NIU today | Journalist and author Ray Suarez joins NIU’s Rebuilding Democracy lecture series on April 5
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences proudly welcomes journalist and author Ray Suarez as the next guest in its Democracy Rebuilding Lecture Series at 7 p.m. CDT on April 5.
The event, hosted on Zoom, will feature a discussion between Suarez and Dean Robert Brinkmann on the role of the media, press freedom, distortion and disinformation, political polarization and the rise of a new America – one where a majority of Americans will trace their ancestry to Africa, Asia and Latin America rather than Europe. A moderated question and answer session will follow.
The program is free and open to the public, but prior registration is required. Go to http://go.niu.edu/Rebuilding-Democracy-RSVP to request a link to the event by April 5. Event links will be sent from the [email protected] mailbox one day prior to the event.
In this presentation, Suarez returns to familiar territory. Earlier in his career, Suarez was a generalist reporter for WMAQ-TV, owned and operated by NBC in Chicago. He was subsequently a Los Angeles correspondent for CNN, a producer for the ABC Radio network in New York, a journalist for various British and American outlets in London and Rome, and host in Washington of the program “Talk of the Nation” of NPR. before joining PBS.
Suarez spent 14 years as a correspondent and anchor for the public television nightly newscast, “PBS NewsHour”, where he became chief national correspondent. During his tenure with NewsHour, Suarez covered the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington; four presidential elections; reported from the floor of seven political party conventions; hosted two presidential debates, among hundreds of other international events. Suarez left PBS to host Al Jazeera America’s daily news program, “Inside Story.” In 2018, Suarez completed an appointment as McCloy Visiting Professor of American Studies at Amherst College.
Currently, Suarez is the co-host of “WorldAffairs”, produced by the World Affairs Council and distributed on public radio in the United States by KQED-FM. He also covers Washington for the English news network Euronews. Since launching Brooklyn Boy Productions in 2019, he has created content for public radio and television, The Washington Post, The Independent (London), The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pew Research, Knowable, “America in One Room”, Hispanics in Philanthropy, Slate, The Nation, Hearst TV, AlterNet, CityPaper, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the American Communities Project, and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, among others.
He has done extensive work in narrating long-running television programs. He was the on-camera narrator and co-writer of Jerusalem: The Center of the World (PBS, 2008). He hosted and reported the documentary “Anatomy of a Pandemic (PBS, 2009)”, hosted “Homeland”, the public television series on illegal immigration (PBS/KETC), co-hosted the 1998-99 PBS series on the campaign finance reform “Follow the Money,” narrated National Geographic’s nature series “Animal Genius,” hosted a series on end-of-life decision-making “With Our Eyes Open (KQED , 2000),” and a multi-year series on American democracy, “By the People (MacNeil/Lehrer Productions 2002-04). Suarez hosted the long-running foreign policy documentary series “America Abroad” on public radio, the weekly Latino political show Destination Casa Blanca for HITN-TV, and the radio documentary series “American Radio Works,” which aired on the nationwide by American Public Media.
During his decades as a broadcaster, Suarez has also done considerable work as a writer. He wrote the 2013 companion volume to the PBS documentary series, “Latino Americans.” In 2005 he published an examination of the close relationship between religion and electoral politics, “The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America.” His first book examined the decades of transition in urban America, “The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration”. He also wrote the article on religion and politics for the Oxford Companion to American Politics published in 2012. His next book, on modern immigration to the United States, will be published in 2023.
Suarez holds a BA in African History from New York University, where he won the Parke Honor in History and the KY Daaku Prize in African Studies. He began his studies at the University of Chicago after winning a Benton scholarship there in 1991, and later earned a master’s degree in social sciences.
The Rebuilding Democracy Lecture Series shows how the liberal arts and sciences are central to a healthy democracy. The series touches on various aspects of building a stronger democracy and bringing a fractured society together – everything from restoring civility, exploring the branches of government, rebuilding our diplomatic and intelligence offices, as well as topical issues such as education, health, media, public health, budget and finance, sustainability/environmental issues, and social justice/human rights.