Condolences from across the nation have been pouring in with word of the passing of Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) journalist and champion for diversity, Toni Randolph.
Ms. Randolph died Sunday (July 3) following a brief hospitalization for a medical procedure. She was 53 years old. Ms. Randolph joined MPR in 2003 and for the past six years she was MPR’s editor for new audiences, a position created to focus on Minnesota’s expanding communities of color.
News of Ms. Randolph’s passing spread quickly and tributes to the reporter and editor began coming from some of the many people who admired and respected her work.
“Toni embodied the true mission of NABJ by working to diversify public radio and by serving as a mentor to countless numbers of young NABJers,” said National Association of Black Journalists President Sarah Glover. “On behalf of the entire NABJ family, our heartfelt sympathies go out to those who loved her. Her memory will continue on through the lives that she has impacted.”
Ms. Randolph was highly active with the NABJ, in particular with its work with young reporters. She was also active locally with the University of St. Thomas’ ThreeSixty Journalism high school program.
Ms. Randolph was highly involved with the Twin Cities Black Journalists. The organization released a statement of condolence on its website.
“We, the members of Twin Cities Black Journalists, are profoundly saddened at the death of our dear colleague, sister and friend Toni Randolph,” said Maria Douglas Reeve, chapter president of the Twin Cities Black Journalists in the statement. “Toni was committed to the ideals of journalism, especially diversity and inclusiveness. She was dedicated to bringing in new voices, new talent and encouraging those making their way in our business. Toni was the type of sister-friend who spread goodness and light. We will deeply miss her.”
Minnesota’s governor also expressed sadness at the loss of Ms. Randolph.
“Lt. Gov. (Tina) Smith and I extend our deepest condolences to the family, many friends and colleagues of Toni Randolph as they grieve their tragic loss. During her 13 years with Minnesota Public Radio, Ms. Randolph told the stories of our citizens and communities, which contributed greatly to the recognition of our shared values and aspirations,” said Gov. Mark Dayton. “The many young journalists, whom she inspired and mentored, will continue her legacy through their own careers for many years to come.”
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Ms. Randolph held a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. An award winning journalist, she was the recipient of the 2014 ThreeSixty Journalism’s Widening the Circle Award. Ms. Randolph was also honored by the NABJ and earned numerous fellowships.