Laura Washington, Town Hall Meeting Moderator, 2011
Don Terry 2010
Renee Ferguson 2009
Renee Ferguson, award-winning TV investigative reporter, was on hand to launch the largest issue ever of r_wurd magazine—48 pages. The magazine features stories written by high school students who participated in the journalism academies in the Columbia College Chicago Links program. In this issue, 26 Chicago-area schools were represented.
Ferguson greeted students with news that she had read each of their stories. In her keynote address, she recounted the essence of their stories, acknowledging the students by name and thanking them for their reporting.
Here is an excerpt from her speech: “I feel powerfully connected to you and what you are doing . . . . I came to understand that allowing people to be heard . . . helping the invisible to be seen through the media was a powerful weapon in the fight for social justice in America and in the world. Now I see you taking up that fight for justice. . . . If you students who produce r_wurd and “Green in the City” are the future of reporting in America, I have renewed confidence in what we can become. Whether you’re professional journalists or citizen journalists your generation is fearless in reporting what you see. I am so grateful for that!”