Shaker Heights Schools News Article

SHHS Class of ‘08 Alum and Award-Winning Journalist Wesley Lowery Named 2023 Commencement Speaker

Wes Lowering wearing a blue suit jacket and maroon tie with white dotsWesley Lowery

May 4, 2023—Shaker Heights Schools and the Shaker Schools Foundation are pleased to announce that Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, reporter, editor, best-selling author and Class of 2008 graduate, will be the commencement speaker for the Class of 2023 commencement on Tuesday, June 6.

Mr. Lowery excels in various forms of journalism — narrative, profiles, investigative, analysis — and is widely regarded as one of the nation’s leading journalists covering issues of law enforcement, race and justice. He is currently a journalist-in-residence at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University of New York, a contributing editor at The Marshall Project, and host of the podcast “Ernie's Secret” — an examination of the life and career of Ernest C. Withers, a famed civil rights photographer who was also a paid FBI informant. 

At the Marshall Project, he is among the team members working on Testify, an unprecedented effort to examine the criminal courts in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. 

From 2020 to early 2022, Mr. Lowery was an on-air correspondent for “60 Minutes+,” the streaming spinoff of the storied CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes.” Mr. Lowery reported from protests in Minneapolis and Kenosha, aboard a crab boat in the Chesapeake Bay, and from the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. His work with the broadcast won a National Headliner and NABJ Salute to Excellence Award. 

He was also an executive producer of “In the Cold Dark Night,” an Emmy-nominated documentary chronicling the effort to solve the 1983 lynching of Timothy Coggins. 

Prior to joining CBS News, Mr. Lowery spent seven years as a national correspondent for The Washington Post — where in 2015 he pitched and helped lead the Fatal Force project, an unprecedented real-time database to track fatal shootings by American police officers. The database — which remains the most reliable public data on police shootings — won the Pulitzer Prize, George Polk Award and Peabody Award, and was named one of the decade's top 10 works of journalism. 

His 2018 project Murder With Impunity, an unprecedented look into police failure to solve homicides, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. 
His first book, “They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement,” a New York Times bestseller, won the 2017 Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose from the LA Times Book Prizes. 

He co-hosted “RunTellThis,” a weekly podcast in which black journalists discussed current events. He also served as co-host of “More Than A Vote: Our Voices, Our Vote," which won a Webby Award for Best News and Politics Podcast. 

Mr. Lowery has taught The History and Future of American Journalism at Colorado College, been a Georgetown University Institute of Politics fellow and oversaw a team of graduate students at UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program.

At Shaker Heights High School, Mr. Lowery spent two years as co-editor-in-chief of The Shakerite, was a Minority Achievement Scholar and a leader in the Student Group on Race Relations.

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