College of Communication > Faculty & Staff > Faculty A-Z > Judith McCray

Judith McCray

Judith McCray is a multiple Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker, broadcast journalist and producer, with more than thirty years of experience in broadcast production and programming.  A former producer and program developer for WTTW (PBS/Chicago), McCray is president and founder of Juneteenth Productions, which develops and produces documentaries and programming for broadcast, educational and digital media.

She recently produced the audio podcast series Change Agents(funded by the Chicago Community Trust and the Field Foundation), Hope from the Front Lines (funded by the McCormick Foundation), Zebra Sisters for the Chicago Sun-Times, the investigative serial The Hidden Hindenburg, and the youth-led podcast series Complicating the Narrative for the Chicago non-profit ConTextos. Recent documentaries broadcast on public television include Chicago's True Nature: the Forest Preserves of Cook County (2016 Chicago/Midwest Region Emmy Award); Colorblind: Rethinking Race (2013 Chicago/Midwest Region Emmy Award), and Tal Como Somos (Just As We Are) (2008).

 As a filmmaker and media activist, McCray has worked with Chicago’s diverse communities addressing issues, raising awareness and advocating social change. Projects have included:

  • Beating Breast Cancer, an inspirational film designed to provide hope for women diagnosed with breast cancer, and promote early detection through screening. With first person accounts by five African American women, this community outreach tool is distributed by the American Cancer Association, the National Black Nurses Association and the UIC School of Nursing. Eighty-five percent of women viewing said the film influenced their decision to have a mammogram. 
  • Destructive Force, an examination of negative portrayals of African American youth in advertising, developed as a media literacy tool with the Chicago-based hip hop youth organization, Kuumba Lynx. 
  • Tal Como Somos (Just As We Are), community outreach activities addressing stigma and discrimination against Latino gays, bi-sexual and transgender people with the gay Latino organization, ALMA. 
  • Creating Harmony, a substance abuse prevention video addressing improved communication and parenting between Asian teens and their parents in the Chinatown, Korean and Vietnamese communities for the Asian Health Coalition.
McCray’s broadcast experience extends into the classroom and mentoring future broadcast journalists and media professionals. She taught documentary production and writing as an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and as an adjunct at Roosevelt University and the University of Illinois-Chicago. She currently is an adjunct professor in DePaul University’s College of Communication. She holds a MA in politics and public policy from Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics, and a BS in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.