Mary A. Mitchell is an editorial board member and columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a recipient of numerous journalism awards, including the prestigious Award of Excellence from the National Association of Black Journalists; the Studs Terkel Award from the Community Media Workshop; the Peter Lisagor Award from the Chicago Headliner Club; the Phenomenal Woman Award-Media from the Expo for Today's Black Woman; and the Humanitarian Award from the 100 Black Men of Chicago. In 2004, Crain's Chicago Business honored Mitchell as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in the city.
Mitchell earned a B.A. in Journalism at Columbia College Chicago. She joined the Chicago Sun-Times as an education writer in 1991, and has covered City Hall and the U.S. Federal Courts.
Community violence, sexual abuse of minors, the HIV/AIDS epidemic in African-American neighborhoods, and racial attitudes in Chicago have inspired Mitchell to tackle these controversial subjects even when community leaders are silent.
Most recently, Mitchell wrote a series of columns that challenged the questionable practices of Utah adoption agencies. Those columns were credited with leading to the return of an African-American baby to her birth mother. Additionally, Illinois legislators strengthened the state's adoption laws to better protect birth mothers and their children from adoption fraud.
Mitchell has been called "courageous" and "compassionate" by readers who trust her to give them a voice on issues ranging from police misconduct to the tragedy of Black-on-Black violence.
She is also an advocate for women.
As a news reporter, Mitchell exposed the sexual abuse of women in Illinois prisons. Those articles prompted the Illinois General Assembly to strengthen laws prohibiting prison guards from engaging in sex with inmates.
Today, Mitchell writes about a variety of topics, but her work often rallies African-American readers to empower their communities by promoting education and by protecting the most vulnerable members of our society-our children and our elderly.
Her column appears on Tuesday, Thursdays and Sundays, and is distributed throughout the Midwest by United Media. Mitchell is also a frequent guest panelist on WTTW's Week In Review, and has appeared on national news programs, including, FOX-TV and The O'Reilly Factor.