Gutiérrez wins national diversity research and education award



Posted July 8, 2011

Félix F. Gutiérrez , professor of Journalism, Communication and American Studies & Ethnicity at USC Annenberg, has been chosen to receive the 2011 Lionel C. Barrow Jr. Award for Distinguished Achievement in Diversity Research and Education by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).

The Barrow Award recognizes outstanding accomplishment and leadership in diversity efforts for underrepresented groups by race and ethnicity. It will be presented at the AEJMC convention in St. Louis on August 12, where Gutiérrez is also speaker at the 40th anniversary luncheon of the association's Minorities and Communication division.

"Beginning in 1971, Lee Barrow was a role model, mentor and barrier breaker for me," says Gutiérrez. "I am very humbled and deeply honored to be receiving an award that bears his name." Barrow, the former dean of Howard University's School of Communication, passed away in 2009.

Gutiérrez holds a journalism diversity appointment in the USC Annenberg School for Journalism & Communication and is a professor in the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Since 1967 much of his career in higher education and philanthropy has focused on teaching, researching, and advocating diversity and inclusion of all people in all forms of media.

"For more than 40 years I've played a very small role in a very large movement to make classrooms, newsrooms and media coverage more diverse and inclusive of all Americans," he says. "As women and men of diverse colors, cultures and sexual orientations increase in number and visibility, it is more important than ever for media to accurately cover all in our society."

Gutiérrez has received more than 35 awards for advancing more accurate understanding of the nation's diversity. These include national awards from the Asian American Journalists Association, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Black College Communication Association, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, National Association of Multicultural Media Executives, and National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.

As a scholar, he has authored or co-authored five books and more than 50 scholarly articles or book chapters, most on racial or technological diversity in media. In 2004 his co-authored book, Racism, Sexism, and the Media: The Rise of Class Communication in Multicultural America, received the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Research About Journalism.

Other co-authored books include: Spanish-language Radio in the Southwestern United States (1979), Telecommunications Policy Handbook (1981), Minorities and the Media: Diversity and the End of Mass Communication (1985), and Race, Multiculturalism and the Media: From Mass to Class Communication (1995).

In 2009, Gutiérrez curated a 24-panel traveling exhibit titled "Voices for Justice: 200 Years of Latino Newspapers in the United States," which traces the "forgotten pages" of U.S. Latino newspapers from 1808 to the present. He is currently collaborating on a documentary film highlighting 200 years of news coverage by U.S. Latino newspapers and journalists.

As a teacher, he first taught a course on Chicanos and the media at Stanford University in 1970, and in the early 1980s co-founded, with fellow professor Clint Wilson, USC's course on minorities and the media. He currently teaches classes on people of color and the news media, Latino news media in the United States, sexual orientation issues in journalism, and journalism history.

As an advocate, the California Chicano News Media Association appointed him its executive director in 1978, the first professional association for journalists of color to have such a position. Since then he has advocated for diversity to print and broadcast journalists, mass communication educators and administrators, and entertainment media professionals, in addition to being consulted by government agencies and media corporations.

Gutiérrez moved from higher education to philanthropy from 1990 to 2002, serving as senior vice president of the Freedom Forum and the Newseum. In addition to administering grants, his responsibilities included researching diversity exhibits and developing foundation initiatives to advance the learning, teaching and practice of journalism. He also developed the foundation's Pacific Coast Center in Oakland and San Francisco from 1993 through 2000.

A native of East Los Angeles, he earned a B.A. in Social Studies from California State College Los Angeles, an M.S. from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and an A.M. and Ph.D. in Communication from Stanford University.

He is married to Maria Elena Gutiérrez, Ed.D. They have three daughters: Elena, associate professor of gender and women's studies and Latin American and Latino studies at the University of Illinois, Chicago; Anita, a specialist with Easter Seals in Oakland, Calif.; and Alicia, an attorney in Washington, D.C.

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