Dr Vivienne Francis is the founder and director of the award-winning Refugee Journalism Project, which she established in 2016 to support forcibly displaced and exiled media workers to rebuild their careers. It works towards social change through creating opportunities that support the agency of a group whose professional voices and perspectives struggle to get recognition in the UK's mainstream media.
Through workshops, mentoring and collaborative work, the project focuses on helping the group network and connect with the industry by updating their journalistic and media skills and identifying publishing opportunities, freelance work and permanent roles. This work has led to collaborations with global organisations including Bloomberg, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, The Guardian Foundation, and the Refugee Council.
Since the project’s inception, participants have gone on to win awards, get work published in the national media and gain paid work. There are currently graduates in permanent roles with Bloomberg, Middle East Eye and BBC World Service. The initiative has described as "life changing".
Her work has also led to pedagogical innovation at London College of Communication, with displaced journalists delivering into the curriculum and collaborating with students on research and practical projects. As a result, pathways in social justice journalism have been launched at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Vivienne is a Reader and Senior Lecturer in Social Justice Journalism and Knowledge Exchange at London College of Communication. Before joining academia, Vivienne spent more than a decade working as a producer with the BBC, and as a print journalist. Her journalistic work has focused on issues such as deaths in custody, inequalities in the education system and miscarriages of justice.
Vivienne is also a published author of "With Hope in Their Eyes: Compelling Stories of the Windrush Generation" and has just completed a Doctorate in Professional Studies by Public Works.
Telephone+44 (0)20 7514 6500