Dr. Milbert O. Brown, Jr., is a remarkable storyteller. During his stellar career, Brown was awarded the 2001 “Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for Explanatory Reporting” as a contributing Chicago Tribune team member.
Brown was also honored as one of the top 90 Black photographers in the United States when he was selected as a member of the "Gordon Parks Ninety." Recently, Brown was named the recipient of 2023 Taking Focus BIPOC Grant, as he will be documenting Africa American communities, culture and issues throughout the United States. Because of Brown's life-long exemplary work and his commitment to reporting excellence, Ball State University's School of Journalism and Strategic Communication will induct him into the Journalism Hall of Fame in November 2023.
The Pulitzer Prize-winner served as a photojournalist and visual editor at two of the nation's top newspapers, the Boston Globe and the Chicago Tribune. Legendary Watergate and Post editor Ben Bradlee hired Brown as a Washington Post intern while completing graduate studies at Ohio. Since he departed from the newspaper industry, Brown has continued to capture Black communities' historical and cultural tapestry using his gift as an artist, photojournalist, and writer.
The Indiana native combines his talents in producing creative projects as the principal consultant of Brown Images. Dr. Brown graduated from Morgan State University with a Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership. Brown also earned a Master of Arts degree from Ohio University's prestigious School of Visual Communication and a B.S. in Journalism from Ball State University.
During Brown’s reporting journey, he covered South Africa’s first free election and was a member of the Foreign Correspondents Association. Later, he was selected by a joint National Association of Black Journalists and the United Nations committee to report on Liberia's elections as a 2005 United Nations Overseas Reporting Fellow. Some of Brown's assignments also included the Summer Olympic Games in (Atlanta & London), and the National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals.
Now, Editor Emeritus, Dr. Brown formerly served as the International Editor of The Oracle Magazine, the official membership publication for Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He coordinated and edited articles/ pictures from 750 chapters throughout the United States, Africa, England, Germany, and Japan. Dr. Brown also wrote membership profiles and implemented the publication's new design. Throughout his career, Brown has also performed duties as a writer for several informational agencies.
As an educator, some of Dr. Brown’s past academic appointments have included teaching design, media history, multimedia reporting, and photojournalism courses. He has taught online and face-to-face curriculums at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Howard University, Loyola University-Chicago, Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Washington Adventist University, and Wilberforce University.
The International Center For Journalists (ICFJ) awarded Brown, the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Faculty Fellowship in 2015. As an ICFJ-HBCU Faculty Fellow, Brown observed the digital newsroom operations of BuzzFeed, ProPublica, and WNYC Radio, producing multimedia projects in New York City.
In 2016, Brown, then a Howard University journalism professor, launched the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Student Chapter, becoming the first student chapter established at an HBCU. The national organization said the chapter is "a testament to NPPA's commitment to promoting diversity in the organization and industry. Because of Brown's mentorship, the chapter’s was later named as the "NPPA Student Chapter of the Year."
Dr. Brown served on the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ)'s national board as the Academic Representative. During his term, he provided educational workshops that featured NABJ educators and college students as panelists. In 2018, Dr. Brown served as an NABJ Multimedia Mentor for the Student Projects. He was an NABJ Student Project Mentor eight times previously. Brown has been an active member of NABJ since 1987, and one of the early members of the organization's Visual Task Force (VTF). Brown has been awarded VTF's Moneta Sleet Photo Shoot-Out competition, a record Five-Times.
Brown's consistent effort to increase positive storytelling images in underserved communities includes his founding of a ground-breaking photography organization, the Chicago Alliance of African American Photographers. In 1999, Brown conceptualized that the group would launch a project entitled "The Journey: The Next 100 Year." The sole mission of the project would be to photographically document the Greater Chicago area's Black community at the beginning of the 21st century.
In Vibe Magazine's March 2001 issue, the editors said: "Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks … provided a considerable amount of her poetry depicting the life and times of Black people in Chicago. Milbert O. Brown, Jr., a staff photojournalist at the Chicago Tribune, spearheaded the formation of the Chicago Alliance of African-American Photographers, and he did for the Windy City with cameras what Brooks had done with poetry."