Dwight Lewis

NASHVILLE, TN — Former Tennessean reporter, editor, and columnist Dwight Lewis has been selected to co-chair the Policing Policy Commission.

 The Mayor’s Policing Policy Commission, is made up of 41 citizens, and was established in 2020  by the Mayor’s Office with the goal of analyzing nearly every aspect of Nashville law enforcement.

For 40 years, Lewis informed Nashvillians about civil liberties and civil rights issues. He began his career as the editor of The Meter, a Tennessee State University’s campus newspaper and ended up as a Tennessean editorial page editor, reporter, and columnist.

Lewis worked tirelessly to bring to light and educate the public on injustices inflicted by the White Power Structure.

Lewis, the American Civil Liberties Union-Tennessee 2018 Lifetime Achievement honoree, is an award-winning journalist who retired in September 2011 as editorial page editor and op-ed page columnist for The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville.

A 1972 graduate of Tennessee State University where he majored in Business Administration, Lewis most recently worked as a part-time instructor teaching a journalism course at Fisk University during the spring semester of 2015.

From September 2012 until May 2014, Lewis worked part-time as an educational consultant/adviser for the Seigenthaler Honors Program out of Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.

In that job, Lewis helped advise and edit the stories of students from MTSU and Tennessee State University who were assigned to cover the local federal judicial system for The Tennessean newspaper.

A native of Knoxville, Lewis is the co-author of A Will To Win, a storybook, a history book and a sportsbook written into one often amusing, sometimes touching story of the powerful athletic history of Tennessee State University from 1912 until 1984.

He is also a contributor to the book, Thinking Black: Some of the Nation’s Best Black Columnists Speak Their Mind.  The book was edited by DeWayne Wickham and published in February 1996 by Crown Publishers.

 Lewis, who was a three-year letterman in baseball at TSU, has also contributed to the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History & Culture. The 1,193-page the book was published by the Tennessee Historical Society in August 1998.

He is also the co-author of Temple’s Tigerbelles: An Illustrated History Of The Women Who Outran The World. The book, published by Cumberland Media, was published in February 2019.

Lewis has also written articles for several magazines.  They include Hope Magazine, American Legacy, Gospel Today and Ebony.

In May 1981, Lewis was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for Journalists, which enabled him to study at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor during the 1981-82 academic year.

In the fall of 1986, he participated in the inaugural class of the Multicultural Management Program at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

He has been interviewed on the ABC television program, Nightline, and has also appeared on numerous other television and radio broadcasts.

Lewis portrayed a journalist is the movie, “Marie,’’ which was released in the fall of 1985 by MGM/United Artists Entertainment Company.

Meanwhile, in December 1993,  Lewis was named by officials at Columbia University in New York as one of 66 journalists nationwide to serve as a Pulitzer Prize juror for 1994. He was also named to serve as a Pulitzer Prize juror again in March 1995.

On Nov. 1, 1995, Lewis was one of 12 Black newspaper columnists from around the nation who met with President Bill Clinton at the White House to discuss the issue of race in America. He and other members of the Trotter Group gathered with President Clinton again in May 1997 to hear plans and give input regarding Clinton’s then upcoming speech in San Diego on race relations in America.

In October 2010,  Lewis was among a group of Black newspaper columnists who met with President Barack Obama at the White House.

In addition to his 40-year work at The Tennessean,  Lewis has also spoken at several colleges and universities round the nation about journalism.

In July 1994, Lewis was honored by the National Association of Black Journalists as the first place recipient in commentary writing for newspapers with a daily circulation of 150,000 and under during the association’s awards ceremony in Atlanta.

In April 2006,  Lewis was one of eight Nashville men saluted with a “Do Right Spirit’’ award by the Oasis Center of Nashville for having “generously and faithfully giving their time, talents and resources to youth and families in Middle Tennessee and beyond.’’ The Oasis Center works with young people in Middle Tennessee.

On June 10, 2017, the Unique Gents, comprised primarily of a group of African American men in the Nashville area who work with youth, presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to  Lewisduring its Unique Gent/Edward M. Mullins Legacy Celebration.

Meanwhile, on Oct. 18, 2018, Lewis was presented a Legacy Award during Tennessee State University’s Breakfast of Champions held annually during the school’s homecoming activities.

Also that year, Lewis was presented with the Gamma Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s Founders Lifetime Achievement Award for 50 years of dedicated service to the fraternity and the community.

On Feb. 22, 2020,  Lewis was presented the inaugural Rosetta Miller Perry Literary Award by the Nashville chapter of Les Gemmes. The award is reserved for an individual or organization in the Nashville community who has made a significant contribution in the literary field.

A member of First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill, Lewis served as foreman of the January 2018 term of the Davidson County Grand Jury. He is also a 20-year colon cancer survivor as well as a two-year prostate cancer survivor.