Barbara Miner is the author of Lessons from the Heartland: A Turbulent Half-Century of Public Education in an Iconic American City (2013), which looks at Milwaukee's public school system and efforts at desegregation. The book won the Studs and Ida Terkel Prize, given annually by New Press to celebrate authors "who share Studs Terkel's commitment to exploring aspects of America that are underrepresented by mainstream media." Matt Rothschild, editor of the Progressive, called the book "a panoramic sweep of the city’s history and tensions" and a "magnificent work."
Miner has received numerous awards. In March 2013, she was presented with the Eunice Z. Edgar Lifetime Achievement Award by the ACLU of Wisconsin for "her tireless fight in support of public schools." In May she received the 2013 Education Advocacy Award from Marquette University's College of Education for her contributions "to the betterment of the Milwaukee educational landscape." In July she was a guest panelist on Bill Moyers' PBS show Frontline, talking about her book as it related to a Frontline documentary on two Milwaukee families surviving the "new American economy."
Miner has been a reporter, writer and editor for almost 40 years, for publications ranging from the New York Times to the Milwaukee Journal. The former managing editor of Rethinking Schools, Miner has co-edited numerous books on education, including the ground-breaking Rethinking Columbus.
She has a BA in journalism, a Masters in English Literature and an Associate Degree in photography. In 2008 Miner received a Mary L. Nohl Fellowship, which led to a 60-page photo essay on North Avenue, beginning at the lakefront in Milwaukee and ending 16 miles later in Pewaukee. Among her photography books is This is What Democracy Looks Like, a 40-page collection of scenes from the Madison protests in the Spring of 2011.
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