Vann R. Newkirk II

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Vann R. Newkirk II
Vann R. Newkirk II

(1988-12-27) December 27, 1988 (age 34)
EducationUNC-Chapel Hill, M.S.
Morehouse College, B.S.
  • Journalist
  • Writer
SpouseKerone Newkirk
Awards2018 American Society of Magazine Editors' Next Award[1]

Vann R. Newkirk II (born December 27, 1988) is an American journalist and staff writer for The Atlantic who writes on politics, the environment, race, and healthcare policy.[2]

Early life[edit]

Vann Newkirk grew up in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, the son of Dr. Vann Newkirk and Marylin Newkirk.[3][4] He graduated from Morehouse College in 2010 and UNC-Chapel Hill with a Masters of Science in Public Health in Health Policy in 2012.


Newkirk began his career as a policy analyst for the Kaiser Family Foundation, specializing in health policy issues.

Newkirk was inspired to begin freelancing after the shooting of Michael Brown and subsequent unrest in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, and has been a staff writer for The Atlantic magazine since 2016.[5] In 2018, Newkirk helped produce a special commemorative issue of the magazine on Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy over the 50 years since King's assassination in 1968.[6][7] As of 2019, Newkirk was working on a longform podcast, exploring the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.[8]

Newkirk has appeared as a guest on various media outlets, including The Daily Show and shows on NPR, and has been a host or keynote speaker at a number of conferences on race and identity at universities throughout the United States.[6][9][10][11][12][13]

Newkirk is the host of Floodlines and Holy Week: The Story of a Revolution Undone.

Newkirk also founded and is a contributing editor to Seven Scribes, a website dedicated to promoting writers and artists of color.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Newkirk lives in Hyattsville, Maryland with his wife and family. He is an aspiring science fiction writer. [15]


  1. ^ "ASME NEXT AWARD 2018 WINNERS ANNOUNCED - ASME". American Society of Magazine Editors. February 7, 2018. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  2. ^ "All Stories by Vann R. Newkirk II - The Atlantic". The Atlantic. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  3. ^ Newkirk II, Vann R. (August 22, 2017). "Growing Up in the Shadow of the Confederacy". The Atlantic. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  4. ^ "Dr. Vann Newkirk". Elizabeth City State University. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  5. ^ Young, Yolanda (September 2, 2016). "Vann R. Newkirk II shares his writer's guide to the universe". Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Challenging the Easy Narrative of MLK in The Atlantic". The Daily Show. March 8, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  7. ^ "KING Issue - The Atlantic". The Atlantic. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  8. ^ "The Atlantic Creating Podcast Examining Hurricane Katrina, Hosted by Vann Newkirk" (Press release). The Atlantic. April 16, 2019. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  9. ^ "Vann Newkirk: 'Most Of My Life I Didn't Know Confederate Statues Could Come Down'". All Things Considered. NPR. August 23, 2017. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  10. ^ "Vann R. Newkirk II: Race, Identity, and Media". Harvard University Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy. September 19, 2017.
  11. ^ "Conference on Race, Class, Gender and Ethnicity with Vann R. Newkirk II". UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law. February 24, 2018.
  12. ^ "Public Forum on Race, Law, & Citizenship with Kathleen Cleaver, Tawana Petty, & Vann Newkirk". University of Michigan Law School. October 5, 2016.
  13. ^ "Organizing beyond elections: A conversation with journalist Vann Newkirk II". Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy. February 25, 2019.
  14. ^ "About Us - Seven Scribes". Seven Scribes. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  15. ^ "Vann R. Newkirk - Restless Books". Restless Books. Retrieved June 6, 2019.