The Society of Professional Journalists announced today that I am among six chosen for the Society of Professional Journalists Diversity Leader Fellows Program.
“As we face the many challenges of an evolving industry, strengthening SPJ’s diversity efforts is more important now that at any time in our organization’s history. The goal of the Diversity Leadership Fellows program, ultimately, is to increase the diversity participation of SPJ members within national committees and on the national board of directors. One of the ways to obtain this goal is to bring SPJ members of color to the convention and involve the Fellows in many aspects of the conference. This program is funded by the SDX Foundation.”
The other Fellows are Rebecca Aguilar, Lucy Bejan, Sergy Odiduro, Lara Salahi and Chanda Temple.
We all get a trip to the SPJ national conference in New Orleans at the end of September and will work with SPJ the next year on projects that advance diversity in the newsroom.
I currently serve on the national Diversity Committee and Rainbow Resource sub-committee to help update our online data depository so other journalists and editors can access correct information about diverse topics to help tell their stories accurately and with respect.
Diversity in the newsroom is an important business ingredient that can help stop the bleeding. Diversity can contribute to sustainability so newspapers, in particular, can reach more people and, ultimately, increase sales based on inclusion.
I had the privilege of serving on the SPJ Western Washington Pro Chapter board and, among other things, helped present a diversity/ethics workshop at Seattle University and create a diversity resource for our chapter. My presentation explained the Native American Medicine Wheel as a symbol of balance. If all colors of the wheel are balanced; if all the people of the wheel are balanced, then the wheel will roll.
Our chapter won the SPJ Circle of Excellence for Diversity award in 2009 and I was honored when our President presented me with the plaque.
I explained in my Diversity Fellowship application that I want to specialize in learning about high tech ways to enhance diversity, including backpack journalism and social media techniques. I’ll be sharing what I learn from the conference with our committee and we’ll, in turn, share it with our members who will, in turn, write with inclusion.
Let’s work to support healthy, thriving and sustainable press platforms of multi-media so we can together honor the sacred roll of story teller.
Thanks to the Society of Professional Journalists and to you for celebrating this honor with me.