An active public speaker, Chatelain has received awards and honors from the Ford Foundation, the American Association of University Women, and the German Marshall Fund of the United States. During her twelve years at at Georgetown University, Chatelain won several awards for her teaching and university service, including the 2022 Georgetown Black Alumni Council Distinguished Leader Award, the 2021 Georgetown Alumni James S. Ruby Faculty Appreciation Award, and in 2018, a Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professorship, among others. In 2016, The Chronicle of Higher Education named her a Top Influencer in academia in recognition of her social media campaign #FergusonSyllabus, which implored educators to facilitate discussions about the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. She has held an Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellowship at New America, a National Endowment for the Humanities Faculty Fellowship, and an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia in Journalism and Religious Studies, Chatelain was a 2000 Harry S Truman Scholar, and she earned an A.M. and a Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown University.
The author of South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration (Duke University Press, 2015) she teaches about women’s and girls’ history, the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, as well as black capitalism. Her latest book, Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America (Liveright Publishing Co./W.W. Norton, 2020) examines the intricate relationship among African American politicians, civil rights organizations, communities, and the fast-food industry. Chatelain has received numerous awards for Franchise, including the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in History, the Hagley Prize in Business History, the Organization of American Historians Lawrence W. Levine Award, the Hurston Wright Legacy Award, the Hooks Institute National Book Award, the Alfred and Fay Chandler Book Award and the James Beard Foundation Award for Writing.