Juan González has been a professional journalist for more than 30 years and was a staff columnist at the New York Daily News from 1987 to 2016. He is a two-time recipient of the George Polk Award for commentary (1998 and 2010), and the first reporter in New York City to consistently expose the health effects arising from the September 11, 2001 attacks and the cover-up of these hazards by government officials. Juan was inducted into the Deadline Club’s New York Journalism Hall of Fame in 2015. He is a Professor of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University.
González is a founder and past president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and a member of NAHJ’s Hall of Fame. During his term as NAHJ president, González created the Parity Project, an innovative program that creates partnerships between local communities and media organizations to improve coverage of the Latino community and recruit and retain more Hispanic journalists. He also spearheaded a movement among U.S. journalists to join other citizen groups in opposing the Federal Communications Commission’s deregulation of media ownership restrictions.
A founding member of the Young Lords Party in the 1970s and of the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights in 1980s, González has twice been named by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the country’s most influential Hispanics and has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, the National Council of La Raza, and the National Puerto Rican Coalition.
González has written five books: Fallout: The Environmental Consequences of the World Trade Center Collapse, documents cover-ups by Environmental Protection Agency and government officials with regard to health hazards at Ground Zero in New York; Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America; Roll Down Your Window: Stories of a Forgotten America; and News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media, co-authored with Joseph Torres. His latest book, Reclaiming Gotham: Bill de Blasio and the Movement to End America’s Tale of Two Cities , explores how a new generation of progressive municipal leaders offers valuable lessons for those seeking grassroots reform.
Nermeen Shaikh is a producer and co-host of Democracy Now! Nermeen has previously worked in research and non-governmental organizations and has an M.Phil. from Cambridge University. She is the author of The Present as History: Critical Perspectives on Global Power (Columbia University Press). You can watch her TEDx talk here