Communicator of the Year
State Senator Clementa Pinckney
On June 17 of last year, while leading a prayer session at the church where he was also a pastor, State Senator Clementa Pinckney was one of nine people fatally shot in a race crime.
A few days later, President Barack Obama eulogized Pinckney with comments that truly captured his essence.
"Reverend Pinckney embodied a politics that was neither mean, nor small," the president said. "He encouraged progress not by pushing his ideas alone, but by partnering with you to make things happen."
Pinckney’s example also helped the community of Charleston, South Carolina, recover from the shooting of Walter Scott, a black man, by white police officer Michael Slager. In a May 9 speech, Pinckney, a senior pastor at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, called for sympathy for not only the Scott family, but also Slager’s loved ones.
His grace is one reason PRWeek recognized him as its 2016 Communicator of the Year.