The 2012 SPJ Diversity Leadership Fellows

From left: Malik Singleton, Nigel Duara, Britney Tabor, Sandra Gonzalez, Sherri Williams, Tony Hernandez.

The idea to establish a program for fellows to learn about the inner workings of SPJ through an immersion into teaching of the Society’s missions, culture and operations came to fruition seven years ago in a Las Vegas hotel that no longer exists. The Diversity Leadership Fellows Program would be an educational process starting at the beginning of the  SPJ national convention.  Selected fellows, who would be involved in many aspects of the conference, would receive complimentary registration and paid travel for the event.

Today, unlike the Vegas hotel where the first group of fellows met, the DLFP still exists.


SPJ has made it clear that diversity is part of its core mission and values, which is why SPJ’s Sigma Delta Chi Foundation continues to fund the successful program. To that extent, the diversity committee has spent the past several weeks working with Lauren Rochester, SPJ’s awards coordinator, and Chris Vachon, SPJ’s associate executive director,  in selecting participants for the 2012 Diversity Leadership Fellows Program.

We are excited about the six newest fellows, and the awesome list of mentors who have volunteered to work with the fellows.  This year’s fellows include: 

  • Nigel Duara, The Associated Press, Oregon/S.W. Washington Chapter, SPJ
  • Malik Singleton, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, Deadline Club Chapter, SPJ
  • Sandra Gonzalez, Freelance Digital Journalist, New Orleans Chapter, SPJ
  • Sherri Williams, Adjunct Faculty, Syracuse University, Freelance Writer, Former Board Member of the Central Ohio Chapter, SPJ
  •  Tony Hernandez, Northwest Arkansas Times, Northwest Arkansas Pro Chapter, SPJ
  • Britney Tabor, Denton Record-Chronicle, Fort Worth Chapter, SPJ

Bonnie Newman Davis

SPJ Diversity Committee Chair – 2011-2012




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  • Congrats to the outstanding slate of fellows this year and to Bonnie for leading this program, as well as kudos to the many former fellows who have gone on to serve in national SPJ leadership roles. Credit for the idea for the Diversity Fellows actually goes to Reginald Stuart, who is the source of so many great ideas.

  • Randy Erb

    I think it is funny that this committee passed a resolution to ban the use of the words illegal alien, and illegal immigrant in journalism. In the quest for greater social justice in the media, I have a few more terms that need to be banned. Drug dealers should be called undocumented pharmacists, car thieves should be called undocumented car owners, burglars should be called errant junk collectors, robbers should be called impecunious customers and the list is almost endless. It is high time that criminals and their activities get the respect that ALL human beings should have. Crooks are people too, and they should not be hit with a label like crook. It is a slur on all people when you call these people names.

  • Congratulations to a wonderful slate! It was such a pleasure to meet, chat and get to know all of you yesterday evening.

    Thank you, Bonnie, for reaching out to SPJ South Florida and for leading such an important committee. We truly enjoyed sponsoring dinner for this amazing group and look forward to supporting the Diversity Leadership Fellows Program in any way possible. Enjoy the convention!

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  • Mike Reilley

    Lindsey: This is a great idea. Our SPJ DePaul chapter is participating in a larger Region 5 discussion with other student (and pro chapters) about the code and name changes. It’s expected to take place at our spring regional meeting in Chicago. Keep up the good work.

  • Barry Hollander

    But what will you do with the other $99,900 in your SPJ slush fund?

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