Trailblazer Dorothy Butler Gilliam is BND, VCU, SPJ speaker on October 13

Sep 24, 2020

Dorothy Butler Gilliam will speak at the Robertson School’s virtual Speaker Series event on Oct. 13. (Kea Dupree Photography)

The Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture is excited to announce Dorothy Butler Gilliam, the first Black woman reporter at The Washington Post and author of an acclaimed book about newsroom diversity, for its Speaker Series event on Oct. 13. 

The virtual event, co-sponsored by the Virginia Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the BND Institute of Media and Culture, is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 6 p.m. and will be live streamed.

The event will be live streamed as a Zoom webinar. The Zoom livestream will become available on this page at the time of the event. 

You will also be able to view the live stream on the Robertson School’s Facebook page at the time of the event.

Gilliam will be answering your questions during the event. You can submit your questions before the event via this online form. You can also post questions during the evet in the Q&A function of the Zoom webinar and on the Facebook livestream as well as tweet questions during the event with the hashtag #VCURobertson or #SPJVA. We will be asking as many of your questions as possible during the event.

Gilliam started at The Washington Post in 1961 and worked as a reporter, editor, columnist and director of the newspaper’s Young Journalist Development Program during a career that spanned a half century.

She also has been a television reporter in Washington, D.C., and a senior research scientist at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, where she founded a program encouraging young people to pursue careers in journalism.

Diane Walker of NBC 12 will moderate the Speaker Series event.

Gilliam, a former president of the National Association of Black Journalists, has a close relationship with Virginia Commonwealth University: In 2000, she was a Dabney visiting professor and a commencement speaker for the Robertson School when it was called the School of Mass Communications.

In 2019, Gilliam published “Trailblazer: A Pioneering Journalist’s Fight to Make the Media Look More Like America.” The memoir details Gilliam’s personal and professional experiences and her efforts to increase the number of journalists of color in U.S. news organizations.

The Oct. 13 online event featuring Gilliam will be moderated by Diane Walker, an anchor at NBC 12 and a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame.

Walker, who has received numerous awards for public service journalism and community involvement, is the face of her station’s flagship franchise “12 On Your Side,” which investigates consumer complaints and gives voice to the voiceless.

A special thanks to Mr. Michael L. Harvey of MLH Assets Management for supporting the BND Institute of Media and Culture in this program.