Curley Center session to address covering race in American sports

What’s in a name? And how should it be used? Those are just two of the topics that will be addressed during “White Ballers, Black Dreamers and Indian Mascots: Covering Race in American Sports” -- a free public session presented by the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, in Foster Auditorium of Paterno Library.

The event featuring Jesse Washington, the national writer on race and ethnicity for The Associated Press, marks the latest installment of the Curley Center Conversation Series.

John Affleck, the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society and director of the Curley Center, will moderate the session. In addition to his questions, there will be ample time for a question-and-answer session with those in attendance.

Washington, an award-winning journalist, author and editor, has covered race for The Associated Press since 2008. In 2011, he earned a national journalism award from the Asian-American Journalists Association and was named Journalist of the Year by the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists.

He previously worked for The Associated Press as the entertainment editor, as an assistant bureau chief in New York City and as a supervisor on the national editing desk. He started his career with the AP’s Detroit bureau after completing a summer internship with the wire service and also has worked for Business Week magazine, the Hartford Courant and The New York Times.

Between stints with the AP, Washington served as managing editor of Vibe magazine, was named founding editor-in-chief of Vibe spinoff Blaze and co-founded the street basketball magazine Bounce. He later published two coffee-table books and a novel.

Washington, who began his journalism career covering sports for The Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal, earned his bachelor’s degree from Yale University.

Previous participants in the Curley Center’s conversation series include Bob Costas, John Feinstein, Joe Posnanski and Tom Verducci.

The John Curley Center for Sports Journalism explores issues and trends in sports journalism through instruction, outreach, programming and research. The center was established in 2003, with Distinguished Professional in Residence and professor John Curley, and Dean Doug Anderson serving as founding co-directors.

It was named the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism in September 2006, honoring Curley, whose more than five decades of newspaper experience includes work as a reporter, editor, publisher and, ultimately, president, CEO and chairman of the Gannett Co. He was the first editor of USA Today.

The Curley Center’s undergraduate curricular emphasis includes courses in sports writing, sports broadcasting, sports information, sports, media and society, and sports and public policy, which is cross-listed with the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. The Center emphasizes internships at newspapers, magazines or electronic media and on-campus, co-curricular work at the student-run newspaper (The Daily Collegian), the Penn State sports information office and campus radio.

Last Updated October 22, 2013