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Clayton High School newspaper wins JEA Diversity Award

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The Journalism Education Association has selected The Globe student newspaper of Clayton (Missouri) High School as winner of it Diversity Award. The staff and adviser will be formally recognized April 14 at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco.

The JEA Diversity Award honors a scholastic journalism teacher, student media adviser or scholastic journalism group demonstrating a commitment to cultural awareness and encouraging a multicultural approach with its student media staff, media production and/or community. The honoree must be in the forefront in promoting diversity in the scholastic media arena and must have taken steps to break down walls of misunderstanding and ignorance.

Advised by Erin Castellano, The Globe is composed of 78 students who, as a staff, have been unafraid to tackle the issues surrounding race and equity, even devoting the entire December 2017 issue to the topic.

“Our conversation started with a collective acknowledgement that before we could begin to address the manifestations of equity in any present-day setting, we must first solidify an understanding of the historical underpinnings of inequity,” co-editors Mitali Sharma and Noah Brown wrote in their letter from the editors for that issue.

This issue was not the first time The Globe staff explored this topic. In 2016, the staff wrote a three-part series called “Separate and Unequal,” exploring racial inequity in St. Louis. To take the learning even further, the staff watched the documentary “Displaced and Erased” to understand the origins of inequity in Clayton.

“(Staff members of) The Globe, the Clayton High School student-run newspaper, have committed themselves to bring and build cultural awareness to our school and community,” said Carroll Lehnhoff-Bell, director of learning support at CHS. “With much thought, much research, and much care, The Globe staff sheds lights on issues that need to be highlighted in order to help us stand back from ourselves and become aware of our cultural values, beliefs and perceptions.”

While the staff has done much to explore race and initiate conversations over the last five years, Sharma and Brown acknowledge there is still more to do.

“As a staff, we know that these issues are far from being solved, and we are committed to keep equity as a central focus of our work as a news organization, this year and in years to come,” they said.

Founded in 1924, JEA supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, by promoting professionalism, by encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and by fostering an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity. It is headquartered at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.

The Globe’s November 2017 cover is representative of the staff and publication. Justin Guilak and Mita Sharma were the designers for this cover. The publication explored a range of diversity issues. Explore some of the stories from this issue at the Clayton High School Globe website.

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