Image by Jess Bailey

Behind the Words

Kat Stafford is a national investigative writer, focused on race and inequity at The Associated Press. She investigates how structural racism has fueled inequity in America through the lens of politics, government health, environmental justice and more.

She was elected to a two-year term in 2020 as a Board of Director for the Investigative Reporters and Editors, the industry's leading nonprofit organization focused on investigative journalism. She is also the chair of IRE's Member Services Committee.


An award-winning journalist and Detroit native, Stafford was previously an investigative journalist at the Detroit Free Press and has received several awards for her work. Stafford was part of a two-person reporting team that won Michigan's Associated Press Media Editors 2019 First Amendment Award, for the Free Press' 'Make Your Date' investigative project. 

She was named a 2019 Ida B. Wells Investigative Fellow and received the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2017 Young Journalist of the Year Award from the organization's Detroit Chapter. Stafford was also a 2016 Fellow of the Loyola Law School, Los Angeles’ prestigious Journalist Law School. Stafford is the vice president of the SPJ Detroit chapter and is a board member of Eastern Michigan University’s student newspaper, The Eastern Echo. Stafford has also made several television appearances and regularly hosts and moderates events.


Stafford is a leading voice on inclusion, representation and equity and has led or participated in several training sessions and panels, including for the Ida B. Wells Society, Poynter and the Maynard Institute. She's also participated on international panels and events, including for the U.S. Embassy Paris, France and the Global Investigative Journalism Network.

©2020 By Kat Stafford