PULLMAN, Wash. — Leonard Pitts Jr., a Miami Herald columnist and author, will speak at Washington State University at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 14.

The event is scheduled for the Compton Union Building’s Cascade, Room 123, and is free and open to the public.

Pitts’ pieces confront social issues, popular culture and family life, and are syndicated in more than 150 daily newspapers in the United States. His column has received awards from the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists and the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors. In 2002, the national Society of Newspaper columnists awarded Pitts its inaugural Columnist of the Year Award. In 1992, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and is a three-time winner of the National Headliner’s Award.

Critics say Pitts’ columns attract readers from across the spectrum. He is not a knee-jerk liberal or a dogmatic conservative. Instead, he brings a fresh perspective to the editorial page.

Pitts jointed the Miami Herald in 1991 as a pop music critic. His work has appeared in such publications as “Musician,” “Spin,” “Right On!” and “TV Guide.” He is the author of “Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood.”

Pitts will give another public talk at 4:30 p.m. on the University of Idaho campus in the College of Law Courtroom.

The events are sponsored by the Freedom Forum, WSU’s Edward R. Murrow School of Communication and the University of Idaho.