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Home > Grants > Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership Program

Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership Program

Application deadline: May 12, 2015

Photo SPJ works to promote a broader voice for diverse journalists in newsrooms across the country, and to expand the depth and quality of news reporting through better sourcing.

Diversity efforts are just as important within the SPJ membership as they are in newsrooms and in reporting. Strengthening SPJ’s diversity membership representation is important to the organization’s health and future. The Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership Program is an opportunity for members to become more acquainted with SPJ through exposure to the Society. This educational process begins at the national conference and includes a complimentary conference registration and paid travel to the event. Each year, SPJ selects six members to participate in the program and they are referred to as SPJ Diversity Leadership Fellows.

About Dori Maynard

Dori J. Maynard was a longtime champion of diversity in journalism. A board member of SPJ's Sigma Delta Chi Foundation since 1999, Maynard was named a Fellow of the Society in 2001. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to journalism.

Maynard was well-known for tirelessly working to ensure diversity in the newsroom and challenging 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'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."

“Dori advocated for the work of the Institute — and SPJ — to educate and remind journalists that including diverse voices in news coverage is more important than ever,” SPJ President Dana Neuts said. “She traveled the country lending her expertise and helping journalists tell more inclusive, diverse stories.

Dori Maynard’s father, Robert C. Maynard, the former owner of the Oakland Tribune and the first African-American man to own a major U.S. newspaper, founded the Institute with his wife, Nancy Hicks Maynard. Dori Maynard served as its president since 2001.

She and her father were Neiman scholars at Harvard University. Her career included working at the Detroit Free Press, the Bakersfield Californian and The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass.

The program was first introduced in 2005 and 48 SPJ members have gone through the program thus far. Participants indicate that they appreciate getting to know members of the SPJ national leadership ladder through the program. The program also affords Fellows the opportunity to feel more connected to the organization and to the conference through their program participation. This connectedness is intended to increase membership retention and to create a larger pool of local and national SPJ leaders .

While at the conference, the Fellows will have a gathering to get to know each other; they will attend SPJ board meetings and business meetings and they will attend the conference sessions and events.

The Fellows' participation in the annual conference is the jumping off point to building a connection and a loyalty to SPJ. The program helps to foster a stronger belief in SPJ and encourages involvement within the organization.

This program is funded by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

Specifically, the program will provide the following:
— A convention registration
— Four-night stay at the conference hotel, the Orlando World Center Marriott
— Airfare to Orlando, Fla. (up to $300)
— One ticket each to the SPJ President's Banquet and RTDNA Paul White Reception.

To be eligible for the scholarship:
— Have at least three years of post-college journalism experience
— Be a member of SPJ for at least one year
— Be a person with disabilities, from the LGBTQ community and/or of color
— Be willing to attend the entire conference and all events/programs planned for the Fellows
— Be willing to get involved/stay involved in SPJ at the local and/or national level
— Be willing to join at least one national committee/community.

Applications are due May 12, 2015. Applicants will be notified by May 31, 2015. Previous participants of the program are not eligible to apply.

If you have any questions, please contact Chris Vachon at 317-927-8000 x 207 or

Application Form

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

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Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center
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