Past Winners


  • Bob Black, Photojournalist, formerly Chicago Sun-Times & Chicago Defender
  • Maya Dukmasova, Senior Reporter, Injustice Watch
  • Jacqueline Serrato, Barrio Journalist & Editor-in-Chief, South Side Weekly
  • María Inés Zamudio, Reporter, WBEZ
  • Shermann “Dilla” Thomas, Chicago Urban Historian & CEO of Chicago Mahogany Tours (Uplifting Voices Award)
  • Michelle Duster, Author, Professor and Public Historian (Ripple Effect Award)
Click here to watch a playback of the full ceremony, as well as individual videos of the winners' speeches along with introductions by past winners.


  • Brandis Friedman, WTTW
  • Michael Puente, WBEZ
  • Maureen O'Donnell, The Chicago Sun-Times
  • Karen Hawkins, The Chicago Reader & Rebellious Magazine
  • Tonika Lewis-Johnson, The Folded Map Project (Uplifting Voices Award)
  • Jamie Kalven, Invisible Institute (Ripple Effect Award)
Click here to watch the full ceremony. Note: The awards were postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Deborah Douglas, Managing Editor, MLK 50: Justice Through Journalism
  • Britt Julious, Freelance writer and editor
  • Jerome McDonnell, Reporter and former host of Worldview, WBEZ
  • Annie Sweeney, Reporter, Chicago Tribune
  • Jeff McCarter, Founder & Executive Director of Free Spirit Media (Uplifting Voices Award)
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones, Creator of 1619 Project, The New York Times (NEW Ripple Effect Award)
Click here to watch the full ceremony via CAN TV. Click here to see a photo gallery from the evening.


  • Kathy Chaney, Asst. Audience Engagement Editor, Chicago Sun-Times
  • Michael Spencer Green, Photojournalist, The Associated Press
  • Dahleen Glanton, Columnist, Chicago Tribune
  • Odette Yousef, Reporter, 91.5 WBEZ Chicago
  • Kevin Coval, Poet, Author, Activist and Educator (Uplifting Voices Award winner)
Watch the full ceremony here.


  • Cate Cahan, Editor, Chicago Public Radio/WBEZ
  • Steve Mills, Reporter, Chicago Tribune
  • Carlos Javier Ortiz, Photographer and filmmaker
  • Univision Chicago Newsroom
  • Terry Mazany (Uplifting Voices Award winner)
  • Yam G-Jun (Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner)
Watch the full ceremony here.


  • Lolly Bowean, Reporter, Chicago Tribune
  • Richard Steele, Program Host & Correspondent, Chicago Public Radio/WBEZ
  • Sarah Karp, Reporter, Chicago Public Radio/WBEZ
  • Cecilia Vaisman, Reporter, National Public Radio
  • Aurie Pennick (Uplifting Voices Award winner)
  • Khloe Richardson (Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner)
Watch the full ceremony here.


  • Maudlyne Ihejirika, Reporter & Journalist, Chicago Sun-Times
  • Monica Eng, Producer, Chicago Public Radio/WBEZ
  • Sharon Cohen, Reporter, The Associated Press
  • Darryl Holliday, Reporter & Producer, DNAInfo and The Illustrated Press
  • Adele Simmons (Uplifting Voices Award winner)
  • Columbia Links, Columbia College Chicago (Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner)


  • Steve Bogira, Reporter & Blogger, Chicago Reader
  • Alejandro Escalona, Web Manager, Telemundo
  • Steve James, Producer, Kartemquin Films
  • Gordon Quinn, Producer, Kartemquin Films
  • Katie Kather (Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner)
  • Fred & Nikki Will Stein (Uplifting Voices Award winners)


  • Megan Cottrell, Reporter, Chicago Reporter
  • Fernando Diaz, Managing Editor, Hoy Chicago
  • Dave Hoekstra, Reporter, Chicago Sun-Times
  • Lorne Clarkson (Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner)


  • Mick Dumke, Reporter, Chicago Reader
  • Maria Hinojosa, Anchor, PBS and Latino USA on National Public Radio
  • Chip Mitchell, Reporter, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio
  • Daniel Castro (Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner)


  • Linda Lenz, Founder and Publisher, Catalyst Chicago
  • Kari Lydersen, Freelance reporter
  • Antonio Olivo, Reporter, Chicago Tribune
  • Devin Katayama (Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner)


  • Kate Grossman, Deputy Editorial Page Editor, Chicago Sun-Times
  • Natalie Moore, Public Affairs Reporter, Chicago Public Radio
  • Progress Illinois
  • Mitchell Wenkus (Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner)


  • David Jackson, Chicago Tribune
  • Alden Loury, Editor and Publisher, The Chicago Reporter
  • Scott Simon, National Public Radio
  • Thom Clark, Community Media Workshop
  • Hsin Yin Sung (Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner)


  • Tom McNamee, Chicago Sun-Times
  • Radio Arte, 90.5 FM
  • Dawn Turner Trice, Chicago Tribune
  • Karla DiBenedetto (Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner)


  • Mary Helt Gavin, Publisher, The Evanston Roundtable
  • Stephen Franklin, Labor and Workplace Reporter, The Chicago Tribune
  • WRTO 1200 AM, La Tremenda (Univision Radio Network)
  • Lilia Markarova (Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner)


  • Mark Brown, columnist, Chicago Sun-Times
  • Renee Ferguson, reporter, WMAQ-TV/NBC5
  • Mary Johns and the Editorial Team, Residents’ Journal
  • Sean Patrick Fahey (Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner)


  • Tracy Baim, Windy City Media
  • John Conroy, Chicago Reader
  • Mary Schmich, Chicago Tribune
  • James Weinstein, In These Times
  • Angela Caputo (Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner)


  • Alex Kotlowitz, Journalist and Author
  • Linda Lutton, Daily Southtown
  • Phil Ponce, Chicago Tonight, WTTW
  • Suree Towfighnia (Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner)


  • Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune & WGN
  • Jorge Mota, Channel 44, Telemundo
  • Tom Weinberg, Image Union, WTTW
  • Geena Gintzig & Meghan Just (Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner)


  • Shirley Jahad, WBEZ-FM
  • Phil Kadner, Daily Southtown
  • Curtis Lawrence, Chicago Sun-Times
  • WVON-AM 1450


  • Cornelia Grumman, Chicago Tribune
  • Martha Irvine, The Associated Press
  • Salim Muwakkil, In These Times and Chicago Tribune


  • Lee Bey, Chicago Sun-Times
  • Ira Glass, WBEZ
  • Teresa Puente, Chicago Tribune


  • Jon Anderson, Chicago Tribune
  • John H. White, Chicago Sun-Times
  • Laura Washington, The Chicago Reporter
  • Harry Porterfield, WLS Channel 7 News


  • Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune
  • Ben Hollis, Wild Chicago
  • Chinta Strausberg, Chicago Daily Defender


  • Don Terry, New York Times
  • Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times
  • John McDermott, The Chicago Reporter


  • Ray Suarez, National Public Radio
  • Achy Obejas, Chicago Tribune
  • Carol Marin, NBC Channel 5 News


  • Vernon Jarrett, Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times
  • Charles Nicodemus, Chicago Sun-Times
  • Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader


  • W. Newman, Chicago Daily News and Sun-Times
  • David Moberg, In These Times
  • Cheryl Corley, National Public Radio