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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media

Kimberly Kindy receives Anvil of Freedom Award from Lynn Schofield Clark and members of the Ed Estlow family.

Estlow Center for International Journalism and New Media


Anvil of Freedom Award LogoEach year, the Center works with industry professionals and academic leaders to select the Estlow lecturer and recipient of the Anvil of Freedom Award. The honoree is invited to serve as a keynote lecturer at a universitywide event, which recognizes outstanding contributions to journalism and democracy and also speaks with classes and student groups during his or her visit to campus, thus providing opportunities for deeper learning among students, faculty, staff and members of the public. The event forges interdisciplinary and cross-institutional connections and enables the University of Denver to serve as host for a fulsome exploration of the state of journalism and its evolving relationship to the democratic self-governance so central to U.S. identity.

The Estlow Lecture began in 1993, and the Anvil of Freedom award first was presented in 1997. The award is given to the Estlow lecturer in recognition of his or her superior leadership and commitment to ethics, integrity and democratic freedoms, especially the protection of the First Amendment. In some years, it is also given in conjunction with the Margolin Distinguished Lecture

2017-2018 Anvil of Freedom Honoree: Kimberly Kindy

Kimberly Kindy HeadshotKimberly Kindy, investigative reporter for the Washington Post, was honored as the 25th Anniversary Anvil of Freedom Honoree. She spoke to a crowd of students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members, and representatives of the Denver Post about telling the truth in news, and the fight to keep local, fact-based news alive. 

Kindy's name initially came to the attention of the Estlow Center as a news leader in the Post's 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning series on police shootings. The award in the "National Reporting" category — which the Post has won three times in the past three years — recognized the newspaper for "its revelatory initiative in creating and using a national database to illustrate how often and why the police shoot to kill and who the victims are most likely to be."

In a letter inviting Kindy to deliver this year's Estlow lecture, Center Director Lynn Schofield Clark cited the reporter's "outstanding commitment to coverage of issues related to race, gender, and civil rights. Through your work in reporting on sexual harassment in Congress, your ongoing coverage of hurricane relief efforts, and your coverage of the rise of white nationalism and the abiding interest in Confederate monuments, in addition to your renowned work on reporting data related to police shootings, your work has provided invaluable insights to politicians, policymakers, and to the general public."

Recently, Kindy has covered for the Post former congressional staffers who are calling for policy changes and for sexual-harassment training in the U.S. Capitol. She has also reported on the ongoing climate-related crises in Florida and Houston, holding the Federal Emergency Management Agency accountable for keeping its promises to flood and hurricane victims, as well as the scrutiny of Confederate monuments and the rise of white-nationalist movements.

"You have been and continue to be an important role model for our journalism students and aspiring journalists," Clark wrote to Kindy in her invitation.

Kindy's lecture took place at the University of Denver on Friday, April 27, which was recognized by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper as Real News Day. Real News Day consisted of a series of events related to journalism and media nationally and in Denver hosted by the University of Denver and the Denver Press Club, including a panel discussion on the #MeToo phenomenon featuring Kindy and representatives from the University and the Denver Community and the Denver Press Club's annual Damon Runyon Awards dinner. This year the Denver Press Club presented the prestigious Damon Runyon Award to Washington Post editor Martin Baron.

More information about Real News Day and the 25th Anniversary Anvil of Freedom Award luncheon was included in the spring issue of the MFJS departmental newsletter, Perspectives, and is available here: Real News Day 2018.