Dr. Jervette R. Ward is the President and a lifetime member of the College Language Association (CLA), the oldest and largest organization of Black professors of languages and literature. She is the Director of Black Studies and a tenured Associate Professor of Media & Communication Arts at The City College of New York (CCNY) in the The City University of New York system (CUNY). She also is the incoming Chair of the Nominating Committee for the Modern Language Association (MLA). She is the editor of Real Sister: Stereotypes, Respectability, and Black Women in Reality TV (Rutgers University Press). Her forthcoming book, Black Women vs Errbody: An Intellectual Tradition of Great Debates, is under contract with The Ohio State University Press.
She is a former journalist and public relations professional who writes, teaches, consults, and speaks on the power of language and popular culture as avenues for social change. Her writing and communications work is focused on social justice, equity, and equality. She is the founder of Jervette Ward Consulting LLC.
Her research and teaching areas focus on American Literature with an emphasis in African American Women's Literature. She has taught and published on Zora Neale Hurston, the addition of the African American characters to the Dick and Jane series, and Black women in reality television.
Dr. Ward earned the rank of Associate Professor with tenure at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and she was previously at Mississippi State University and Pine Manor College. She earned her Ph.D. in English – Literary & Cultural Studies from The University of Memphis.