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An Update on Colorado Public Radio’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In July, we published this statement in recognition of the work we needed to begin at CPR to confront issues of equity, diversity and inclusion in our newsroom and organization as a whole. That same month, we hired The Equity Project to assess the organization and lead us through workshops, focus groups, surveys and training, which are helping us identify opportunities for improvement, discuss them openly with each other, and develop a blueprint to guide us for the future.

We have been actively engaged in this work for eight months. In that time, we’ve developed an equity task force to address immediate issues and opportunities, begun a pay equity review, and created a senior executive role to provide focused leadership on CPR’s culture and commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion. We’ve initiated source tracking for CPR News coverage, because a critical component to a news organization’s ability to accurately cover its community is to ensure that sources, subjects, experts and newsmakers reflect the demographics of the coverage area. We’re hiring an accountability editor to keep equity, diversity and inclusion at the forefront of Colorado Public Radio’s coverage for all Coloradans, search for opportunities to make coverage more reflective of the diversity of our state, seek out and foster partnerships to provide diverse, intriguing and thoughtful digital and audio content, and grow and facilitate our partnerships with other media in the region. And our board of directors has chartered a new standing committee dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion across all that we do.  

We know this work is urgent, and we are dedicated to doing it thoroughly and connecting it with our vision and mission to reach all and serve everyone in Colorado.

We are also inspired by the work of others.   

In recent months, organizations and individuals, both public and private, have been engaged in similar work. Public Media for All is a coalition of public media workers raising awareness of the negative effects of a lack of diversity, equity and inclusion in public media, and sharing solutions for individuals and organizations. An Anti-Racist Future: A Vision and Plan for the Transformation of Public Media, published by Celeste Headlee and crafted by over 200 people in public media, is an open letter to public media organizations. We strongly embrace the vision outlined in both of these frameworks. 

With these and other resources in hand, we have begun to take steps towards a more diverse, equitable and inclusive future at CPR. The Equity Project is helping us explore our past so that we may go forward as leaders who embrace and create an anti-racist future for public media. We are committed to this work, and we will continue to provide regular updates as we go.