JEA commits to racial justice
The Journalism Education Association 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.
In a summer like no other in educational history, the JEA Board has been acutely aware of the last part of our organization’s mission statement: “to foster an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity.” JEA denounces all forms of racial violence and brutality in our larger society. However, it is not enough to say we grieve with the families of those lost to racial violence; systematic racism wounds people in classrooms, educational institutions and professional organizations every day. As a professional organization, we recognize our deficiencies and limitations.
To begin improvements, we are in the process of developing a two-pronged approach to address diversity, equity and inclusion and JEA’s commitment to racial justice.
First, we seek to amplify the leadership and voices of our advisers who identify as Black, Indigeous and/or people of color. Our first step in this process will be to conduct a survey of these advisers to gather feedback.
We also seek to engage all advisers in discussion of anti-Blackness and how systematic racism impacts education by connecting our members to antiracist resources, fostering conversations about implicit bias and conducting a national diversity audit: examining who our members are, who holds leadership positions, whose voices are highlighted, who attends or presents at conferences, what topics are covered and more.
JEA’s core values of pedagogy, advocacy, innovation, community and excellence cannot be attained without racial justice in scholastic journalism. This lens of racial justice and antiracism will be used for all of our initiatives, so all board members, committee chairs and leaders will be focused on this goal, and we hope all JEA members will be as well. We recognize this is a persistent problem and humbly welcome feedback and input from our members on how we can best address these issues and provide meaningful professional development and resources.