by the Rev. Kyle Huckins, Ph.D., CSM Chairman, Summer 2016
As we roll toward the annual AEJMC convention in Minneapolis, the Commission on the Status of Minorities is gaining momentum with programs addressing each of our three mandated areas of concern: the journalism & mass communication profession, related academia and our association.
I’ve invigorated CSM’s Facebook page and started our first-ever Twitter account to draw attention to the need for diversity and participation in the commission’s initiatives. Our @diversityfight Twitter handle has nearly 100 followers in three months and we have about 70 likes on Facebook. This, the commission’s new website, CSMdiversity.org, has had close to 1,000 pageviews in the same time frame.
I’ve been corresponding with many HBCU professors and administrators through emailing and phoning them, and a good number are proving interested in our work. They’re getting involved in our social media and joining our ranks with memberships, too, as CSM’s numbers are up by double-digit percentages this year. Be sure to join the commission as you renew your AEJMC membership and please urge your friends to do so as well – we can’t fight for diversity without resources.
Speaking of resources, the vision of CSM Vice Chairwoman Marquita Smith has become a reality in the launching of the commission’s diversity-experts database. Located on our website, this listing has names, emails and phone numbers of those in the know about multiculturalism in journalism and mass comm plus links to helpful research and sites.
Part of the database is a growing collection of videos by our members with advice for beginning professionals, profs and administrators. Since the historically underrepresented are just that – few and far between – in too many cases at media outlets, colleges and universities, mentoring sometimes has to come from afar. Please consider recording a video of under 10 minutes and sending me (email@example.com) the link to it via YouTube or Dropbox, and I will put it in on our site to access. Send your entries for the overall database to my email, too.
In getting together the initial information for the experts’ listing, Smith contacted a number of key people in the profession and academia, thus telling them of the commission’s efforts. You can be a good will ambassador for CSM, too, by referring people to our website, social media and AEJMC membership line.
Remember to attend our session in Minneapolis, Saturday at 5:15-6:45 p.m. in Marquette III, “Safe Places for New Faces: Attracting & Retaining a Diverse Faculty and Graduate Student Body.” The all-star panel boasts Deb Aikat, Julio Bermejo, Dorothy Bland, Lillie Fears and Candace Parrish. I’ll moderate the session, for which you’ll find both an ad and article on this website. Our commission business meeting will be right after the session and in the same room, so come and bring a colleague, too. You can point out our page in the convention program to your friends as well, and, better yet, download it and forward it to them!
Thanks again to our CSM Planning Committee – Tony DeMars, Osita Iroegbuon and Maccamas Ikpah – Vice Chairwoman Smith, Secretary Cathy Jackson and Newsletter Editor Nathaniel Frederick for their fine work this year. See you in Minneapolis!