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HomeEventsCovering the Chauvin Trial: The Roles of Journalists, PR and Communications Professionals

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Covering the Chauvin Trial: The Roles of Journalists, PR and Communications Professionals

Panel Discussion + Q&A
With the trial of a former Minneapolis Police Officer charged with the death of George Floyd set to get underway in March, many reporters, editors and photographers have been planning their coverage for months. Extensive media reports may continue for months.

Join Minnesota PRSA’s D&I Officer, Marsha Pitts-Phillips, as she facilitates a conversation with journalists who’ve worked on the frontlines of big trials and are slated to cover the Chauvin trial and a PR pro as a former journalist, will share her insights. 

Friday, Mar. 19, 2021
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Central Time 

Online via Zoom.
Access details to be provided via email to registrants.

PRSA members: $10
PRSSA members: FREE
Students/non-members of PRSSA: FREE
Non-PRSA members and guests: $20


Marsha Pitts-Phillips, D&I Officer for Minnesota PRSA and President and Founder of MRPP & Associates Communications, LLC
Marsha R. Pitts-Phillips is the President and Founder of MRPP & Associates Communications, LLC.  She serves as the first Diversity & Inclusion Officer of the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and is a Distinguished Diversity and Inclusion Fellow at the University of Minnesota Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. 

Marsha was the 2020 recipient of the PRSA D. Parke Gibson Pioneer Award

Pitts-Phillips also serves on the PRSA National Diversity and Inclusion Committee and as a PRSA Diversity and Inclusion Liaison. She is a member of the National Black Public Relations Society; the National Association of Black Journalists Media-Related Members Task Force and its local affiliate, the Twin Cities Black Journalists. She is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. 

She believes in giving back and paying it forward. She volunteers with Three-Sixty Journalism, a nonprofit program serving youth interested in multimedia storytelling; serves on the leadership advisory council for the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies; and on the board of Prepare + Prosper. 

Pitts-Phillips is an ordained associate minister. She lives in suburban Minneapolis.


Sheree Curry, Communications Director, University of St. Thomas
Sheree R. Curry is an award-winning journalist and PR and communications professional. She has reported for Fortune and the Wall Street Journal and was tenure-track journalism faculty. She is currently director of communications at the University of St. Thomas. 

She sits on the board of the Minnesota chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists and serves on the Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection. Her master’s degree is in journalism from the University of Illinois.

Libor Jany, Minneapolis crime reporter for the Star Tribune
Libor Jany is the Minneapolis crime reporter for the Star Tribune. He joined the newspaper in 2013, after stints in newsrooms in Connecticut, New Jersey, California and Mississippi. He spent his first year working out of the paper's Washington County bureau, focusing on transportation and education issues, before moving to the Dakota County team.

Jany got his start in journalism in the sports department of his hometown paper, the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He attended Lewis & Clark College (Portland, Ore.) and Mississippi State University, majoring in communications with a minor in sociology. In his free time, he likes traveling, having visited 25 countries on six continents, including Pakistan in the summer of 2017. He was born in Czechoslovakia, and has lived in Gabon, France and seven U.S. states.

Harry Colbert, Editor-in-Chief, North News
Harry Colbert, Jr., Editor-In-Chief of North News, is an award-winning journalist who has contributed as a reporter, columnist/commentator and editor for such outlets as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s The Village, Insight News, Suburban Journals (St. Louis), St. Louis American, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Joplin Globe (Mo.), Metro Networks (St. Louis) and KDHX (St. Louis).

Colbert’s journalistic accolades include four Minnesota Newspaper Association awards (first place for General Reporting, two second place for Columnist and one third place for General Excellence), three National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Merit Awards (2018 Best Column, third place, 2017 Best Special Edition, second place [as both writer and managing editor] and 2016 Best Use of Photography) and three National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Salute to Excellence nominations (two for Best Commentary [2018, 2019] and one for Best Business Reporting [2019]).

A proud resident of the Cleveland neighborhood of North Minneapolis, Colbert enjoys spending time in his backyard grilling and entertaining for family and friends.

Robin Washington,  Host of WPR's regional program "Simply Superior" and a producer, journalist and columnist
Robin Washington is host of the Wisconsin Public Radio program, "Simply Superior." The former editor-in-chief of the Duluth News Tribune and interim commentary editor for The Marshall Project, his columns have appeared in scores of newspapers around the world, including locally in the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press. Robin is a contributing reporter for WGBH Boston and editor for American City Business Journals and has also appeared on NPR, BET, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, Fox News and many other broadcast outlets.

Robin grew up in a Chicago family of black and Jewish civil rights activists, participating in sit-ins and protests when he was three years old — events he recalls fondly as “family outings.” He has gone on to chronicle the movement in his acclaimed PBS documentary, “You Don’t Have to Ride Jim Crow!” and also made history with likely the first TV interview with a little-known Harvard law student named Barack Obama. Robin and his wife Julia Cheng, a photojournalist turned anti-poverty advocate, live in Duluth.

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Friday, March 19, 2021, 12:00 PM until 1:30 PM
Online via Zoom
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Jacob S Sturgis
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