University Park

Award-winning journalists highlight Foster-Foreman Conference

Award-winning journalists John Eligon (left) and Douglas Blackmon will be featured during the Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers on Oct. 24 and 25. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Two award-winning journalists will speak at the annual Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers, a series of free public lectures Oct. 24 and Oct. 25 on the University Park campus.

John Eligon of the New York Times and Pulitzer Prize winner Douglas Blackmon are scheduled to share their work and participate in question-and-answer sessions on consecutive days. Eligon will be featured at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, in Schwab Auditorium and Blackmon will be featured at 10:35 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, in Freeman Auditorium of the HUB-Robeson Center.

Eligon, based in Kansas City, covers race issues as a national correspondent for the New York Times. He documents police violence protests, the changing face of the nation’s cities and suburbs and other nuances of America’s struggle with issues involving race.

He covered the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013 after completing the marathon himself, and has traveled to South Africa and Turin, Italy, to cover the death of Nelson Mandela and the Winter Olympic Games, respectively. Eligon spent three years as a sports journalist prior to authoring a narrative on the life of a young black man in one of St. Louis’s most violent neighborhoods and a series following a bankrupt Detroit neighborhood, among other publications.

Blackmon won the Pulitzer Prize for his New York Times bestseller, “Slavery by Another Name,” an analysis of how slavery persisted into the 20th century. He was the executive producer and host of “American Forum,” and previously served as senior national correspondent and longtime chief of the Wall Street Journal’s Atlanta bureau. He was also a contributing editor at the the Washington Post. 

Blackmon has covered significant events, including the election of President Barack Obama, the rise of the tea party movement, Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. Focusing primarily on race relations, injustice and how society should address its troubled past, Blackmon has documented a variety of domestic and international stories involving immigration, poverty and politics.

The conference was designed to bring students together with standout journalists and is an opportunity for students to acquaint themselves with distinguished role models in the profession.


Last Updated June 14, 2021