SPJ21 Journalism Conference: September 2-4, 2021

Join us this September — from wherever you are — for the journalism conference of the year.

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Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership Program

Application deadline: July 24

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, six SPJ members will get to attend this year’s SPJ conference on a scholarships. For the first time the fellowship will be virtual. You will be able to attend from home.

The Dori Maynard Diversity 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 be exposed 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 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 experiences at the #SPJ21 conference via social media, photos and videos that will be posted on the SPJ Diversity Facebook and Twitter platforms using the hashtag #SPJ21Diversity.

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

The program provides participants with the following:
– Complimentary conference registration
– Meet and greet with SPJ leadership
– Access to all the workshops, panels, and supersessions
– The participants will start their fellowship virtually on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021 and it will end on Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021.

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 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 (2021-2022)
– Former fellows are not eligible to apply.

Applications are due July 24, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET. There will not be any extended deadline. Fellows will be announced on August 9, 2021. Good luck! If you have any questions, please contact SPJ Diversity Chair Rebecca Aguilar.


Application Form

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

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