The recipient of the 2021 WorldChicago Gold Medallion Award is Jerome McDonnell, for his immeasurable contribution to diplomacy and international relations. Jerome was the host of WBEZ’s global affairs program, Worldview, from 1994 to 2020. And before that, he produced the international show Midday with Sondra Gair.
Much like what we do at WorldChicago, Jerome believes broadcasting’s highest calling is to bring people together to make a difference. For more than 25 years, Jerome has kept Chicagoans informed about what’s happening around the world. He has interviewed world leaders like President Jimmy Carter, the 14th Dalai Lama, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Imam Abdule Malik Mujahid, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunu.
Worldview’s emphasis on social justice also meant that some of Jerome’s most interesting guests were peasant organizers, environmental activists, and social entrepreneurs. The show’s long running Global Activism segment features people who’ve started health care, education, and community development organizations around the globe. Jerome has provided a forum for voices that go beyond the headlines and connected international news with our community in Chicago.
Jerome is a longtime friend of WorldChicago. He has served as a speaker and mentor for numerous WorldChicago programs, including International Visitor Leadership Programs in journalism, civil society, and foreign policy for delegates from Israel, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, and many more.
In the true spirit of citizen diplomacy, Jerome has built bridges, initiated international dialogue, and inspired all of us to become active global citizens. Thank you, Jerome McDonnell, for being a such a wonderful friend to WorldChicago and leader in our community!
WorldChicago first established the annual Gold Medallion Award in 1982, to celebrate the organization's 30th anniversary and to draw attention to the importance of international exchange by honoring a distinguished person who represents the best of Chicago here and abroad.