We want to hear from you! The Maynard Institute’s annual community survey helps us to better understand the needs of our alumni and to shape our programs, training offerings, and events. We strive to foster an inclusive sense of ownership and empowerment within our community through this survey practice. Take the survey and join us in shaping the future of the Maynard Institute.

Survey input creates real-life impact

When we launched our first community survey in 2022, we learned that certain communities of our alumni were less engaged than others. For example, a lower percentage of survey respondents were Asian American journalists than we had expected. We used this feedback to prioritize reconnecting with the community in a few ways.

First, as part of the Vision 25 Belonging in the News virtual discussion series, coordinated in partnership with Online News Association and Open News, we featured editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, Versha Sharma. From 2015 to 2021, Sharma was managing editor at NowThis, where she shared in a 2018 Edward R. Murrow Award for a documentary on Hurricane Maria’s effects on Puerto Rico. Teen Vogue, a web-only Condé Nast publication, pivoted to become a strong voice on social justice issues in recent years and we invited Sharma to share her experience as the first South Asian American woman to helm Teen Vogue.

Second, we hosted a networking happy hour at the 2022 Asian American Journalists Association conference featuring Jeff Yang and Phil Yu, guest speakers and co-authors of the book RISE: A Pop History of Asian America from the Nineties to Now. The sold out, outdoor reception was a joyous celebration and for many attendees, it was the first in-person networking gathering since the pandemic began in 2020. The success of the event proved that our extended Maynard Family is eager for opportunities to connect with each other.

Third, the Maynard Institute’s local community journalism program Oakland Voices hosted a meetup featuring special guest, Thi Bui. Thi Bui was born in Vietnam and came to the United States in 1978 as part of the “boat people” wave of refugees fleeing Southeast Asia at the end of the Vietnam War. Her debut graphic memoir, The Best We Could Do (Abrams ComicArts, 2017) has been selected for an American Book Award, a Common Book for UCLA and other colleges and universities, an all-city read by Seattle and San Francisco public libraries, a National Book Critics Circle finalist in autobiography, and an Eisner Award finalist in reality-based comics. In a lively and frank discussion, Bui shared the challenges of getting a fine arts degree with professors who did not have the cultural competency to value storytelling that centered her Asian American identity.

These programming efforts were not only successful events, they helped increase the engagement among Asian American journalists in our community survey the following year.

How will your survey input help guide our programming in the future? We can’t wait to find out! Take the survey today.

About the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education

Since 1977, the Maynard Institute has fought to push back against the systemic lack of diversity in the news industry through training, collaborations and convenings. Founded by Robert C. Maynard, the Institute promotes diversity and antiracism in the news media through improved coverage, hiring and business practices. We are creating better representation in U.S. newsrooms through our programs , which gives media professionals of color the tools to become skilled storytellers, empowered executives and inspired entrepreneurs.