Peru, Neb. – Acclaimed journalist and alumnus Norman Parish III will speak at Peru State College on Thursday, February 16, in celebration of Black History Month. His presentation will begin at 11:00 a.m. in Room 114 of the T.J. Majors building. The event is open to the public, has no charge, and is sponsored by the college’s Council for Equity, Diversion, and Inclusion.
Parish is a 1981 Peru State graduate. He is a deputy managing editor at the Chicago Sun-Times. It is one of the largest nonprofit newsrooms in the country.
During the last four decades, the Chicago native worked as a journalist in seven states and served as a board member for several journalism organizations, including the National Association of Black Journalists.
Many of Parish's beats involved government coverage, on village boards, City Halls, and even the Arizona State Senate. He covered the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.
Parish also received several awards. He was recognized for his coverage of public housing mismanagement and reports on serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.
He was a reporter at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Arizona Republic, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Milwaukee Journal, the Post-Tribune (Northwest Indiana) and the Jackson (Tennessee) Sun. Norman also was former metro editor at the Daily Southtown, covering parts of Chicago's South Side and suburbs.
Parish had two stints at the Chicago Sun-Times. In 2007, he was a reporter at the Sun-Times. Then he became an assistant metro editor until 2015. Parish started his current job as deputy managing editor for DEI/Administration and Planning in 2021. It is one of the top leadership positions in the Sun-Times newsroom.
Parish was the Director of Recruitment at Report for America. He helped grow the nonprofit organization from 60 journalists to 300 reporters and photographers in all the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Guam.
Parish also has written for several African American publications, including the Chicago Citizen newspaper and the St. Louis American, and was a regular contributor to the NAACP's Crisis magazine.
Parish was an active student at Peru State. He wrote for the school's newspaper. He was also a D.J. at the school's former radio station. He participated in plays, having directed one of the college's first Black productions, Amiri Baraka's "Dutchman."
Parish ran cross country and track. He placed in every track meet his senior year. He earned a double major in Mass Comm, Speech, and Drama in three years.
Parish served as a discussion panelist at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Smart Museum at the University of Chicago. He also spoke to college art classes, such as DePaul University.
Parish is a producer of the recent documentary, "Walls of Respect: Norman Parish Art Gallery," a film about his late father. Parish’s other interests include coaching track teams, serving on two Catholic Parish Councils, and teaching English classes for the University of Phoenix.
In 1983, Parish received a master's degree from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville where he met his wife, Valerie, who works in banking. They have a daughter, Ashley, a pharmacist.