Greenlee’s Black History Month celebration

CATEGORIES: Events, In the News, News
Jay Stahl, submitted photo

Jay Stahl, an award-winning journalist and entertainment reporter with USA Today, will headline Greenlee’s Black History Month celebration on Tuesday, Feb. 20, with a reading and question-and-answer session in Hamilton Hall’s Commons (613 Wallace Road, Ames). The free event runs from 6-8 p.m. and kicks off with a Black History trivia contest hosted by Greenlee’s Student Media Leadership Team (SMLT).

An Iowa native, Stahl joined the Des Moines Register as an entertainment reporter after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. During his time at the Register, he wrote a popular series on Iowa social media influencers, which earned a 2024 Iowa Newspaper Award for best series earlier this month.

While at the Register, Stahl – who resides in Des Moines – established himself as a leading voice of Iowa’s Black and underrepresented communities. Among his noted work were stories about Robert Moore (aka B. moore), an internationally recognized multidisciplinary artist who previously struggled with alcohol and drug addiction, and Waterloo native Nikole Hannah-Jones, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and community activist behind the New York Times Magazine’s award-winning “1619 Project,” an ongoing initiative about the consequences of slavery in American history.

After the trivia contest, “Black in Iowa: As Told by Jay Stahl” will see the journalist present a reading from one of his Register pieces and participate in a question-and-answer session hosted by Tony Moton, an assistant teaching professor of journalism and advisor of the Student Media Leadership Team.

“Jay is a true inspiration for journalists of any kind, any color, any age,” Moton said. “He has used his gifts to illuminate and profile Iowa’s minority communities in a way that follows in the footsteps of late, great journalist and civil rights champion Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Jay stands as the embodiment of her quote that’s displayed high in the halls of Greenlee School: ‘The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press.'”

Participants in the trivia competition are eligible for prizes, and food will be available. For more information, contact Moton at