Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

The Missouri Press Association is committed to supporting diverse and equitable participation and representation in the news industry and to opposing institutional and systemic racism in all its forms. The Association will educate and unite members to fight unfair and discriminatory journalism and employment practices in news media organizations while upholding high ethical and moral standards and empowering members to maintain their identity. Critical thinking skills will be emphasized to analyze and assess how certain communication may foster harassment and discrimination, and consider alternative statements and possible responses. To that end, our goal is to provide members with a deeper understanding of the vital role diversity and inclusion plays in our industry and society at large.

Missouri Press Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

Amos Bridges – Editor-in-Chief, Springfield News-Leader, Committee Chair

Cortlynn Stark – Reporter, The Kansas City Star, Vice-President of Print – National Association of Black Journalists, Kansas City chapter

Amanda Mendez – Publisher, Editor, Howell County News, Willow Springs

Kia Breaux – Midwest Regional Director, Associated Press

Dr. Earnest Perry – Associate Dean for Graduate Students & Research, University of Missouri School of Journalism

Dr. Tamara Zellars Buck – Chair, Mass Media Studies, Southeast Missouri State University

Ron Kelly – Executive Director, Student Development, Diversity and Inclusion, University of Missouri School of Journalism

Statements by and responses from the Missouri Press Association Board of Directors regarding diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in the Missouri newspaper industry and the practice of journalism.

Statement from 2021 Missouri Press Association Board of Directors regarding former MPA President John Jacks with accompanying background information:

A letter was written in 1895 by former MPA Board President John W. Jacks in which he responded to British anti-lynching activist Florence Balgarnie’s solicitation of support. His letter contained many racist opinions and comments. The following statement was unanimously approved after a motion by Amos Bridges, and seconded by Peggy Scott, by the MPA Board of Directors in June 2021:

“Regarding the letter, written in 1895, from John W. Jacks to Florence Balgarnie, the Missouri Press Association does not know if this was the position of the MPA board at the time. But we condemn it and all of the language and ideas expressed in this letter.”

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