Humanities Nebraska announced that Joe Starita of Lincoln will receive the 2019 Sower Award in the Humanities.

Starita will be honored on Thursday, October 24 at Omaha’s Holland Performing Arts Center, immediately preceding the 24th Annual Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities featuring historian Dwight David Eisenhower II.

The Sower Award is presented annually to an individual who has made “a significant contribution to public understanding of the humanities in Nebraska.” This contribution can be through any combination of time, expertise, or resources, and the selection committee examines how the nominee has helped inspire and enrich personal and public life in our state through the humanities.

Molly O’Holleran, who nominated Starita for the Sower Award, described Starita as the “ultimate storyteller” who “inspires our thinking in a way that calls each of us to seek truth in our own lives, analyze the problems, explore solutions, and plant our own seeds of courage to enhance humanity.”

Currently a journalism professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Starita previously worked as an investigative reporter for the Miami Herald. There, he was a finalist for a
Pulitzer Prize in local reporting when he exposed corruption in local government.

As a college professor, Starita inspires students to use journalism to expose prejudice and effect change. Students in his in-depth reporting class who wrote about the troubles in Continued Whiteclay became the first college students to win the Robert F. Kennedy Humanities Foundation Grand Prize, besting The New York Times, National Geographic, Reuters TV and HBO.

Starita also gives public talks across the state, independently and as a member of the Humanities Nebraska Speakers Bureau, informing audiences of all ages about Chief
Standing Bear and Susan La Flesche.

For more details, visit

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