Journalist, Civil Rights Pioneer Karen Parker '65 to Speak

 Karen Parker.

Karen Parker ’65

Karen Parker ’65, the first black female undergraduate to attend Carolina, will be on campus next week as the first speaker in the Carolina Association of Black Journalists’ lecture series.

Parker, who is a former member of the GAA Board of Directors, will speak on “Activism and Professionalism” — about balancing the activist and professional in ourselves without creating conflicts of interest. The lecture is open to the public.

Parker majored in journalism at UNC and is a copy editor for the Winston-Salem Journal. In 2004, she was among the recipients of the Harvey E. Beech Outstanding Alumni Award, given each fall during the GAA’s annual Black Alumni Reunion.

Her lecture is scheduled for Monday, March 29, at 6 p.m. in room 33 of Carroll Hall, home of UNC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

A question-and-answer session will follow the lecture.

Before joining the Journal, Parker was an editor at several newspapers, including the Grand Rapids Press in Grand Rapids, Mich., and The Los Angeles Times.

Parker enrolled at UNC in 1963 and was a student journalist and a civil rights activist. She fought against discrimination, participating in civil rights demonstrations in Chapel Hill and was arrested and jailed for her participation in a sit-in.

The event is hosted by the Carolina Association of Black Journalists, an affiliate student chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, and sponsored by the Hearst Visiting Professionals Program in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Seating is limited. Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP to For more information, contact CABJ President Ayana Allen.

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