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Story Publication logo December 21, 2021

The Pulitzer Center's 15th Anniversary Celebration


Our 15th anniversary celebration was postponed once because of COVID, but on December 9 we were thrilled to meet in person with many of our grantees, news-media and education partners, and donors who have contributed so much to our growth since 2006.

Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, hailed our collaborations on initiatives ranging from coverage of the Guantanamo prison to Fractured Lands, Losing Earth, and The 1619 Project.

Dean Baquet speaking
Dean Baquet, executive editor at The New York Times addresses the dinner. Image by Kayla Edwards. United States, 2021.

Eight-time grantee Nadja Drost spoke about the Center’s support for freelancers and shared eloquent vignettes from her work and that of partner Bruno Federico on migrants crossing the Darién Gap, a project that was recognized earlier this year with the Pulitzer Prize as well as Peabody and Emmy awards.

Nadja Drost speaks about the Center
Pulitzer Center grantee Nadja Drost speaks about her work. Image by Kayla Edwards. United States, 2021.

Executive Editor Marina Walker Guevara highlighted our work internationally, building cross-border collaborative initiatives, such as the Rainforest Investigations Network, while defending journalists who are increasingly under attack worldwide.

Marina speaks to the dinner
Pulitzer Center Executive Editor Marina Walker Guevara speaks at the dinner. Image by Kayla Edwards. United States, 2021.

I spoke about the growing importance of our work here in the United States, for reporting and outreach on issues ranging from racial justice to COVID health disparities to the increasingly adverse consequences of climate change.

Jon speaks to the dinner
Pulitzer Center Executive Director Jon Sawyer addresses the dinner. Image by Kayla Edwards. United States, 2021.

A major highlight of the evening was our announcement that we have now met the challenge grant that our chair, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, set five years ago: to match every dollar contributed to our endowment, up to a total of $12 million.

Emmy Pulitzer, the widow of Joseph Pulitzer III, my former editor and publisher at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, said the key to the Center’s success, in her view, “has been its commitment to collaboration and partnerships, working with an amazing range of journalist grantees, news-media outlets, and educational partners to create journalism of the highest quality and then bringing that work to audiences across the country and globe.

“Given the challenges before the world and those to democracy, our country, and others are facing,” she added, “it is extraordinarily important that the Pulitzer Center be put on permanent footing.”

Emmy Pulitzer speaks to the dinner
Emmy Pulitzer addresses the dinner. Image by Daniel Vasta. United States, 2021.

We are profoundly grateful to Emmy Pulitzer and to our extraordinary board of directors: William Bush, Sam Dolnick, Betsy Karel, Dick Moore, Joel Motley, Joseph Pulitzer V, Robbie Robinson, David Rohde, and Linda Winslow.

Emmy and Dean
Emmy Pulitzer and Dean Baquet. Photo by Daniel Vasta. United States, 2021.

Thanks as well to our friends and colleagues across the globe who have done so much to further our common mission. For those who couldn’t be with us in person, I hope you’ll enjoy the highlights video we’ve prepared and the links to each of the talks presented.

You can read the full remarks here.

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