Karsonya Wise Whitehead

Host, Today with Dr Kaye

Karsonya (Kaye) Wise Whitehead is an associate professor of Communication and African and African American Studies at Loyola University Maryland and the award-winning author of Notes from a Colored Girl: The Civil War Pocket Diaries of Emilie Frances Davis; a featured Public Commentator for WYPR and Op-Ed columnist for the Baltimore Sun; a K-12 master teacher in African American History; an award-winning curriculum writer and lesson plan developer; an award-winning former Baltimore City middle school teacher; and, a three-time New York Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker.

 From 2013-2015, Dr. Whitehead was selected as one of only four experts to participate in the White House's Black History Month Panel co-sponsored by President Obama and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) on topics ranging from the Emancipation Proclamation to the president’s policies on women and girls. In 2014, she was one of the featured speakers at the Youth Mentoring Summit at the U.S. Capital in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. She has received various fellowships and grants to support her work including a 2012 Gilder Lehrman Fellowship in American History, a 2011 Lord Baltimore Fellowship from the Maryland Historical Society, a 2010 NEH Summer Stipend, and a 2007 SREB Pre-Doctoral Fellowship for Maryland (only one doctoral fellowship is awarded per state).

 In February 2016, Dr. Whitehead received the Joan B. Kroc’s Institute for International Peace Studies “Distinguished Alumni” Award for her work as a peace activist, scholar, filmmaker, writer, and poet. In 2016, her book, RaceBrave: new and selected works, was selected by the Baltimore Sun as one of the Top Ten Summer Reads. In 2015 her book, Notes from a Colored Girl, was awarded the Darlene Clark Hine Book Award for Best Book in African American women’s and gender history from the Organization of American Historians (OAH) and in 2014, it received the Letitia Woods Brown Book Award for Best Edited Book in African American History from the Association of Black Women Historians. In addition, Dr. Whitehead was awarded the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC); was selected as one of the top 25 women professors in Maryland by Online Schools Maryland; and in 2013, she was the recipient of Loyola University Maryland's Faculty Award for Excellence in Engaged Scholarship for her work documenting the stories of women who are temporarily experiencing homelessness. Whitehead has also received the 2006 Gilder Lehrman Preserve America Maryland History Teacher of the Year Award (sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Maryland State Department of Education); was one of fifty alumni to receive the Distinguished Black Alumni Award from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana (2005); and, was a winner of both the Langston Hughes, David Diop, Etheridge Knight Poetry Award (1999, 2000) and the Zora Neale Hurston Creative Writing Award (1998) from the Gwendolyn Brooks Creative Writing Center at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Whitehead has trained over 3000 K-12 teachers throughout the country in how to become culturally responsive teachers in diverse environments. She is the author of several book chapters, articles, opinion editorials, and four books, RaceBrave: new and selected works (2016); Letters to My Black Sons: Raising Boys in a Post-Racial America (2015); the award-winning Notes from a Colored Girl: The Civil War Pocket Diaries of Emilie Frances Davis (2014); Sparking the Genius: The Carter G. Woodson Lecture (2014); and, the co-editor of Rethinking Emilie Frances Davis: Lesson Plans for Teaching her 1863-1865 Pocket Diaries (2014). Her forthcoming book, The Emancipation Proclamation: Race Relations on the Eve of Reconstruction (Routledge) is due out in 2017. She is the creator of the #SayHerName syllabus, the Clinton Syllabus, and the Trump Syllabus K12 Syllabus. She is also the guest editor for the fall 2016 special “#BlackGirlActivism” edition of Meridians journal.

 Prior to her work in academia, Dr. Whitehead was a documentary filmmaker with MetroTV, a PBS-affiliate and a senior producer for Music Television Networks (MTV). In 2001, she directed and produced Twin Towers: A History, a documentary film that describes the technical problems that were overcome, including the challenge to the ironworkers and it recounts the daredevil stunts that the buildings attracted. The film was nominated for a New York-Emmy in 2002 (Dr. Whitehead’s third nomination). It has since become the second-largest selling film about 9/11 and airs regularly on PBS stations around the country.She received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in the Language, Literacy, and Culture program, her M.A. from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana in International Peace Studies, her graduate degree in Advanced Documentary and Narrative Filmmaking from the New York Film Academy, and her B.A. from Lincoln University, PA.

 Dr. Whitehead can be reached by e-mail kewhitehead@loyola.edu, via twitter @kayewhitehead, or at her website www.kayewisewhitehead.com. She lives in Baltimore with her family.

BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) —On Friday, September 17, Dr. Kaye held a discussion ahead of the Justice for J6 rally, held in support of defendants charged in the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

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BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) — Behavioral data scientist Charles Davis joins Dr. Kaye to share the latest information surrounding the COVID-19 Mu variant. 


BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) — Grammy Award-winner Dan Zanes and his wife, Claudia Zanes, a Haitian-American vocalist and music therapist join Dr. Kaye to discuss The Social Isolation Song Series and the power of music.


BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA)—Professor Leonard Pitts, a Pulitzer prize winner, journalist and novelist joins Dr. Kaye for the conversation. 

For the second hour of Today with Dr. Kaye, click here.

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BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) — Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law a measure that would prohibit abortions as early as six weeks. 

As a way to enforce the law, residents can sue clinics, doctors, nurses and even people who drive a woman to get the procedure, for at least $10,000. 

BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) — Baltimore Mayor Scott joins Dr. Kaye to discuss new COVID—related mandates regarding student athletes and the coronavirus vaccine. 


Mayor Scott also shares what his administration and other city leaders are doing to reduce violent crime and improve public safety. 

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BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) — American History 101


Dr. Kaye and Christina Duncan Evans with the Baltimore Teachers Union, take a look at the Baltimore City education system, how it pertains to students of color and how it effects those who are economically challenged. 


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Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott joins Dr. Kaye to discuss the city's fight against COVID-19, his crime plan and the importance of community engagement.

Greg Macpherson, pharmacist and biotechnologist in New Zealand joins Dr. Kaye to share how his country managed to be coronavirus-free for months.  

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BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA)—Today with Dr. Kaye: Conversation with Dr. Mark Ratner, a Urology Specialist in Rockville, MD.

Dr. Mark Ratner shares what he learned about the importance of magnesium supplementation after a terrifying trip to the emergency room.

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BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) — Parenting in the Age of COVID

Dr. Kaye, Dr. James Campbell, a pediatric infectious disease specialist with the University of Maryland and parents weigh in on the topic. 

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BALTIMORE, MD( WEAA) — Political News Roundup


Dr. Kaye and political scientist Dr. Sharon Wright Austin discusses the latest news surrounding COVID-19: vaccinations, children returning to school, mask mandates.