Covering the War and the War's Impacts on Ukrainians: March 30

March 24, 2022
Submitted By: Rebecca M. Townsend
headshot of Terrell Starr

Journalist Terrell Jermaine Starr Shares His Experiences on the Ground on March 30. 

An authority at the intersection of global politics and social justice, Terrell Jermaine Starr will speak about being an independent journalist covering the war and the Ukrainians who are impacted by it. The University of Hartford community is welcome to attend and participate in a question-and-answer session following his talk.

Join the UHart community on March 30, 2022, from 12:45 to 2 p.m. in Wilde Auditorium—or tune in virtually—to hear Starr's story. 

  • Moderated by: Rebecca M. Townsend, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication in Hillyer College 
  • Sponsored by: University of Hartford’s Office of Diversity and Community Engagement, the Provost’s Office, the College of Arts and Sciences, and Hillyer College


About Terrell Jermaine Starr

Starr has been living part time in Ukraine since 2016. He first lived and studied in Ukraine as a Fulbright scholar. He’s also lived in the nation of Georgia, where he volunteered for the Peace Corps. He is fluent in Russian and has a Master’s degree in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies and a Master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Illinois. He is a graduate of Philander Smith College, an HBCU in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he earned a Bachelor’s in English. Starr, who has nearly 15 years of journalism experience, recently completed his memoir on how his upbringing informed his understanding of US-Russian foreign policy and the intersections between American white supremacy and imperialism. In 2018, Diversity in National Security Network and New America selected him as one of the top African-American experts in foreign policy and national security. Starr is also a 2018-2020 Global Strategist Association fellow, which is a fellowship that aims to place Black people in foreign policy discussions and positions of power. He regularly appears on news networks around the world, where he provides first-person reporting from Kyiv, Ukraine.

He is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center and formerly senior reporter at The Root, where he wrote about US-Russia politics and race in America. Previously, he worked at Foxtrot Alpha, a blog that focuses on military, technology, and policy. In 2016, he was FUSION’s national political correspondent covering the 2016 presidential campaign. Starr, who has more than ten years of journalism experience, is currently writing the memoir of his life about how growing up with his two drug-dealing uncles helped him understand foreign policy towards Russia and understand the intersections between American white supremacy and imperialism. He is the founder and host of Black Diplomats, a weekly foreign policy podcast that explores the world via travel, politics, culture, and news from a Black perspective. 

Learn more about him at or follow him on Twitter: @terrelljstarr

More about Starr

More About Terrell Jermaine Starr  

Website "Terrell Jermaine Starr is an independent journalist based in Kyiv, Ukraine covering the Russo-Ukrainian War. He is the founder and host of the Black Diplomats podcast, where he covers geopolitical issues. Terrell is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center and he writes for Rolling Stone. He previously worked at The Root and Foxtrot Alpha, a blog that focuses on the military, technology, and policy."

Atlantic Council 

Black Diplomats (podcasts) 


Articles and Interviews: 

  • What Racism Taught an American Journalist About Covering the War. Seeing persecution, a Black reporter in Ukraine refuses to keep his distance.  "In his early 20s, Starr decided to make Eastern Europe his part-time home and subject of expertise. Now 41, he has found himself at the center of a war he thinks is senseless and tragic and rooted in racism that reminds him of home. He is Black, from Detroit, and identifies as queer. He was a member of the Peace Corps and a Fulbright grantee, speaks conversational Russian and Georgian, and serves on the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. He says he pursued this work because of his faith. His pastor in Brooklyn sends him scripture every morning. He has written about his therapy, his experience as a Black man in Ukraine, and says he funnels some of his income to various causes, including the Kyiv Independent, an English-language Ukrainian news outlet; Lifeline Ukraine, a suicide prevention hotline; and the Ukrainian armed forces, giving directly to a crowdfunding campaign to support the country’s military. By his own description, he is highly opinionated, and more than just a journalist: He’s working to launch a Ukrainian fashion resale business and a fur accessories business, sourcing hats and scarves from a family in Uzbekistan. He hopes the sales — supplemented by donations from followers and supporters — will sustain his freelance work and the podcast he releases every few weeks."
  • Interview with Sarah Kendzior