On February 15 and 16, John Jay College hosted the 13th annual John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America. The annual conference brings together researchers and policymakers with journalists and reporters to deepen public understanding on today’s most relevant crime issues. The first day of the symposium ended with the annual Trailblazer Award Dinner, where Bill Moyers was honored as the fifth recipient of the annual Justice Media Trailblazer Award. The award is given annually by John Jay College and The Crime Report to honor individuals in the media who have advanced national understanding on the 21st-century challenges of criminal justice.
After being introduced by former New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, Moyers spoke passionately about criminal justice reform as well as journalism’s role to “get the public as close as possible to the verifiable truth.”
This year’s symposium was focused on “Justice in the Heartland,” and panels on the opioid epidemic, gun control, and sentencing reform were among the events scheduled. A record number of 33 reporters and journalists were awarded fellowships to attend the 2018 symposium.
Daniel Wilhelm, President of the Harry Frank Guggeinheim Foundation, opened the conference on Thursday morning with a keynote address. “It’s thanks to John Jay College’s commitment and leadership that this symposium has become one of the most closely watched national events in the criminal justice field,” he said. “The Guggenheim Foundation is pleased to support this endeavor and participate in applying a framework of better understanding, knowledge, and solutions to these urgent and important issues.”
President Karol V. Mason also delivered welcome remarks and celebrated the symposium as a unique opportunity to foster collaboration between reporters and researchers. “John Jay is so proud to host this event,” she said. “Getting the truth out about research is critical to informing the national conversation. I applaud the Fellows who are spending two days with us to understand the issues so they can educate the American public.”
Also honored at the Trailblazer Award Dinner were winners of the 2017-2018 John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim Prizes for Excellence in Criminal Justice Journalism. This year’s winners included Spencer Woodman of the Chicago Reader and The Investigative Fund, as well as the investigative team of Carol Marbin Miller and Audra D.S. Burch of the Miami Herald.
Watch the 2018 John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on John Jay’s YouTube channel.