Letrell Crittenden

  • Director of Inclusion and Audience Growth
  • American Press Institute

Letrell Deshan Crittenden is the Director of Inclusion and Audience Engagement for the American Press Institute. He previously served as the Program Director and Assistant Professor of Communication at Thomas Jefferson University. A former police and government reporter, Crittenden is an emerging scholar who specializes issues related diversity and inclusion in news and community-engaged journalism. His recent scholarship on the field of journalism has appeared in Columbia Journalism Review, Neiman Reports and Journalism Practice. Crittenden also is a veteran practitioner of community journalism. Over the past decade, provided citizen journalism training to dozens of high school students and community members in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Central Pennsylvania. He serves as an editor and co-researcher for the Germantown Info Hub, a collaboration with Temple University designed to provide better news coverage of the city’s Germantown neighborhood. Crittenden is the interim board chair of G-Town Radio, an LPMF station serving Northwest Philadelphia. He also serves on the board of Postindustrial magazine. His work has earned him fellowships with both the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, and the Media and Inequality Center at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, he has served as a consultant on diversity-related issues, providing consultation for the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Education Week and the Pittsburgh Media Partnership. Crittenden has also distinguished himself as a faculty member. In his time as program director at Jefferson, Crittenden helped revamp the program’s curriculum. He also served as the inaugural Diversity Advocate for the College of Humanities of Sciences. For his efforts inside and outside the classroom, he was awarded the university’s 2021 Provost’s Award for Service to the Profession. He is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and served as a board member Pittsburgh Black Media Federation. During his time as a board member, PBMF won NABJ chapter of the year in 2017. Crittenden earned his Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His doctoral dissertation focused on the history of NABJ. He also holds a master’s in Media Studies and bachelor’s in journalism from Penn State University. A native of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Crittenden resides in Philadelphia with his spouse and child.