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John Seigenthaler, Sr. Is Nyack's Social Justice Day Speaker

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Tuesday January 3, 2012

Nyack College’s annual Social Justice Day celebration will be held on Friday, January 13. This year at 12:30 p.m. a luncheon, formerly held in Shuman Hall on the Rockland County campus, will take place at Nyack Seaport, 21 Burd Street in Nyack. A reception to introduce the luncheon honorees will be held beginning at 11:00 a.m. in the office of Nyack President Michael Scales on the Rockland campus in Shuman Hall.

The 2012 recipients of the Social Justice Day Award include husband and wife, Drs. Edmund and Susan Gordon, founders of the CEJJES Institute in Pomona, a cultural, educational and research foundation dedicated to improving educational and social conditions for all disenfranchised people. Other honorees are the Honorable Ellen Jaffee, 95th District Assemblywoman in Rockland County; and Mr. James F. Kralik, retiring Rockland County Sheriff. 

Keynote speaker for this prelude to celebrating the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, will be veteran journalist John Seigenthaler, Sr. (pictured above). Mr. Seigenthaler, who founded the First Amendment Center in Nashville, is a former president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, who served for 43 years as an award-winning journalist for The Tennessean, a Nashville morning newspaper. At his retirement he was editor, publisher, and CEO of the publication and is now chairman emeritus. In 1982, Seigenthaler became founding editorial director of USA TODAY and served in that position for a decade, retiring from both the Nashville and national newspapers in 1991.

A former Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, he served for two decades as a member of the Nieman Advisory Board. In the early 1960s, Mr. Seigenthaler served in the U.S. Justice Department as special assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, which led to his role as chief negotiator with the governor of Alabama during the Freedom Rides. 

Today, Seigenthaler hosts a weekly book-review program, "A Word On Words." A senior advisory trustee of the Freedom Forum, he is chair of the Robert F. Kennedy Book Awards for the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights and chairman emeritus of the annual Profile in Courage Award selection committee of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Seigenthaler is a member of the Constitution Project on Liberty and Security, created after the 9/11 tragedies, and served on the eighteen-member National Commission on Federal Election Reform organized in 2001 by former Presidents Carter and Ford.

For more information on this event, contact Earl Miller, executive director of community relations at Nyack College at or by phone at 845.675.4791.

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