Imani M. Cheers

Dr. Imani Cheers
SMPA Associate Director, Associate Professor of Media and Public Affairs
MPA 525B
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Multimedia Production, International/Field Reporting, Photojournalism, Media Literacy Education

Imani M. Cheers is an associate professor of digital storytelling and the Associate Director in the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. She is also the Director of Academic Adventures for Planet Forward. Dr. Cheers received her B.F.A from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.A. in African Studies and a Ph.D. in mass communication and media studies from Howard University. Dr. Cheers is an award-winning digital storyteller, director, producer, and filmmaker. As a professor of practice, she uses a variety of mediums including video, photography, television, and film to document and discuss issues impacting and involving people of the African Diaspora. Her scholarly focus is on the intersection of women/girls, technology, health, conflict, agriculture, and the effects of climate change in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Cheers is also an expert on diversity in Hollywood, specifically the representation of Black women in television and film. She is the author of The Evolution of Black Women in Television: Mammies, Matriarchs, and Mistresses (Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2017). Her work has been supported by the Ford Foundation and the International Reporting Project.  Dr. Cheers is also a regular contributor for international outlets including BBC, CGTN America, and CTN Canada, offering insight into American race relations and popular culture. In 2017, she was awarded GW’s Graduate Mentoring Award and in 2019 the Staub Excellence in Teaching Award.


Ph.D., Howard University, 2010

M.A. Howard University, 2007

B.F.A. Washington University in St. Louis, 2002

CBS News: Exhibit honors 25th anniversary of "Songs of My People"

Imani Cheers

Classes Taught

SMPA 2112: Intro to Video Production

SMPA 2113: Intro to Web Production and Social Media

SMPA 3232: Online Journalism Workshop

SMPA 3247: Documentary Production

Imani Cheers speaks with students

Faculty Soundbite: Imani Cheers

“I challenge students to think differently and see the world differently.”

Women holding children in lap while waiting in line

Hotline Aims to Save Vulnerable Lives in Ghana