March 23, 2021

Statement on diversity and equity initiatives from NYU Journalism Institute leadership

Dear NYU Journalism community,

The leadership team at the Journalism Institute wants to let you know about our initiatives to further support diversity, equity, and inclusion in our classrooms and throughout our program. These initiatives emerged from discussions with both faculty and students over the past academic year. Among our goals is to foster greater diversity in our classrooms, including the recruitment of more students and faculty from underrepresented groups. We are also focusing on enriching our curriculum and on providing research support to encourage both graduate and undergraduate students to report on the difficult problems facing diverse communities in New York and around the country. We are working on new curriculum materials and a mentoring program that will make it possible for students to connect with working professionals who can provide valuable advice about your studies and your career path.

This is vitally important work for our students and faculty and for the wider journalism community. The initiatives that we’ve set in motion are only a start and we welcome suggestions from you about other possibilities. (You can email us at We’ve outlined some of our initiatives below, and we’ve created a diversity page on the Journalism Institute’s website highlighting the projects that we’ve launched this year. We’ll update this page as we launch additional projects.

Visit Diversity Page

Scholarships for Graduate Students from Underrepresented Groups

NYU Journalism is funding an additional $375,000 in scholarships covering all tuition and fees for graduate students from underrepresented groups beginning with the class enrolling in Fall 2021. We are working with the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the Native American Journalists Association to help spread the word about these scholarships.

Diversity Research Grants

NYU Journalism is offering 15 grants of up to $1,000 each to students (graduate or undergraduate) who have proposed substantial projects in any medium that explore social, economic, political and other challenges facing marginalized communities. The grants support research costs associated with reporting these stories and encourage work in this area. Note that NYU currently does not permit funds to be spent for travel during the Covid-19 pandemic, but other research costs can be covered.

Conference Attendance Grants

NYU Journalism is offering up to $500 for each of 20 students (graduate or undergraduate) to support participation in online educational programs outside NYU that explore the problems facing marginalized communities. In an online world, grants could cover conference fees and other signup expenses, for example. Note that NYU currently does not permit funds to be spent for travel during the Covid-19 pandemic, but other research costs can be covered.

Carter Institute Reporting Prizes

NYU Journalism is offering a prize of $1,000 for each of two students (graduate and undergraduate) whose works of journalism are judged most significant on topics involving the challenges facing underreported communities.

Public Events and Panel Discussions

We have created a robust public events program exploring challenges faced by journalists of color as well as strategies for reporting on protests and social movements. Some of our past events include: “Harlem Rising,” “Trauma and Self Care,” “Covering Protests,” “Race and the 2020 Presidential Election,” and “Queer Journalists Navigate the Newsroom.”

Urban Journalism Workshop

For four decades, NYU Journalism has offered a free summer journalism workshop for select high school students from underrepresented backgrounds. Twenty high school juniors and seniors from the New York City metropolitan area spend 10 days living on campus, attending an intensive, rigorous multimedia course at the Journalism Institute.

Student Diversity Feature on Instagram

Every week, we spotlight a graduate or undergraduate student on the Journalism Institute’s Instagram account.

Some Additional Initiatives We’re Working On

Mentoring Program

NYU Journalism is working on a mentoring program that will enable students to connect with professional journalists, many of them alumni of the program. Students will be able to confer with their mentor for advice on careers, workplace issues, and other matters.

New Curriculum Material

We are compiling recommended readings and visual materials that can expand on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in courses offered at the Journalism Institute.

Increasing Diversity of Faculty

A diverse faculty with wide lived experience is critical to achieving our goals. We are increasing the number of faculty from underrepresented groups, especially among our adjunct teaching professionals.

Orientation for Incoming Graduate Students

We are working to develop a program that engages incoming graduate students with questions of diversity, equity and inclusion. This will be part of the annual orientation program for all incoming graduate students in August.

Anti-Bias Training

We are exploring various anti-bias training programs for our faculty and staff in order to identify and resolve bias in the classroom and other Institute activities.

We will continue to focus on diversity and inclusion in the months and years ahead, and we look forward to continuing to receive feedback and suggestions from the NYU Journalism community.

Best wishes,
Stephen D. Solomon, Professor and Interim Director
Mohamad Bazzi, Associate Professor and Associate Director
Jason Samuels, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Adam Penenberg, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Yvonne Latty, Clinical Professor and co-chair, Diversity Faculty Committee
Rachel Swarns, Associate Professor and co-chair, Diversity Faculty Committee