ThreeSixty to honor Star-Tribune

ThreeSixty to honor Star-Tribune’s Denise Johnson Friday

Denise Johnson, editorial writer for the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune, will receive an award Friday, Nov. 9, for her work in teaching, mentoring and supporting high school students of color who are interested in journalism.

Denise Johnson

For more than 30 years, Johnson has worked with students, first through the Urban Journalism Workshop and now with ThreeSixty, from whom she will receive the Widening the Circle Award at the Nov. 9 ceremony.

Now based at the University of St. Thomas, ThreeSixty is the successor to the Urban Journalism Workshop, which began in 1971 as a two-week summer camp to train and mentor teens of color interested in careers in journalism. Johnson was a member of the first class and later directed the summer program for several years when she was a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. She now works as a volunteer with the program.

ThreeSixty currently serves more than 400 students a year with programs such as after-school classes, weekend workshops, summer camps, a career fair and an online magazine with news and feature stories by students. See

The Nov. 9 ceremony will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Binz Refectory on St. Thomas’ St. Paul campus.

Johnson writes about K-12 education, urban affairs and some international topics. Before joining the Star Tribune editorial board, she was a newspaper reporter, editor, columnist and editorial writer at the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

In 1986, she took a leave from the Pioneer Press to serve as the diversity director for the American Society of Newspaper Editors. She is a member and a former vice president of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Journalism and Women’s Symposium. Last spring she won the David Graven award for lifetime excellence in Minnesota journalism.

Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in urban studies at Carleton College. She lives in her hometown, St. Paul, with her husband, Laurence Oliver.