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SPJ awards diversity outreach leadership grants

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Sally Lehrman, SPJ Diversity Committee Chairwoman, 650-728-8211
Chris Vachon, SPJ Director of Programs, 317-927-8000 ext. 207 or cvachon@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS Six journalists have been awarded Diversity Outreach Leadership Grants by the Society of Professional Journalists for the 2005-2006 year.

The grants aim to strengthen leadership within the Society and to build its diversity efforts internally. Participants expand their leadership skills through a training session followed by a year-long mentoring relationship with former SPJ national presidents and other organization leaders. They receive travel expenses and fees for the 2005 convention.

The 2005 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference offers members and the journalism community an opportunity to reflect on the industry and to engage in thought-provoking, stimulating and hands-on training.

This is the first year of a two-year competitive program funded by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

The award recipients are:

* Felisa Cardona, police reporter, Denver Post
* Bonnie Davis, associate professor, Virginia Commonwealth University
* Holly Edgell, assistant professor, Florida A&M University School of Journalism and Graphic Communication
* Meena Thiruvengadam, business reporter, San Antonio Express-News
* Curtis Lawrence, journalism professor, Columbia College Chicago
* Pueng Vongs, editor and writer, Pacific News Service

The SPJ Convention takes place Oct. 16-18 at the Aladdin Resort and Casino, Las Vegas.

The Society of Professional Journalists works to improve and protect journalism. SPJ is dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, and based in Indianapolis, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed public, works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists, and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.


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