Diversity and Inclusion
ASJA serves all independent nonfiction writers, embracing the rich spectrum of voices that make up America.
ASJA is committed to being a diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive organization that reflects the demographics of our country, our world, and our profession. ASJA works to create a welcoming community for writers of all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, ages, abilities, and cultural and religious beliefs, at all membership levels and in all leadership roles.
At ASJA, our goal is to ensure that diverse members feel included, supported, and valued, especially writers from underrepresented groups. We continually strive for diverse representation in our events, activities, and communications, from conferences and publications to webinars. We encourage members to seek out diverse sources and stories that reflect our world.
True diversity comes when we all commit to this goal.
Note: ASJA pledges to address any violations of this policy. Our goal is to be an organization where writers of all backgrounds feel just as empowered as they are when interacting with others of their own backgrounds and identities.
In 2023, ASJA hired Janet Stovall of Pragmatic Diversity as a consultant on Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI). This is part of ASJA’s efforts to increase diversity and inclusion of underrepresented freelance writers in its membership and build a professional community that reflects the true diversity of independent non-fiction writers.
Ms. Stovall is working with board members, committee chairs, and ASJA leadership to develop programming and resources that support and encourage diverse freelance writers and build diversity and inclusion within ASJA membership and the community of independent writers. Her keynote address at the 2023 ASJA Virtual Annual Conference discussed why everyone has implicit biases, and what writers can do to uncover, question, and redirect the biases that can prevent us from writing objectively, compellingly, and with impact.
DEAI Task Force
In 2021, ASJA formed a Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) Task Force which meets regularly to enlarge and enhance impactful diversity programming and ensure that we operate as a fully open and inclusive organization. Meetings are open to all ASJA members. If you’d like to attend a meeting, please email the ASJA office.
For the ASJA 2023 virtual conference, ASJA offered nine scholarships to journalists of color. The scholarships were funded through generous donations made by board members and conference attendees. Scholarship recipients received free registration to the conference and were offered an opportunity to become an ASJA member at a discounted price. Qualified applicants who did not receive a scholarship were offered a 50 percent discount on their registration.
For the ASJA 2022 conference in Jersey City, New Jersey, ASJA offered five scholarships to journalists of color. The package included free registration, two hotel nights, some travel expenses, and an opportunity to become an ASJA member at a discounted price.
Cultivating the next generation of diverse journalists stands at the heart of ASJA’s DEAI mission, and ASJA anticipates repeating and expanding this program in future years.
ASJA’s Dynamic Commitment to Inclusivity
Additionally, we emphasize diverse representation in all ASJA educational offerings and publications. This includes at ASJA in-person and virtual conferences, webinars, ASJA Magazine, Weekly, and Confidential blog posts.
ASJA DEAI Resources
Column written by ASJA President Emily Paulsen: “ASJA’s Role in Creating a Stronger, More Diverse Freelance Community”
- 2023 Virtual Conference Keynote with Janet Stovall, “The Art of Not Saying Stupid Sh*t,” discusses that everyone has implicit biases and outlines what writers can do to uncover, question, and redirect the biases that can prevent us from writing objectively, compellingly, and impactfully.
- 2023 Virtual Conference session, “The Power Story Edit,” presenting in collaboration with the Institute for Independent Journalists, tackles the ways we can reframe, report, write, and structure our stories in light of our privilege and the power hierarchies among the people we interview.
- 2023 Virtual Conference session, “Coverage Matters: Building a Sustainable, Inclusionary Reporting Practice,” examines how to develop a more inclusionary reporting practice, one that looks beyond merely diversifying sources to represent the continent’s population and people’s varying points of view more accurately.
General DEAI Resources
Style Guides for Inclusive Language:
- Disability Language Style Guide
- Stylebook on LGBTQ Terminology
- National Association of Black Journalists Style Guide
- Executive Order Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Government
- Government U.S. Department of Labor/Diversity and Inclusion Resources
- Council on Accreditation/10 Resources for your Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Efforts
- Educause/Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resources
- MIT Human Resources/DEI Resources