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Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership Program

Application process opens Monday, June 5, 2023
Deadline: Friday, July 21, 2023

About Dori Maynard

The Diversity Leadership Program fellowship is named after the late, Dori J. Maynard. She was a longtime champion of diversity in journalism. She was a board member of SPJ’s foundation starting in 1999. In 2001, she was named a Fellow of the Society. The award recognizes outstanding contributions in journalism.

Maynard was well-known for tirelessly working to ensure diversity in the newsroom. She challenged the news media to look at themselves and what she called “distorted coverage of communities of color” when covering America’s ongoing racial struggles and what it does to the country.

Dori Maynard came from a family of journalists. Her father, Robert C. Maynard was the former owner of the Oakland Tribune and the first African-American man to own a major US newspaper. He his wife, Nancy Hicks Maynard also founded the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (MIJE) in 1978.

Dori and her father were Nieman scholars at Harvard University. Her career included working at the Detroit Free Press, the Bakersfield Californian and The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass. Dori Maynard served as the Maynard Institute’s president from 2002 until her passing in February, 2015.

Maynard left her mark on SPJ. "Dori's counsel at board meetings was always invaluable. She was a passionate advocate for advancing diversity, yes, but just as importantly she was a passionate advocate for better journalism. And she was always funny and warm," said Robert Leger, president of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation. "This is a huge loss not only to those of us who knew and worked with Dori, but for our profession as a whole.”

Diversity and inclusion in newsrooms is important to SPJ. We aim through the Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership program to open minds and open doors in newsrooms around the country. Through our diversity program, eight SPJ members will get to attend this year’s SPJ convention on scholarships. The SPJ23 Journalism Convention will be in person at in Las Vegas.  

The leadership program gives fellows the opportunity to see firsthand how SPJ works and what it has to offer. SPJ Diversity Leadership Fellows are provided with a complimentary convention registration. 

At the convention, the fellows will have access to several networking events where they get to know each other, and meet SPJ board members, administrators and other leaders in the world of journalism. The fellows will get to attend journalism panels and workshops of their choice and they will also be welcome to attend SPJ board and business meetings. 

The program will expose the fellows to guest speakers who will cover topics about the importance about diversity, inclusion and equity inside and outside the newsroom. Speakers will also cover various topics that are trending in journalism today.

Fellows will be asked to share their experiences via social media platforms during the convention. They will be covering the events they attend and sharing what they learn via posts that include photos and videos. Those posts will be shared on the SPJ Diversity Facebook and Twitter platforms using hashtag #SPJDiversity2023.

The SPJ Diversity program gives participants the chance to establish a relationship with SPJ, and fellows are encouraged to continue as members with the national organization. We also encourage the fellows to get involved with the SPJ communities and local SPJ chapter.

The program is funded by the SPJ Foundation. 

Those selected to participate in the program this year will receive:

Fellows will be responsible for cost of personal meals and transportation to and from airport to the hotel.  The participants will start their fellowship on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 (travel day) and it will end on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023 (travel home).


At the convention, participants will be provided:

Applicant requirements for the scholarship:

Applications are due at 11:59 p.m. EDT, Friday, July 21, 2023. There will not be any extended deadline. Fellows will be announced on Tuesday, August 8, 2023. Good luck! If you have any questions, please contact, Eleanore Vega, SPJ Diversity & Inclusion Committee Chair at emvega777@gmail.com


Application Form

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