bramlett says we have to be vigilant in looking at media content. She says that we do not live in a colorblind society, it's a myth.
Her latest research has looked at the issue of unarmed young black men being killed by police. This research will be a chapter in her race, gender, media book. She says young black men make the news for negative reasons.
In 1978, the American Society for News Editors set the year 2000 to reach parody. Bramlett says society has not reached "parody."
She says we need to "reimagine and stay current" with the online presence in our society.
She mentions a 2015 Penn State dissertation that showed data; students of color that are coming out of universities aren't finding jobs in journalism or mass communication as fast as their white counterpart.
The study showed three prominent factors; students of color lack campus newsroom or internship experience, and they don't have a connection.
She has been the head of the Minorities and Communication division. Later, she was the head of the Commission on the Status of Minorities. She has also been involved with the Professional Freedom and Responsibility Committee. She says "our work is not done", there is more important work to do now than ever.
She is a co-author for a race, gender, and media book studying multiculturalism across audiences. She wants students that read the book to explore the legacy, changes, and challenges of mass media communication across diverse audiences in America.
Bramlett says she is humbled to be a part of the AEJMC profile interviews. She encourages others to stay vigilant and that "we cannot rest."
She was in high school when Martin Luther King gave his last speech, and says she was compelled to go to college because of him. She says if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.