Friday November 2, 2007

America's Media Mirror

Veteran journalist and author Juan Williams is coming to campus Nov. 13 as part of the Diversity Lecture Series.

Juan Williams, political analyst for National Public Radio and Fox News and the author of the nonfiction bestseller Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965, will give a talk, "Eyes on Image: The Changing Reflections in America's Media Mirror," at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13, in the Kennedy Union Ballroom at the University of Dayton.

Part of the Diversity Lecture Series, the talk is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Call the Kennedy Union box office at 937-229-2545 or order online at www.udayton.edu/~ku/tickets. Organizers recommend that patrons arrive early for seating in the ballroom. A live feed will be available in the Science Center Auditorium. A book signing will follow the talk in the Torch Lounge in Kennedy Union.

Williams is one of America's leading political writers and thinkers. He is a senior correspondent for NPR's "Morning Edition," a political analyst for Fox News and a regular panelist for Fox News Sunday. In addition to prize-winning columns and editorial writing for The Washington Post, he has written six books. With the 2006 release of Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America — and What We Can Do About It, Williams ignited debate with his analysis of black leadership in the U.S. Among other acclaimed works, he wrote the non-fiction bestseller, Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965, the companion to the TV series; Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary; My Soul Looks Back in Wonder — Voices of the Civil Rights Experience; This Far by Faith: Stories from the African American Religious Experience; and I'll Find a Way or Make One — a Tribute to Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

For more than two decades at The Washington Post, Williams served as an editorial writer, op-ed columnist and White House reporter. Williams has received an Emmy Award for television documentary writing and has won widespread critical acclaim for a series of documentaries, including "Politics — The New Black Power."

In a 2003 interview that aired on "Front and Center," a television program about the practices, issues, ethics and politics of journalism, Williams likened modern-day journalism to comfort food. "People are seeking to have their own opinions and perspectives confirmed when they turn on the television, turn on the radio or open the paper. They don't want to hear a broadcast. They want a narrowcast. They want something that speaks to their own preconceptions," he said. "That, to me, is a real loss. …Journalism should be about shedding light."

Williams is part of an all-star line-up of acclaimed artists and journalists — including filmmaker Spike Lee and Grammy Award-winning gospel musician Kirk Franklin — tackling "The Responsibility of Media in a Global Society" during the University of Dayton's 2007-2008 Diversity Lecture Series.

The University of Dayton's Diversity Lecture Series is part of a larger strategic plan to increase inclusion and diversity on campus and prepare students, faculty, staff and the Dayton community for success in a global society. Past speakers have included Andrew Young, Coretta Scott King, Clarence Page, Nikki Giovanni, Azar Nafisi and Johnnetta B. Cole.

The Diversity Lecture Series is co-sponsored by the offices of the president and provost, with the support of such community partners as The National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ); Dayton Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; United Way of the Greater Dayton Area; Victoria Theatre Association; Markey's Audio Visual; Dayton Daily News; WDTN-TV; and WDAO-1210 AM.