Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee

Welcome to our committee page! We’re giving most of our real estate to showcase our upcoming inaugural event. Please scroll down to learn more about us and how to participate in our conference on June 21 and 22. Thanks for stopping by!

2021 TNG Student Media Conference

A series of panel discussions and breakout sessions for journalism/communications students and recent graduates interested in a media career. Representatives from a variety of publications and outlets will discuss the importance of diversity in the media and what publishers and editors look for when hiring. A decorated lineup of working media professionals will lead a range of sessions, from news reporting to photography, to share their experiences and industry tips. Sessions for finding worthy internships and crafting the perfect resume are also available.

Please follow the links to register on Eventbrite. You will have to select each different session you are registering for to receive the tickets.

Once registered, we will send the links for all selected sessions. Each event is free and takes place over Zoom. Students are expected to choose one diversity talk, one editors session and as many breakout sessions as they’re able to attend when registering.

Detroit News Guild President Charlie Ramirez will serve as emcee for the event.

Learn more about our keynote speakers and emcee here.


Please attend at least one.

Day 1: Diversity in the Media
June 21- 10:00am-11:15 am
Felecia D. Henderson of The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and James Hill, senior news director at the Detroit Free Press, together lead an interactive discussion on newsroom diversity with reflections from their combined 50 years-plus of industry experience.

Day 2: Diversity in the Media
June 22- 10:00am-11:15 am
Longtime journalists Vincent D. McCraw, President of Detroit NABJ, and Rochelle Riley, Arts & Culture director for the City of Detroit, advocate and author, share wisdom from their combined 60-plus years in the business to lead an interactive diversity discussion.

Editors Sessions

Please select at least one.

Read more about the participating managers here.

Day 1: Detroit News, Free Press and Crain’s Detroit
June 21- 11:30am-12:25pm
Hiring managers from the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press and Crain’s Detroit Business will speak and share what it takes to get hired in their newsrooms.

Day 1: Fox 2 and WDIV
June 21- 11:30am-12:25pm
Managers from Channel 4 WDIV and Fox 2 Detroit will lead the second session for students looking to break into TV.

Day 2: Bridge Michigan and Michigan Radio
June 22- 11:30am- 12:25pm
Hiring managers from Bridge Magazine and MI Radio will discuss what it takes to get hired in their mediums as the journalism landscape evolves.

Day 2: Deadline Detroit and Detour Detroit
June 22- 11:30am- 12:25pm
Managers from Detour Detroit and Deadline Detroit will talk about what it takes to do something different in the industry and how to get hired there, too.

Breakout Sessions Day 1

Select as many sessions as desired, but only one per time slot.

Click this link to learn more about the Day One session leaders.

Sports Reporting
June 21- 12:30pm-1:25pm Detroit News Pistons beat writer Rod Beard, and Angelique S. Chengelis, University of Michigan football beat writer for the News, discuss covering two of the most important beats for the Detroit newspaper and what helped get them there.

Web Editing June 21- 12:30pm-1:25pm
Tyler Davis, sports assistant editor for the Detroit Free Press, Casey Harrison, web producer at The News, and Tanya Wildt, a Free Press web editor, explain the ins and outs of running websites for Detroit’s two biggest newspapers.

Investigative Reporting
June 21- 12:30pm-1:25pm
Author and BridgeDetroit reporter Louis Aguilar joins longtime journalist, editor and professor Walter Middlebrook, and Free Press investigative reporter Christine MacDonald to provide insight into the important work of uncovering facts and figures that would have otherwise gone unknown.

News Reporting
June 21- 1:30pm-2:25pm
Detroit News assistant city editor Christine Ferretti and city hall reporter Sarah Rahal lay out how they cover a major metropolitan area and what they’ve learned along the way.

Television Reporting
June 21- 1:30pm-2:25pm
Channel 7 news producer Amanda Allie, Channel 7 anchor Jennifer Schanz and Sarah Nicole Smith, owner/producer of Zmith Productions, talk everything television: In front of and behind the camera.

Column Writing
June 21- 1:30pm-2:25pm
Michigan Advance editor-in-chief and columnist Susan J. Demas, USA Today national columnist and editorial board member Suzette Hackney and Free Press columnist and editorial board member Nancy Kaffer discuss the responsibility of writing opinion pieces.

Business Reporting June 21- 2:30pm-3:25pm
Jordyn Grzelewski, autos and business writer at The News, and Chanel Stitt, business reporter at the Free Press, talk about the paths that drove them to business reporting.

