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Judith McCray

Judith McCray is a multiple Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist, documentary filmmaker and media activist with over 30 years in television and media production. She has long embraced using media as a vehicle to examine social justice issues and advocate social change. In 2023 she was named a Leader for a New Chicago by the Field and MacArthur Foundations for her work. Her experience includes working both full-time and as an independent producer for public broadcasting stations WNET/New York, WTTW/Chicago, WBEZ/Chicago, WYCC/Chicago, WSIU/Carbondale, and Common Ground/weekly radio series on world affairs.   
She’s also written, directed, and produced independent documentaries for PBS Primetime and national public television. Her passion for finding the “ah-hah” moment in every story that can inspire and compel deeper understanding has taken her to Sudan, Egypt, Kenya, Switzerland, Brazil, and across the U.S. to uncover hidden truths, the unheard and little recognized. Born and raised on a small family farm in eastern Iowa, on land her grandfather purchased after fleeing Jim Crow racism in Mississippi, she has always fought for social justice with the media as her primary tool.  
She is the Senior Professional in Residence in DePaul University’s journalism program, teaching documentary production, social justice reporting, broadcast writing, and media ethics. She was the 2021-2022 Diversity Faculty Fellow in the College of Communication’s Center for Communication Engagement. She’s also the faculty advisor to the DePaul University Association of Black Journalists (NABJ student chapter)Prior to DePaul, she taught at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, Roosevelt University, and the University of Illinois in Chicago.  
Judith McCray holds a B.S. degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a M.A. degree in politics and public policy from Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics. ​