Laura S. Washington biography
November 12, 2010 3:50PM
Updated: January 25, 2011 4:02PM
Laura S. Washington, a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, brings more than two decades of experience as a non-profit professional and multi-media journalist who specializes in African-American affairs, local and national politics, race and racism, and social justice. She also serves as a political analyst for ABC-7 Chicago, the Chicago-based ABC affiliate.
From 2003 to 2009 she served as the Ida B. Wells-Barnett University Professor at DePaul University and fellow at the DePaul Humanities Center.
Washington was also the longtime editor and publisher of The Chicago Reporter, a nationally recognized investigative monthly specializing in racial issues and urban affairs.
Her column has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times since 2001. She is a frequent commentator on National Public Radio and Chicago Public Radio. She has also written a column for the Chicago Tribune. In 1985 Washington was appointed deputy press secretary to Mayor Harold Washington, Chicago's first black mayor. She also served as a producer for the investigative unit at CBS-2/Chicago, correspondent for “Chicago Tonight” on WTTW-TV, and wrote an op-ed column for the Chicago Tribune.
Washington earned her Bachelor's and Master's in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where she has also taught and lectured.
She has been honored with more than two dozen local and national awards for her work, including two Chicago Emmys, the Peter Lisagor Award, the Studs Terkel Award for Community Journalism and the Racial Justice Award from the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago. Washington is a founding inductee to the Medill School of Journalism Hall of Achievement and the 2002 Northwestern University Alumnae Award. In 1999 the Chicago Community Trust awarded her a Community Service Fellowship, for "exemplary service, commitment and leadership in individuals from the nonprofit sector."
Newsweek magazine named Washington one of the nation's "100 People to Watch" in the 21st Century. Newsweek said: "her style of investigative journalism has made (the Reporter) a powerful and award-winning voice."
She is a member of the Chicago and national associations of black journalists and serves on the board of the Field Museum. Washington is widely quoted and featured in the national media, including Time and Newsweek magazines, The New York Times, NBC Nightly News and PBS News Hour and the BBC. She speaks frequently to local and national audiences.