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An Emmy award-winning producer and writer, Van Dora Williams worked in the journalism field for over 25 years.  She started her career while still in college.  She was a general assignment and features reporter for the now defunct, but once influential Brooklyn-based weekly newspaper, The City Sun.

Upon graduating from Hunter College of the City University of New York, Williams decided to extend her education to the graduate level.  She attended Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA and majored in professional writing.  She was introduced to broadcast journalism there.  She worked on the student-produced weekly national newscast, NewSight, for three years.  She worked her way from production assistant to co-anchor and assistant news director. That experience prepared her for the work of a PBS producer and reporter.  Her first locally-produced documentary, Church Street: Harlem of the South, garnered local, state and national awards.  She went on to produce Common Ground, a program about the legacy of racism in religion.  It was selected for national distribution with the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA), a PBS distribution service and it earned the Best of the Best award at the 2000 NETA Conference.  During her tenure as a senior producer for the Norfolk, VA PBS station, WHRO, she produced many award-winning news stories, public affairs programs and documentaries.  Noble Desire: A Time for Healing earned her a Virginia Association of Broadcasters' Best Documentary Award, a regional Emmy, a National Association of Black Journalists' Salute to Excellence Award and an international Bronze Telly Award.

Her work at WHRO provided her a coveted spot at the PBS Producers Academy and a PBS fellowship in New York.  She worked with ROJA Productions as an associate producer on the PBS documentaries, Citizen King and Matters of Race. During her time in New York, she became a freelance producer/writer.  She wrote extensively for BlackAmericaWeb.com filing national and international stories.  She traveled to the Republic of Benin to produce a music program for the country’s International Gospel and Roots Festival. During her travels in West Africa, she filed stories for BlackAmericaWeb.com and Public Radio International’s The Next Big Thing. She worked as an associate producer on the acclaimed PBS documentary, Banished, with Two Tone Productions. She also worked with Firelight Films as an archival researcher for the upcoming 2017 documentary on historically black colleges and universities.

Being an associate professor of journalism at Hampton University did not slow her down.  Along with her writing, producing, and editing skills, Williams believes in teaching and providing students opportunities to create long format stories that challenge and inform the public about social issues.  Under her direction, several students produced web content for national multimedia projects, The Masculinity Project (Single Fathers, Education, Prison) and Voting Rights, Northern Style, which highlighted historical and current issues affecting African Americans.  Williams has extensive experience working with and developing national outreach community initiatives that target minority communities. She is currently working on her dissertation at Regent University.