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Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership Program

Application process opens Monday, June 6, 2022
Deadline: Friday, July 15, 2022

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 conference on scholarships, and it will be in person at #MediaFest22 in Washington D.C.

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

At the conference, 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 welcomed 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 and inclusion inside and outside the newsroom. Speakers will also cover various topics that may be trending in journalism today.

Fellows will be asked to share their #MediaFest22 experiences via social media platforms during the conference. 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 also using hashtag #SPJDiversity22

The SPJ Diversity program gives participants the chance to establish a relationship with SPJ, and they 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.

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

  • A complimentary registration for the conference including tickets to the SPJ Awards Banquet.
  • Hotel accommodations for four nights at the conference hotel.
  • Paid airfare to and from #MediaFest22 up to $350.

The conference, participants will be provided:

  • Meet and greet with SPJ leadership
  • Access to all the workshops, panels, and keynote sessions
  • The participants will start their fellowship on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022 (travel day) and it will end on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022.

Applicant requirements for the scholarship:

  •  At least two years of professional experience in journalism.
  • Must be a member of SPJ
  • Must be a person of color, a person with disabilities, part of the LGBTQ or underserved ethnic communities
  •  Must attend the entire conference and scheduled fellowship events and programs.
  • Join a local SPJ Chapter and volunteer to be on a local or committee after the conference.
  • Volunteer to be on an SPJ national committee if possible.
  • Agree to represent SPJ as a Diversity Fellow for the full year (2022-2023)
  • Former fellows are not eligible to apply.


Applications are due July 15, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET. There will not be any extended deadline. Fellows will be announced on August 22, 2022. Good luck! If you have any questions, please fill out this form.


Application Form

Sorry, the deadline to apply has passed. Applicants will be notified of their status shortly.

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