WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Noted journalist Salim Muwakkil, senior editor of In These Times, columnist for the Chicago Tribune, radio talk show host and professor of urban studies, presented a lecture on “Presidential Politics: Race, Gender and the Media Frame” to a standing-room-only audience at Whitman on Monday evening. His impassioned lecture drew a standing ovation from the crowd.

 Muwakkil’s lively discussion ranged from the subject of politics of the presidential race—“The black listeners from my radio show say they will not vote for Hillary if she is the democratic choice, but I try to dissuade them from this way of thinking”—to the media—“Fox News edited the clips on Reverend Wright to be as inflammatory as possible”—to the personal—“I went to the march on Washington to meet co-eds and I ran into Martin Luther King.”

 The energetic 61-year-old veteran of the Vietnam War as well as the racially charged riots of the ‘60s and ‘70s, decried the current legal system that imprisons and wastes “the brightest, most innovative and most entrepreneurial of our young black men” for drug crimes at a much higher rate than their white counterparts.

 This electrically charged lecture was not the first presentation the persistently up-beat Muwakkil gave that day. From a talk with professor Julie Charlip’s alternative voices class, to a workshop with the staff of the Pioneer  and finally to the evening lecture, Muwakkil consistently took listeners on an electrically charged walk through the world of journalism today, the history and consequences of slavery, the hip hop culture, and the political possibilities and pitfalls of the near future.

 Before bidding his audience good night, Muwakkil praised Pioneer editor Sophie Johnson ’08 for being an intellectually inquisitive member of his class on urban studies which she attended during her semester at The Chicago Urban Studies Program last year.

 At the awards presentation before his formal address, Muwakkil assisted Whitman President George Bridges confer the following Hosokawa Journalism Awards, which each include a $500 prize ($250 for ties):

●Photojournalism: Ben Hayes ’11 for an untitled photo of a Native American child in costume dancing;

●Opinion/Editorial: A tie between Kathryn Presley ’08 for the opinion piece “Silence: Not always golden” and Gabriela Salvidea ’10 for the opinion piece “Library etiquette in Penrose”;

●Sports: Margaux Cameron ’10 for “Men’s tennis starts strong, women’s works with small numbers”;

●News: Katie Combs ’08 for “Faculty torn over new hires;”

●Features/A&E Coverage: Erin Salvi ’08 for “I’m not there,” a review of the movie by the same name about Bob Dylan.

 The Hosokawa Lecture and student journalism awards honor Robert R. Hosokawa, a 1940 Whitman graduate who enjoyed a long career in journalism, corporate communications and education. After graduating from Whitman with honors in English, Hosokawa was considering law school when he and other Japanese-Americans were forced into internment camps at the start of World War II. He and his wife were allowed to leave their internment camp in Idaho after one of his former Whitman professors found him a job with a weekly newspaper in Independence, Missouri.

    Hosokawa is now retired and living in Florida. His son, David Hosokawa, created the endowment that finances annual journalism awards and brings distinguished journalists to the campus for lectures and workshops.


CONTACT: Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156