Preaching the Gospel of Diversity, but Not Following It

Liz Spayd gives details illustrating that despite instructions to both corporate and news leaders of the newspaper to diversify their staffs, the New York Times still has a long way to go until that becomes a reality.

CNN’s Tanzina Vega offers a ten-point plan on increasing newsroom diversity.

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3 Comments on “Preaching the Gospel of Diversity, but Not Following It

  1. In this case preaching the gospel can be taken literally as the Bible is often referenced as an anxiety-provoking platform for highlighting some social order. At the same time when we self-reflect upon our learned and lived experiences there lies the opportunity to look at our world to view it as either closed or open to differences. Whether we work in the newsroom, a bank, university or a church there appears to be a common theme, zealously denied, as excluding diversity. The blame is placed the other for not applying or doing more to be included. The truth is that inclusion requires work on all parts starting with building awareness that the platform exists, then with an invitation to join, and finally, allowing space for creativity and innovation from a different perspective. What are you doing to make difference count?

  2. When I was teaching in the academy this was referred to as “Talking the talk, but not walking the walk.” Even before I received tenure I spoke out about diversity.
    However, as the only Black faculty member in my department and one of only a half dozen at the institution, not much attention was paid when I tried to raise awareness. Among the things I did then was become a member of every search committee; serve on the affirmative action; diversity affairs; gender studies and multicultural studies committees. I also used my scholarship to voice critical aspects of diversity. Whenever and wherever I found the opportunity, I took it! Even at the risk of losing my job (which I really did not need because this was a second career). I hope I left a legacy and a model for others to follow.

    Now that I am retired (10 years now) I try to keep informed by reading and attending diversity discussions. Furthermore, I am just finishing up a book on how
    black children should be educated. If you have any suggestions about things I could or should be doing, I am listening!

    • I honor you for your activism, particularly taking the risks you did. You modeled what we all need to do in our various spheres of influence and in our lives. Keep attending NIOT events and reading the blog. We have our monthly Continuing Conversations on Race and White Privilege at the Princeton Public Library (PPL) the first Monday of each month. Howard Stevenson, professor of education at U. of Penn, will be speaking about racial literacy in schools at the PPL on February 6. After the NIOT annual retreat, we will be posting our selected causes for 2017 and where we will need yours and others’ participation. Thanks for your efforts and your interest.

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