Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Colorado Public Radio

From CPR President and CEO Stewart Vanderwilt:

Colorado is made up of a diverse population of people of many races, ethnicities, educational backgrounds, political perspectives, genders and sexual orientations, and other differences and abilities. For more than fifty years, Colorado Public Radio has grown to provide radio and digital services offered free and available to everyone. Yet, many in the Centennial State have not often heard their community, their perspective, their experiences on the radio, nor regularly seen their faces or stories represented in the services we provide.

The result is that many in our state do not feel heard nor seen. The lack of visibility has created perceptions that these individuals and their stories are not part of our collective story. That neglect has reinforced stereotypes and helped preserve systems that discriminate and take power from some, leaving it for those whose voice and experience is represented.

If Colorado is to be a state where every voice matters, where each individual is valued for their unique experience and perspective, then each community — and the range of perspectives within it — is important to the statewide conversation. Everyone has a role to play in helping shape a state that values each individual for who they are and what they bring to our collective “whole.”

Only when our media in general, and Colorado Public Radio in particular, are reflective of the people, voices, experiences and stories from across our four corners will those of privilege and those neglected be treated equitably.

CPR believes we can work to make Colorado a safer and more inclusive place for all to belong, contribute and participate.

On this page, you will see an overview of CPR’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as actions taken. This page covers our efforts both within our organization and as a public media organization with a responsibility to the community. Diversity, equity and inclusion efforts are ongoing and ever-evolving, and we will update this page as our commitment continues.

DEI Commitment Statement

At Colorado Public Radio we recognize diversity, equity and inclusion are essential in helping the organization achieve our mission: to deliver meaningful news, music and cultural experiences to everyone in Colorado by using the power of the human voice.

CPR is committed to transforming itself into an anti-racist, more inclusive and respectful organization. Colorado Public Radio’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is an investment in its own future and indeed the future of Colorado. We will be an organization that leads in inclusion and diversity and doesn’t wait for others to make a difference before we do.

Internally, we are committed to creating a work environment of inclusion and belonging. Colorado Public Radio’s staff will be reflective of the people and voices from our four corners. We are committed to hiring practices in which each individual is valued for their experience and perspective. We are committed to retaining our staff and helping each individual grow, advance in their career and thrive both professionally and personally. We will embody an equitable workplace structure with policies, practices and systems that guide our actions and hold us accountable to our commitment.

Our services strive to improve the understanding of challenges, experiences and perspectives of all Coloradans. Externally, our music, reporting, content and events will enrich lives and elevate the diversity of voices in Colorado, especially those from communities that have been underrepresented, underserved, and misrepresented by the media. We will continue to increase civic engagement and lead deeper conversations in our communities.

In return, our results will include:

  • Content, storytelling and experiences that enrich the lives of our audience and staff
  • Greater visibility for underrepresented Coloradans
  • An internal culture where everyone can come to work as their authentic selves

At Colorado Public Radio we recognize our diversity, equity and inclusion journey will never be finished. This will be an ongoing and intentional investment, and it is not restricted to just one initiative or statement. We are aiming high because we know eliminating inequity requires more than just making incremental change. The work is hard, but it is essential, and we are committed to doing it.

How CPR began its DEI journey

Organization Demographics

Over the last several years CPR has tracked and evaluated workforce demographics such as race and ethnicity, gender and generation. In 2022 we launched a solution that allows our staff to voluntarily provide a broader range of employee demographic data that includes disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and preferred pronouns. We will share the additional employee demographic data publicly once we have gathered enough information in these areas to provide a more comprehensive picture of our team members.

In 2022, CPR recruited and filled 34 positions. Of those 34 positions, 74 percent of the candidates hired are from underrepresented groups. The overall growth rate for staff members who are ethnically diverse was 20 percent in 2022 with the highest increase in employees who identify as Black.

Millennials are and continue to be the largest population at CPR for the fourth year in a row. However, CPR has seen the biggest growth rate in employees who fall in the Generation Z category.

Those who identify as female continue to be the largest gender population at CPR for the fourth year in a row. 55 percent of CPR hires in 2022 were those who identify as female. However, females were also this highest percentage of separations in 2022 as well. 43 percent of leaders within CPR identify as female.

Leaders from ethnically diverse backgrounds only make up 14 percent of the leaders at CPR. In 2022 we saw a five percent decrease in employees from ethnically diverse backgrounds in leadership positions compared to 2021.

The percentage of employee separations in 2022 was 10 percent versus the 18 percent in 2021. 72 percent of employee separations were female, and 38 percent were employees who are ethnically diverse.

For all of the below charts, the data is as of Dec. 31, 2022. All-staff graphs include 191 people, while the total headcount for leadership is 44. Leadership in this context is defined as any position with one or more employees reporting directly to that person.

In June of 2020 the CPR Board of Directors approved the implementation of a Board Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force. In light of the ongoing importance of DEI issues in all aspects of Colorado Public Radio's organization, the board unanimously approved to make the task force a permanent board committee. The charter for the Board Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee was established and approved in 2021. The Board graphs below include data from 19 board members.


All Staff


Board of Directors

Gender Identity

All Staff


Board of Directors


All Staff


Board of Directors

DEI Actions Taken

Departments host discussions around DEI issues, including sharing experiences, lessons learned and sharing of resources for continued learning facilitated by The Equity Project.
CPR News starts collecting demographic information from sources. Reporters ask several questions at the end of news interviews to collect age, geography, ethnicity, gender identity and their role in the story. Our goal in our coverage is to authentically represent communities in the news. Through collecting this source information, we can better measure and analyze the voices you hear on CPR News or read on cpr.org. In addition, we have been holding meetings with various community groups to strengthen our reporting throughout our coverage area. We will be reporting the results of these efforts regularly, beginning Spring 2023.
CPR launches a yearlong Inclusive Leadership Program designed to help leaders better understand the importance of inclusivity, their role in being an inclusive leader, and how to build and sustain an inclusive culture amongst their teams. The sessions were co-designed and co-facilitated by Dr. Brenda J. Allen of Difference Matters.
Quarterly belonging and inclusion learning sessions offered to all staff to support continued learning and development and reinforce the behaviors needed to support the organization’s commitment to DEI.
CPR implements a compensation philosophy along with a new job architecture and compensation structure to ensure fair, equitable and transparent pay practices for all employees. CPR completed an Equal Pay for Equal Work (EPEW) analysis of employees to ensure employees in like positions performing like work are being paid equitably. The new compensation structure provided the opportunity to appropriately conduct the EPEW analysis and make the necessary compensation adjustments for staff where needed.
CPR’s inclusive recruitment and hiring policy and process is launched.
The Wycisk Fellowship Program is revamped to ensure the process allows for a more inclusive and equitable process and is rooted in mentorship and development.
The CPR events and partnerships team increases focus on being present in underrepresented communities. In 2022, CPR was a partner or media sponsor for Denver PrideFest, Denver Juneteenth Music Festival and The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, with an intent to expand beyond the Front Range in the future.
CPR begins to identify and document organization-wide DEI goals.