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Miller Lecture to feature Leonard Pitts

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From St. Norbert College, January 10, 2011
by Mike Counter,, (920) 403-3089

On Feb. 17, St. Norbert College's Peace and Justice Center and the Green Bay Press-Gazette will host Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts Jr., who will deliver the Norman and Louis Miller Lecture in Public Understanding. Pitts' lecture, "The Water in the Glass," will be presented at 7 p.m. in the Walter Theatre, located in the Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts on the St. Norbert College campus. In conjunction with Pitts' lecture, a high school essay contest will be held.

Recipient of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, Pitts has been a syndicated columnist with the Miami Herald since 1994; his column is featured twice a week in the Press-Gazette. He is the author of three books: "Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood," the novel "Before I Forget" and "Forward From This Moment," a collection of his columns. Pitts has been honored for his work by the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, The Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, and GLAAD Media. He has served as a visiting professor at Hampton University, Ohio University and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Pitts' ability to connect with readers was particularly apparent in his initial column after the September 11, 2001, attacks. "We'll Go Forward From This Moment," an angry and defiant open letter to the terrorists, circulated the globe via the Internet. It generated upwards of 30,000 e-mails, and has since been set to music, reprinted in poster form, read on television by Regis Philbin and quoted by Congressman Richard Gephardt as part of the Democratic Party's weekly radio address.

"The Green Bay Press-Gazette is proud to partner with St. Norbert College on this special event that brings a distinguished journalist to our area and encourages young people to develop the craft of writing through a high school essay contest," said Karen Lincoln Michel, assistant managing editor at the Press Gazette. "A job of the news media is to seek out diverse voices that will provide a rich public dialogue, and Leonard Pitts Jr.'s visit through the lecture series allows our newspaper to engage the community in such a forum."
The essay contest is sponsored by the Peace and Justice Center and the Press-Gazette. It is open to students from northeastern Wisconsin, and is themed "Reason for Hope: Pathways to Understanding." Essays should be 250 to 300 words, and winners will be announced at a dinner before the Feb. 17 lecture. First prize is a $2,000 scholarship to St. Norbert and an iPad. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 20. For more information, contact Darryl Buck at 920-272-7034 or
The Norman and Louis Miller Lecture Series celebrates human dignity and encourages better understanding between people, promoting unity, communication and tolerance among different cultures, religions, ethnicities and traditions.
For more information on the lecture, contact the Peace and Justice Center at St. Norbert College at or (920) 403-3919.

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