WWU to Host Hedrick Smith for ‘Taking Back Our Democracy’ April 11

Western Washington University’s Ralph Munro Institute for Civic Education will host journalist, author and television producer Hedrick Smith, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes and two Emmy Awards, for “Taking Back Our Democracy” at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 11 in Arntzen Hall 100.

This presentation is free and open to the public.

Smith’s “Taking Back Our Democracy” will present what he calls the missing story of American politics — how grassroots citizen movements are winning reforms to make our democracy fairer and more inclusive. His presentation will include video clips from the soon-to-be-released one-hour documentary on the subject.

Smith’s presentation will focus on positive stories of grassroots reformers winning battles against dark money, gerrymandering, voter suppression, and powerful mega-donors. This includes Washington State’s successful Initiative-735 campaign to roll back the U.S. Supreme Court’s “Citizen’s United” decision, which has unleashed a flood of dark money in American politics.

Smith served as the New York Times Moscow Bureau Chief from 1971 to 1974 and as its Washington Bureau Chief and chief correspondent from 1976 to 1982. He has written five books, including bestsellers “The Russians” and “The Power Game: How Washington Works.”

In 1971, he was a member of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for its work on the Pentagon Papers, a United States Department of Defense history of the United States' political and military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967. He won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 1974 for stories from Russia and Eastern Europe.

Smith has also won many television awards. His Frontline shows, “The Wall Street Fix” and “Can You Afford to Retire?” won Emmies and his Frontline shows, “Critical Condition” and “Tax Me If You Can” were also nominated. He has won or shared the Columbia-Dupont Gold Baton for the year’s best public affairs program on U.S. television twice. He has also won the George Polk, George Peabody and Hillman awards for his excellence in reporting along with two national public service awards.

This presentation is co-sponsored by Western Washington University’s Ralph Munro Institute for Civic Education and Indivisible Bellingham.

For more information about Smith’s presentation contact Western Washington University’s Munro Institute Director and Professor of Political Science Vernon Johnson at (360) 650-4874.