The 2017 Studs Terkel Award winners are talented journalists who tell compelling stories across platforms. Our 2017 Uplifting Voices Award winner is a philanthropist who has elevated community voices via an invitation to come to the table.

Learn more about these outstanding people below and join us to celebrate them March 9 at our scholarship award and benefit. For tickets and sponsorship information, click here.

Cate Cahan

cate-cahan-picStuds Terkel Award

As a WBEZ editor, Cate works with reporters and producers to conceive and research stories, edits scripts and digital copy, and organizes long-term projects, including series.

Cate joined WBEZ in 1998 as editor for Eight Forty-Eight, then WBEZ’s weekday morning newsmagazine. She’s played a number of key roles here, including as interim news director and metro editor of beat reporters in community bureaus, and in business, politics, science, criminal and legal affairs, education, urban affairs and arts. Because she works with excellent reporters and producers Cate has received numerous local, regional and national awards. Before coming to WBEZ, she worked as editorial director and later planning editor for the local CBS station, WBBM.

She’s also been a magazine editor and worked as a newspaper reporter, which she still sometimes misses. Cate has a M.A. in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.A. in English from Mundelein College.

She and her husband Rich live in Evanston. They have four children, three children-in-law, and two [adorable] grandchildren, Maddie and Millie.

Carlos Javier Ortiz

carlos-ortiz-picStuds Terkel Award

Carlos Javier is a director, cinematographer and documentary photographer who focuses on urban life, gun violence, racism, poverty and marginalized communities. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and live in the permanent collections of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts; the International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, NY; the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago; the Detroit Institute of Arts; and the Library of Congress.

In addition, his photos were used to illustrate Ta-Nehisi Coates’ The Case for Reparations (2014) article, which was the best selling issue in the history of the Atlantic Magazine. His photos have also been published in The New Yorker, Mother Jones, among many others.

His film, We All We Got, uses images and sounds to convey a community’s deep sense of loss and resilience in the face of gun violence.

Carlos’ current project is series of short films chronicling the contemporary stories of Black Americans who came to the North during the Great Migration. Beginning with his mother-in-law’s story, Carlos is exploring the legacy of the Great Migration a century after it began. For Carlos, who moved back and forth between Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland as a child, the story of a displaced people in search of stability and economic opportunity resonates with his own.

In addition to his photography and film, Carlos Javier has taught at Northwestern University and the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Chicago and Oakland with his wife and frequent collaborator, Tina K. Sacks, a professor of social welfare at the University of California, Berkeley.

Steve Mills

Studs Terkel Award

Steve Mills joined the Chicago Tribune as a reporter in 1994.

For the past 19 years, he has written largely about the death penalty, wrongful convictions and other issues in the criminal justice system.

Before joining the Tribune, he worked for five years at the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle.

He is a native of Pasadena, Calif. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He is married and has three children.

Univision Chicago

univision-chicagoStuds Terkel Award

Established in 1991, Univision’s Chicago newsroom makes multiplatform news content for TV, radio, web at and social media. Airing 7 days per week at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., Univision Chicago was the number 1 newscast for all 2016 at 5 p.m.

In 2014, Noticias Univision Chicago was the first Spanish language broadcast to win an Emmy award for late evening newscast.

Noticias Univision Chicago covers “daily challenges related to the school system, to lifelong concerns like immigration, family, faith and finances.” As is written in their mission statement, “We don’t serve Washington or Wall Street or City Hall. Our masters are Latino newborns, students and Moms… Hispanic families, businesses, workers, professionals, entrepreneurs and groups that make our community better.”

The team of 28 journalists is led by Teri Arvesu, who was recently promoted to vice president/director of content at Noticias Univision Chicago and named one of Crain’s Chicago’s 40 under 40.

Terry Mazany

terry-mazany-2015-close-upUplifting Voices Award

Terry Mazany is President and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s leading community foundations that recently celebrated its 100th anniversary.  With assets of more than $2.5 billion the Trust partners with donors to distribute over $150 million annually.  Terry was selected as the sixth executive in the Trust’s hundred year history in 2004.  In 2011 Terry also served as the interim chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools.

Terry is also Chairman of the National Assessment Governing Board, and Principal Investigator for the CAPriCORN CDRN, network member of PCORnet.  He was a member of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the first community foundation, Terry and his colleague, David Perry, co-edited Here for Good: Community Foundations and the Challenges of the 21st Century.

Prior to his work in philanthropy, Terry enjoyed earlier careers in public education, archaeology, and dendrochronology; with degrees in Anthropology, Business, and Education.  He has also been awarded Honorary Doctorate degrees from DePaul University and Lewis University.


Join Public Narrative in celebrating the 2017 class of Studs Terkel winners on March 9. Buy tickets here.