Cornell University Mounts an Effort to Increase Diversity Among Op-Ed Writers

cornellAccording to the Op-Ed Project “the voices we hear from in the world come from a tiny fraction of society – mostly Western, White, privileged, and overwhelmingly male.” Very few op-ed pieces in major newspapers are written by women or members of minority groups.

Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, has mounted a program where the goal is to increase the number of women and minorities who regularly contribute op-ed pieces to major media outlets. The university invited a diverse group of faculty members to apply to become Public Voices Fellows. Applicants were asked why they thought they were from an underrepresented group and why they wanted a voice in public discourse.

The Public Voices Fellows who were selected have participated in workshops to train them to write for non-academic audiences. The Fellows were also prepared with tools that help them pitch their ideas to editors at various media outlets.

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