As she holds her hand over the keys, eyes trained on the computer monitor, Imani Jackson taps away at the keys, penning her thoughts in a Word document.Little did she know that penning her thoughts would lead her to national recognition. The Society of Professional Journalists recently honored Jackson for her work as a columnist. She was a national finalist in the category of “General Column Writing.”
Jackson was “ecstatic” to achieve an accomplishment so early in her Gramblinite career.
“It’s indescribable,” said Jackson, who was at work when she found out. “My mom was ecstatic; my dad was ecstatic. I’m excited; I’m empowered.”
Although she has won a coveted award from SPJ, she doesn’t feel any different from the rest of her Gramblinite staff members.
“There’s nothing really special about me,” she said. “I’ve been trained like everyone else has.”
Jackson became the first Gramblinite staff member to be recognized nationally since Yomi Ola, who received recognition for his work on his editorial cartoons in 2000.
Jackson was able to gain recognition, propelling GSU back into the national spotlight, as far as SPJ is concerned.
“It didn’t feel real,” she explained. “National is major. I was competing with people from all these other places. It felt really relieving too. My education feels worthwhile here.”
Jackson was disappointed in one thing though.
“I was kind of saddened that minorities weren’t represented that well,” said Jackson, the only Black to win an award.
Jackson, a spoken word artist, has no plans of slowing down. A longtime fan of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Jackson feels as if she has to write her thoughts out in order to get through the day.
“The words that weigh on my mind every day . I wake up with something I have to say everyday,” she explained. “There’s so much that goes on in the world around us that we’re obligated to find out what we can find out. That fuels me.”
Even with an award, Jackson promises that the award is not what will fuel her hunger to write new material.
“I’m not motivated by materialism,” she said. “If I can help people . that motivates me more. If we all do little things, the world will have a greater impact.