Jordan Flaherty is an award-winning journalist, producer, communications professional, and author. His newest film, Powerlands, has won dozens of awards, including the 2022 Rigoberta Menchú Grand Prize. His first film as a producer, Chocolate Babies, has become a queer cult classic and was recently added to the Criterion Collection.

His films and journalism have helped galvanize international attention to local struggles and causes. In 2006, Jordan won a national journalism award for his reporting on people left behind in the New Orleans city jail after Hurricane Katrina. In 2007, he was the first national journalist to write about a civil rights struggle involving six high school students in small town Louisiana. The local campaign, which became known as Free the Jena Six, not only became international news, but ended up bringing over 40,000 people to march in rural Louisiana for what was later called one of the early sparks of today’s Black Lives Matter movement. The six young men at the heart of the struggle were freed from jail, and all ended up going to college. One of them is now a civil rights lawyer.

Jordan’s journalism continued to bring attention to causes before they became national news. In 2009, he brought attention to a little known law in Louisiana called the “Crime Against Nature” law, which targeted Indigent Black women and sex workers. Thanks to media attention and grassroots pressure, this law was overturned three years later. In 2013, Jordan produced a television story for Al Jazeera America on police violence against transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, as well as stories on environmental injustice in rural Louisiana, gentrification, and liberal nonprofits aiding in the arrest of sex workers. These stories were picked up and amplified by others as he faced corporate censorship.

Jordan has reported on social movements internationally, from Chile to Palestine, and has appeared as a guest on a wide range of television and radio shows, including CNN Morning, Anderson Cooper 360, CNN Headline News, RT America, the Alan Colmes Show on Fox, and News and Notes on NPR.

He is the author of the books No More Heroes: Grassroots Responses to the Savior Mentality and Floodlines: Community and Resistance From Katrina to the Jena Six and has produced television documentaries and news reports for Democracy Now, teleSUR, The Laura Flanders Show, and Al Jazeera, including as a producer on the Emmy, Peabody, and duPont-award-winning program Fault Lines on Al Jazeera.

Jordan’s print journalism has been featured in dozens of publications, from the New York Times and Washington Post to ColorLines and The Village Voice. His articles have been translated into German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic, and published in major publications around the world, including Die Zeit in Germany, Clarin in Argentina, Juventude Rebelde in Cuba, Red Pepper in England, and many more from Lebanon to Paris to New Zealand to South Africa. He has also reported as a correspondent for Agence France Presse, and written for dozens of news websites including Huffington Post, CommonDreams, AlterNet, Counterpunch, and ZNet. As a white southerner who speaks honestly about race, Jordan Flaherty has been regularly published in Black progressive forums such as Black Commentator and Black Agenda Report, and is a regular guest on Black radio stations and programs such as Keep Hope Alive With Reverend Jesse Jackson.

Jordan has produced award-winning fiction films, documentaries, music videos, and news reports, and his reporting and analysis has been published in several anthologies, including the South End Press books Live From Palestine and What Lies Beneath: Katrina, Race and the State of the Nation; the University of Georgia Press book What is a City; the AK Press book Red State Rebels; and Bury The Dead from Cascade Books.

His journalism awards include awards from New America Media for Best Post-Katrina Reporting in the Ethnic Press, and from the National Headliner Awards for Best Broadcast Environmental Reporting, but he is more proud to have been the only journalist identified as a subject of the New York City Police Department’s spying programs, and his appearance as an actor in HBO’s television series Treme, playing himself – a journalist reporting on the elimination of public housing in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Jordan has lectured and delivered keynotes at dozens of colleges, universities and conferences including University of Cambridge, Columbia University, Stanford Law School, Yale, University of California at Santa Cruz, UCLA, SUNY Stonybrook, American University in Washington DC, Loyola University Chicago, University of Florida, University of Chicago, University of Texas at Austin, Loyola Law School, Tulane University, University of New Orleans, Xavier University, and many others.

Jordan was also an editor of The Abolitionist, a bilingual newspaper distributed mostly in prisons in North and South America, and from 2004-2011 he was a part of the editorial collective that published Left Turn Magazine, a publication that reported from progressive and revolutionary movements around the world. He has done communications work for human rights and civil rights organizations, including Louisiana Justice Institute and Partners for Dignity & Rights. You can follow Jordan’s latest work on his substack.