CFPCA's Journalism Institute for Media Diversity Spirit of Diversity Awards Honors New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Bridge Magazine Reporter Chastity Pratt-Dawsey, Friday, April 7

Each spring the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts Journalism Area of the Department of Communication, bestows the Spirit of Diversity Award on a journalist whose professional contributions have been national in scope and have advanced the cause of diversifying issues covered in America’s news media.

The 2017 Journalism Institute for Media Diversity Spirit of Diversity Awards takes place Friday, April 7 honoring New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Bridge Magazine Reporter Chastity Pratt-Dawsey!

Past recipients of the national Spirit of Diversity Award have included:

  • Washington Post Reporter Wesley Lower
  • New York Times Visual Op-Ed Columnist Charles M. Blow
  • Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Robin Givhan
  • Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Leonard Pitts
  • Michel Martin, host of NPR's "Tell Me More"
  • Denver Post Editor Gregory L. Moore
  • Poynter Institute Dean of Faculty Keith M. Woods
  • Detroit Free Press Executive Editor Robert McGruder
  • New York Times Managing Editor Gerald Boyd 

Equally as important, local journalists at the local level are honored with the Working in the Spirit of Diversity Award. This year, we are honoring Bridge Magazine Reporter Chastity Pratt-Dawsey for reporting on the issues that matter to this community – including education and the Flint water crisis.

Additionally, this event is a fundraiser for WSU’s groundbreaking Journalism Institute for Media Diversity program, which was founded in 1984 by the Department of Communication and editors of the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. Nearly 250 graduates of the Institute have launched professional careers at metro dailies, radio and TV stations, public relations firms and other media organizations across the nation. Some graduates have moved on to careers in law, politics, civic and charitable organizations and as award-winning authors and documentary producers.                                  


Dean Baquet is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist. He has been the executive editor of The New York Times since May 2014. Between 2011 and 2014, Baquet was managing editor under the previous executive editor Jill Abramson. He is the first African-American to serve as executive editor, the highest-ranking position in The New York Times newsroom. In 1988, Baquet won the Pulitzer Prize for leading a team of reporters that included Bill Gaines and Ann Marie Lipinski at the Chicago Tribune who exposed corruption on the Chicago City Council.


Chastity Pratt-Dawsey covers Michigan’s cities and urban affairs for Bridge. She joined the Bridge team from the The Detroit Free Press after more than a decade of providing authoritative coverage of Detroit Public Schools. She has broken many of the biggest stories regarding education in the state’s largest city over the past decade. Pratt-Dawsey’s work also has appeared in USA Today, Essence Magazine and the Investigative Reporters & Editors Journal. Before the Free Press, the native Detroiter was a reporter at Newsday in Long Island, NY, and The Oregonian newspaper in Portland. She started her career as an intern at The New York Times. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Communications from the University of Michigan.

Event Details:

  • Where: St. Andrews Hall, 918 Ludington Mall, Wayne State University, Detroit, 48203
  • Time: 6-8 p.m.

For more information, contact or visit the Journalism Office located at 553 Manoogian Hall.

For more information about the Department of Communication's Journalism Institute for Media Diversity program, visit