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White House correspondent April Ryan to deliver 25th annual lecture on race relations at ASU

April Ryan

White House correspondent April Ryan will deliver the annual A. Wade Smith Lecture on Race Relations on March 3.

February 21, 2020

April Ryan is a veteran White House correspondent and CNN political correspondent who has reported on national urban issues since President Bill Clinton’s tenure.

Her work reaches millions of African American readers and listeners and close to 300 radio affiliates through American Urban Radio Networks, where she serves as the Washington, D.C., bureau chief, and her news blog, "Fabric of America.”

Ryan will be featured March 3 at The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ 25th annual A. Wade Smith Memorial Lecture on Race Relations on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus.

The A. Wade Smith Memorial Lecture on Race Relations was created in 1995 to perpetuate the work of a man who had devoted his life to the idea of racial parity. As professor and chair of sociology at Arizona State University, A. Wade Smith worked tirelessly to improve race relations on the ASU campus and within the greater community. When he died of cancer at the age of 43, his wife, family members and friends made memorial gifts to establish and fund this lecture series.

"I am totally delighted that we have been able to carry on Wade's work through this annual lecture,” said Elsie Moore, a professor in the School of Social Transformation and wife of the late A. Wade Smith. “The lecture was really Wade's idea. Among the many things he was working on at the time of his death was a proposal for external funding to support a lecture series in what was then the Department of Sociology. To know that this university lecture series has lasted 25 years is truly gratifying."

Ryan obtained a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Morgan State University and holds an honorary doctorate from her alma mater and another from Claflin University. As the only female African American White House correspondent focused on urban issues, Ryan has used her unique insight to produce nuanced reporting on the racial sensitivities, issues and political struggles of the country’s last three presidents.

“Each year, The College’s A. Wade Smith Lecture series invites a distinguished guest to bring important issues of race and society to the forefront of the ASU community,” said Patrick Kenney, dean of The College. “We are honored to host April Ryan as this year’s featured speaker.” 

25th annual A. Wade Smith Memorial Lecture on Race Relations

Who: April Ryan

When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 3

Where: Armstrong Hall, room 101, 1100 S. McAllister Ave., Tempe

The event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

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