Hill to Speak on Jim Crow Issues During Center on Race and Social Problems Talk

Issue Date: 
January 31, 2011

Robert Hill, vice chancellor for public affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, will deliver a free public lecture titled “The Intractable Career of James Crow III” at noon Jan. 31 in the University of Pittsburgh’s Center on Race and Social Problems (CRSP), School of Social Work Conference Center, 20th floor, Cathedral of Learning. The talk is part of the Reed Smith Spring 2011 Speaker Series. Registration is not required; lunch will be provided. For more information, call 412-624-7382 or visit www.crsp.pitt.edu.

Hill, who is the University’s principal reputational executive and primary spokesperson, experienced Jim Crow practices and segregated schools in St. Louis and New York City, respectively. He has explored issues of racial equity for more than 40 years.

Hill is Pitt’s chief communications official and supervises the Departments of Executive Communications, National Media Relations, University Marketing Communications, and University News and Magazines, all of which comprise the University’s Web presence, advertising, video communications, local media relations, and publications. As part of these responsibilities, he is the publisher of Pitt Magazine, the University’s flagship publication; the Pitt Chronicle, the University’s official weekly newspaper; and the University Times newspaper. These components of Pitt’s communications mix have together earned more than 730 awards in local, national, and international communications competitions.

At Pitt, Hill has paid tribute to the Black experience in an award-winning exhibition of which he was executive-in-charge—Free at Last? Slavery in Pittsburgh in the 18th and 19th Centuries—which ran from October 2008 to April 2009 at the John Heinz History Center; the award-winning documentary K. Leroy Irvis: The Lion of Pennsylvania, of which Hill was executive producer; and the award-winning biennial publication Blue, Gold, and Black, which pays tribute to the Pitt Black community and of which he is publisher.

Hill’s work and extensive community outreach activities have garnered a number of awards, including the 2010 Communicator of the Year Award from the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation. In 2006, both the Pittsburgh chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and the International Association of Business Communicators named him Communicator of the Year; he also has received Renaissance Publications’ Trailblazer Award, the Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education’s Presidential Award, and the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s Racial Justice Award, among others.

Hill earned the Certificate in Management from Harvard University; the MS degree in management with honors from Manhattan College; the BS degree in marketing from New York University; and the Associate in Applied Science degree from Borough of Manhattan Community College.

CRSP’s annual Reed Smith Spring Speaker Series provides an opportunity for faculty, staff, students, and members of the community to engage in race-related discussions of mutual interest.