Jody Santos is the founding executive director and editor-in-chief at the award-winning Disability Justice Project (DJP), which trains persons with disabilities in the Global South in documentary storytelling. A human rights filmmaker, she has traveled to some 30 countries across five continents, documenting everything from the trafficking of girls in Nepal to the widespread and often abusive practice of institutionalizing children with disabilities in the U.S. and other countries. Her documentaries have appeared on public television and cable networks like Discovery Channel, and she has produced stories for New England Public Radio and advocacy journals like Mad in America.
A graduate of Boston University, Santos earned her master’s degree from Northeastern University, where she received the James Ragsdale award as a student dedicated to First Amendment rights. She is also the recipient of American Women in Radio & Television’s Gracie Allen Award, and she was nominated for an Emmy for a special report on black-market guns airing on NBC Boston. More recently, the DJP won two gold Anthem Awards honoring mission driven journalism in 2023 and was nominated for a Webby Award as one of the five best websites in the world promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. The DJP also was a finalist in the On The Rise: 0-4 Years in Business category in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards.
Santos was an associate professor of communications at Springfield College before joining Northeastern in 2020. Her book, Daring to Feel: Violence, the News Media, and Their Emotions, was published by Rowman & Lialefield’s Lexington Books division in 2009.