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Diversity Committee
On both chapter and national levels, SPJ provides an open forum for the discussion of diversity issues in journalism. This committee's purpose is to promote a broader voice in newsrooms across the country and expand the depth and quality of news reports through better sourcing. Its ongoing project is the compilation of experts — primarily women, gays and lesbians, people of color and people with disabilities — through the Society's Diversity Source Book. The Society's relevance to its member is based on inclusiveness.

Rainbow Diversity Sourcebook
Submit Source

Searching the Sourcebook
To search, check one or more of the topic boxes, then scroll down to the bottom and click “search.”

You can limit your original search by state, “minority voice” or other choices — but the more you limit the search, the fewer results you will get.

If you know the name or organization of the source you are seeking, fill in any of the “personal information” blanks.

See the Diversity Toolbox for essays on how to make your work more inclusive and for comprehensive links to other resources.

Diversity Committee Chair

April Bethea
Online Producer
The Charlotte Observer
Bio (click to expand) April Bethea is an online producer at The Charlotte Observer where she helps highlight, curate and create content for their website and other digital platforms. She joined the online team in 2013 after more than eight years as a reporter covering topics including county government, education, and breaking news.

Bethea is secretary of the Greater Charlotte SPJ chapter. She was a 2013 SPJ Diversity Leadership Fellow and a 2013 Ted Scripps Leadership Institute graduate. Nashville will be her third Excellence in Journalism conference.

Bethea also is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and served as president of its Charlotte chapter when it re-launched nearly a decade ago. She was a fellow this spring with the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.

Outside of work, Bethea volunteers with Hands on Charlotte and enjoys attending local theatre productions when she can.

Georgiana Vines, vice chair
Retired Associate Editor
Knoxville News Sentinel

Home > Diversity > Rainbow Sourcebook > Request for proposals

Rainbow Sourcebook
Request for proposals

Deadline to apply: February 1, 2015

The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation seeks proposals for a one-year, renewable project to develop new sources, update existing ones, and incorporate social media information for the Society of Professional Journalists’ Rainbow Sourcebook, an online database and mobile app designed to make it easy for journalists to widen the narrow demographic band of sources normally found in the news.

Originally funded by the SDX Foundation as its signature diversity project, the sourcebook requires regular updates of source contact information and ongoing expansion as beats, news interests and reporting habits change. The sourcebook was developed by and for journalists, without influence by public relations interests. It focuses entirely on underrepresented voices, specifically people of color, women, those in the LGBT community and people with disabilities.

This RFP is part of a three-year, pilot maintenance project. Priority will be given to projects that, in addition to updating and adding to the existing sources, incorporate 1) an educational, research or training component or tool(s) to support diverse source development; 2) a plan to promote awareness and use of the sourcebook in university classrooms or in journalism practice; 3) a transferable model to support long-term sourcebook maintenance. The maximum funding amount is $6,000 annually, but the award will be based on the scope of project and budgeted expenses.

We are requesting that individuals partner with an organization, such as their own newsroom or another news organization, in order to enhance transferability and awareness.

Submit your proposal

Follow this link to submit your proposal online. The deadline to submit your proposal is February 1, 2015.

Here are some examples of the type of project you could propose:

— A faculty member could develop an underrepresented source research project, hire student researchers and/or incorporate source development and updates into a school or department’s existing courses.

— A faculty member could direct a Rainbow Sourcebook update while developing lesson plan(s) and assignment(s) to teach diverse source development within a wide range of communication courses.

— A freelancer could partner with a news organization,blogging about interesting people encountered along the way.

— A news organization could use staff to update underrepresented voices at both local and national levels, and to develop an app or tool to analyze source use.

— A graduate research fellow could conduct research on sourcing practices and update the database with underrepresented sources under the supervision of a faculty member.

Applicants are strongly advised to study the database, contact a sampling of sources to evaluate the need for updating, estimate the time necessary to contact sources, and make a careful assessment of timeline and budget required.

Proposals should include the following details:

— Applicant name and contact information
— Organization or university (freelancers should partner with a news outlet or nonprofit organization)
— Project description, including:
Analysis of sourcebook needs
Specific plans for update
Frequency of updates
Time frame (one, two or three years)
— Suggested new expertise areas or existing areas that need more attention
— Educational and/or research component
— Promotion and awareness component
— Continuity and transferability
— Proposed timeline
— Itemized budget
— Evaluation plan, including numerical goals for sources
— Your bio and qualifications for this work
— Why you are interested in participating in this project

Follow this link to submit your proposal online. For questions or further information, please contact Sally Lehrman.

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