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Gretchen Carlson to give Sammons Media Ethics Lecture at SMU, Oct. 2

Author, advocate, and former Fox News journalist Gretchen Carlson to give the 2019 Sammons Media Ethics Lecture at SMU October 2nd.


Gretchen Carlson, journalist, author and advocate who helped pave the way for #MeToo with her historic 2016 sexual harassment complaint against the chairman of Fox News, will give the twentieth annual Rosine Smith Sammons Lecture in Media Ethics at SMU at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 2. The lecture will be held in Caruth Auditorium in the Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus (Dallas 75205). The event is free and tickets are not required. Parking information is available here. Additional parking will be available that evening on Bishop Blvd. For more information, call 214-768-2787. The Sammons Lecture Series is presented by the Division of Journalism at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.
Named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and author of New York Times bestsellers Be Fierce and Getting Real, Gretchen Carlson is one of the nation’s most successful and recognized news anchors and a tireless advocate for equality and empowerment of women. 
She previously hosted The Real Story on Fox News for three years, and co-hosted the number one rated cable morning news show, Fox and Friends, for more than seven years.
Carlson’s most recent return to television, as host and executive producer of A+E and Lifetime Network documentaries Breaking the Silence and the upcoming Beyond the Headlines: NXIVM Cult and Beyond the Headlines: The College Admissions Scandal, breaks the barriers she faced after saying “enough” to harassment. Her comeback offers hope for other women demoted, fired or blacklisted from their chosen careers after reporting sexual harassment.
Carlson started her television career in Richmond, Virginia, as a political reporter, and later served as an anchor and reporter in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dallas. In 2000 she moved to national news as co-host and correspondent on CBS’ The Saturday Early Show, where she covered some of the world’s biggest stories, including the 9-11 terrorist attack from the World Trade Center, the Bush-Gore election and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh’s execution. She also reported and produced a 30-part series on domestic violence that earned her several national awards.
In 2016, Carlson became the face of sexual harassment in the workplace, gracing the covers of Time and Good Housekeeping magazines. Since her harassment complaint became public, she has worked to change laws that protect predators. In December 2017, she joined a bi-partisan coalition of legislators to introduce the “Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act,” which voids forced arbitration agreements that prevent sexual harassment survivors from getting their day in court. The bill was reintroduced in the House in February 2019 and Carlson testified before the House Judiciary Committee in May.
Carlson also formed the “Gift of Courage” fund, which is financially supporting organizations empowering women and young girls. This year the fund is providing free workshops to low-income women facing gender-based discrimination and violence through the Gretchen Carlson Leadership Initiative and supporting the March of Dimes’ Gretchen Carlson Advocacy Fellows.
An honors graduate of Stanford University, Carlson was valedictorian of her high school class and studied at Oxford University in England. She grew up a child prodigy on the violin and performed as a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra at age 13. In 1989 she became the first classical violinist to win the Miss America crown. She currently serves as a national trustee for the March of Dimes and as a trustee of Greenwich Academy, an all-girls preparatory day school in Greenwich, Connecticut.
The Rosine Smith Sammons Lecture Series in Media Ethics is funded by a generous endowment from the Rosine Foundation Fund of the Communities Foundation of Texas, at the recommendation of Mary Anne Sammons Cree of Dallas. The series is named in honor of her mother, Rosine Smith Sammons, who graduated from SMU in the 1920s with a degree in journalism. The endowment provides permanent resources for the Meadows School of the Arts to present annual lectures focusing on media ethics. Past speakers have included Pulitzer-winning columnist Charles Krauthammer, national media lawyer and author Bruce Sanford, and Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Michael Ramirez.
The Division of Journalism, under The Belo Foundation Distinguished Chair Tony Pederson, offers concentrations in all media – broadcast, print and digital – through its convergence journalism program. With the help of a gift from The Belo Foundation, the Division has become one of the few journalism schools in the country to provide hands-on experience through a new digital newsroom, television studio and website.

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