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Renowned Journalist and Shaker Grad Jamil Smith to Address 2021 Commencement

Jamil SmithApril 26, 2021—The Shaker Heights City School District and the Shaker Schools Foundation are excited to announce that Jamil Smith, a renowned journalist and a 1993 Shaker Heights High School graduate, will be the Class of 2021 Special Commencement Speaker. The event will take place June 2 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. 

Mr. Smith was recently named senior correspondent at Vox Media, an American news website known for explanatory journalism. At Vox, he will address the biggest problems society faces across politics, race, and culture, and bring to light new solutions for creating a more just and equitable society. 

“Jamil is a sharp, clear thinker who takes on the major issues plaguing our country and thinks through solutions. Above all, Jamil writes with moral authority and pushes all of us, and our society, to a higher standard,” says Vox’s editor in chief, Swati Sharma.

Before joining Vox, Mr. Smith was a senior writer with Rolling Stone, where he covered politics, social justice and culture. His career has run the gamut from politics to sports and back again—from Emmy Award-winning work as a producer with both NFL Films and MSNBC, to reporting and commentary for MTV News and The New Republic, where he was a senior editor. 

He has worked for both CNN and HBO, and his work has been featured on the cover of Time, in Esquire, BuzzFeed and Vanity Fair, and on the airwaves at WNYC and KCRW. His writing has also appeared on the opinion pages of the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post. Mr. Smith studied English at the University of Pennsylvania and English and theater at Kings College in London. 

While at Shaker, Mr. Smith worked on the Shakerite, wrestled, ran track and was one of the District’s first MAC Scholars. As Student Council President, he delivered a Commencement address to his own graduating class. He was inducted into the Shaker Schools Alumni Hall of Fame in 2018.

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