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Sigma Delta Chi Foundation pays tribute to Dori Maynard by renaming Diversity Leadership Program


May 5, 2015

Robert Leger, SDX Foundation National President, 602-444-8138 (MST), Robert.leger@arizonarepublic.com
Chris Vachon, SDX Foundation/SPJ Associate Executive Director, 317-920-4781, cvachon@spj.org
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, jroyer@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Board of Directors recently voted to rename the Diversity Leadership Program to honor the late Dori Maynard, a longtime champion of diversity in journalism, who served as board member of the Foundation since 1999.

The program will now be known as the Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership Program. The program is an opportunity for members to become more acquainted with SPJ through exposure to the Society and move into leadership positions at the regional and national levels within the organization. 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.

"It is fitting that Dori’s name be added to the Diversity Leadership Program as a way to remember all that she accomplished during her lifetime and a reminder that there is still more work to be done,” said Robert Leger, president of the SDX Foundation. “Dori's counsel at board meetings was always invaluable. She was a passionate advocate for advancing diversity, but just as importantly, she was a passionate advocate for better journalism. And she was always funny and warm.”

Maynard was named a Fellow of the Society in 2001. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to journalism. She 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 nation. Maynard’s father, Robert C. Maynard, former owner of the Oakland Tribune and the first African-American man to own a major U.S. newspaper, founded The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Dori Maynard served as its president from 2001-2015.

Maynard 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 Diversity Leadership Program was first introduced in 2005 and 50 SPJ members have gone through the program. Applications for this year’s Fellowship are due May 12. For criteria and more details about the program, visit the website.

Founded in 1961, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) public foundation that is dedicated to ensuring that those who carry on the tradition of a free press are prepared for the challenge. Its goal is to support the educational programs of the Society of Professional Journalists and to serve the professional needs of journalists and students pursuing careers in journalism. For more information about the SDX Foundation, please visit www.spj.org/sdx.asp.


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