Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Congratulations to My Other Team!

I've always wondered what it felt like to win a prestigious award like, say...a Pulitzer Prize.

Well, I haven't won one yet. But I am related to a team that has.

The Dallas Morning News Editorial Board has won a Pulitzer Prize. What's my connection? They've won it for their 'Bridging the North/South Gap' project. As this prestigious recognition says, the Pulitzer for Editorial writing is the paper's "relentless editorials deploring the stark social and economic disparity between the city’s better-off northern half and distressed southern half." Sharon Grigsby is the deputy editor of the editorial board and she spearheads the project. She's a passionately committed journalists whose greatest asset is her dedication to understand South Dallas and the people who live there. For the past two years, the columns I've written for the DMN have been in connection with this project. While I enjoy writing (I tell people I enjoy 'having written'), I am really grateful that I get opportunity to make some contribution to the project.

Most people ask whether or not I'm told what to write in this series - almost without exception, I choose the subject - a freedom I'm given that was surprising to me at first and surprises most people. But the concerns and issues raised in 'Bridging the North/South Gap' gibe nicely with the values of Central Dallas Ministries, so there is wonderful synergy to my work and this writing. As VP of Public Policy, its not difficult to merge the two interests.

The actual writers who are being honored with the Pulitzer are outstanding writers: Tod Robberson, Colleen McCain Nelson and Bill McKenzie. They all richly deserve this recognition and I'm proud to have even a limited association with them.

I don't always agree with the conclusions DMN's editorial position, the writing of these three journalists or the conclusions they reach. But the News is to be honored for their commitment to bring legitimate light on an area of town that has been blighted through neglect, poor public policy, crime and underfunded public education. They also highlight champions in the area - residents of South Dallas, West Dallas and Pleasant Grove who are fighting to make life better for their neighbors. More and more, the News is trying to become an agitator and an ally for those who live south of the Trinity River. That in itself is worthy of reward.

Congratulations, Carol, Tod, Bill and Sharon - thanks for letting me come along for the ride!

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