ASJA Hires Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant Janet Stovall
The American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), one of the country’s largest organizations of professional freelance non-fiction writers, has hired Janet Stovall of Pragmatic Diversity as a consultant on Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI). This latest step 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.
“For ASJA to meet its mission to be the voice and career resource for independent, entrepreneurial, professional nonfiction writers, our membership should reflect the demographics of our profession,” said ASJA President Emily Paulsen.
In 2021, ASJA formed a Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion Task Force to look at ways ASJA could increase opportunity and “create a welcoming community for all freelance writers of all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, ages, ability, and cultural and religious beliefs.” The organization has strengthened relationships with diverse writers’ groups, offered conference
scholarships to freelance writers from underrepresented groups, and built themes of diversity and diverse presenters into its educational offerings.
ASJA has hired Ms. Stovall to work 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. In addition, Ms. Stovall will be giving a keynote address at the 2023 ASJA Virtual Annual Conference on June 13 that will discuss 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 impactfully.
“Writers are the front line of diversity, equity, and inclusion—even if they don’t realize it,” Ms. Stovall said.
Ms. Stovall brings more than 30 years of experience as an independent contractor specializing in DEAI communication, facilitation, workshop development and consulting for companies and non-profit organizations. She focuses on shaping and implementing realistic visions and strategies that drive change and build culture. Her first book, “The Conscious Communicator: The Fine Art of Not Saying Stupid Sh*t,” was released in Fall 2022.
Founded in 1948, the American Society of Journalists and Authors is the nation’s professional organization of independent nonfiction writers. ASJA membership consists of outstanding freelance writers of magazine articles, trade books, and many other forms of nonfiction writing, each of whom has met ASJA’s exacting standards of professional achievement. ASJA brings leadership in establishing professional and ethical standards, and in recognizing and encouraging the pursuit of excellence in nonfiction writing. ASJA headquarters are in New York City. The Society has active regional chapters in a variety of locations. Learn more at www.asja.org.