After serving in multiple positions at The Crimson White and as the current editor-in-chief of Nineteen Fifty-Six Magazine, a Black student led magazine on the University of Alabama campus, Ashlee Woods, a junior majoring in news media, will take over the helm of school’s The Crimson White beginning in May.
Woods, first Black woman in the student-run newspaper’s history to hold the editor-in-chief position, said she’s excited to start and take the publication into the future.
As the third Black person to serve as editor-in-chief of The Crimson White and the first Black woman in the publication’s 129-year history, and a Black woman with a sports media background, Woods said she understands the importance of diversity in media.
Being the first of anything “is such a wild thing to think about,” Woods said, and she was a little apprehensive of what would come with breaking that barrier. However, after a conversation with her parents where her mother told her that she was meant to do this, Woods decided that when the opportunity arose, she’d take it.
“When you think about it … being a woman in sports has prepared me for this moment because everywhere I go, there’s people that don’t look like me,” she said.
As the first Black woman to serve as editor-in-chief, Woods hopes to not only break the barrier but set a precedent that people who look like her can be leaders in media because Black women and their perspectives are needed in these spaces.
“I hope that my time as editor shows people that Black and marginalized communities’ stories are so important,” Woods said. “We also need Black and minority leaders leading the call telling those stories.”
Initially, the Delaware-native started her collegiate career in 2018 as a political science major set on law school and potentially a presidency.
It wasn’t until she decided to take the spring 2020 semester off that she switched to news media. Then in May 2020, Woods found her footing at The Crimson White as a sports staff reporter.
Her talent for writing and her gift for talking about sports — which she’s nurtured from a young age by arguing with her brother so much that her mother told the siblings they should start a podcast — allowed her to flourish quickly.
Woods served as the spring 2021 assistant sports editor and 2021-22 sports editor, where she continuously made her mark in the collegiate sports work, appearing on the Paul Finebaum show six times, covering sports for the Tuscaloosa News as a fall 2022 intern, and training and recruiting contributing writers and her CW successors.