Online/Social Media June 21- 2:30pm-3:25pm
Brian Manzullo, social, search and audience editor for the Free Press and Kyla Wright, Free Press Detroit Neighborhoods reporter, explain how they’ve learned to build and maintain an audience on social media.

Resume Building June 21- 2:30pm-3:25pm
Stephanie Steinberg, journalist and founder of The Detroit Writing Room, gives tips and tricks on making your resume stand out. 

Photography June 21- 3:00pm-4:00pm
Free Press staff photographers Junfu Han and Kimberly Mitchell give guidance on what to include in a photography portfolio and how to know you’ve got the perfect image for a front-page display.

Features Writing June 21- 3:00pm-4:00pm
Detroit News restaurant critic and reporter Melody Baetens and Free Press pop culture critic Julie Hinds discuss how they find ideas for feature stories and knowing what will catch the audience’s eye.

News Radio
June 21- 3:00pm-4:00pm
Recently retired WWJ reporter Vickie Thomas and WWJ news reporter and anchor Stephanie Davis discuss how they craft their stories for the listening audience.

Breakout Sessions Day 2

Read about our Day Two session leaders here.

Copy Editing
June 22- 12:30pm-1:25pm Benita Mehta, chief editor of Industrial Safety and Hygiene News, and multimedia freelance journalist Julie Walker discuss the importance of copy editing and lessons learned from working all over metro Detroit.

Business Reporting
June 22- 12:30pm-1:25pm Jay Davis, small and emerging business reporter for Crain’s Detroit and Kalea Hall, autos and business writer at The News, talk about how they’ve built their beats covering business in the Motor City.

Education Reporting
June 22- 12:30pm-1:25pm Detroit News K-12 education reporter Jennifer Chambers joins Chastity Pratt, Wall Street Journal Education Bureau Chief, to discuss the ins and outs of covering schools.

Sports Reporting
June 22- 1:30pm-2:25pm
Hear how Evan Petzold, sports reporter for the Free Press who covers the Detroit Tigers, and Omari Sankofa II, Pistons beat writer for the Free Press, cover national sports for the daily newspaper.

June 22- 1:30pm-2:25pm
Karen Dybis, metro Detroit-based freelance reporter and author, Dorothy Hernandez, digital editor at WDET Detroit’s NPR station and freelance journalist, and Planet Detroit founder Nina Ignaczak discuss their experiences making it in the land of freelance, from creating pitches editors love to diversifying your client roster.

News Reporting
June 22- 1:30pm-2:25pm
Free Press reporter Darcie Moran and Detroit News reporter Ariana Taylor discuss how they got started in journalism and how they find good stories to tell.

Column Writing
June 22- 1:30pm-2:25pm
Crain’s Detroit Business senior editor of politics, policy and Detroit Rising, Chad Livengood, joins contributing Free Press columnist Darren Nichols who spent more than 20 years with The News, to discuss opinion-piece writing.

Design and Graphics June 22- 2:00pm-3:00pm
Antone Amye, senior design editor for the News, and longtime News designer Diana McNary discuss how they got into designing for newspapers and what skills are needed to get hired.

Podcast and Freelance June 22- 2:00pm-3:00pm
Locked On Red Wings podcaster and News freelancer Nolan Bianchi and Matt Schoch, who covers the sports betting industry for Play Michigan, discuss their work as freelancers and podcasts.

Internships June 22- 2:00pm-3:00pm
Get tips for snagging key spots from Joe Grimm, journalism professor at Michigan State University who spent 25 years with the Free Press mostly as the newsroom recruitment and development editor and Jewel Gopwani, senior editor of engagement and events at the Free Press.

Sports Radio June 22- 2:00pm-3:00pm
Detroit News columnist and 97.1 The Ticket host Bob Wojnowski talks about working sports in news and radio. He may even talk about his favorite friend on Twitter. 

About the Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Committee

The Guild’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee members raise their fists in solidarity in the fight for social justice. We aim to help protect and amplify all historically stifled newsroom voices. We hope to inspire critical journalism evolution through conversation and action.

Inspired by years in newsroom trenches and fueled by the social justice uprisings of 2020, the Committee is open to any members of The Newspaper Guild of Detroit, Local 34022. Former Guild officer Julie Walker serves as chairwoman. Union administrator Stevie Blanchard co-chairs the committee and serves as secretary. Founding members include Jordyn Grzelewski, Kalea Hall, Nancy Kaffer, Sarah Rahal, Chanel Stitt and Sally Tato. Interested Guild members who wish to join can email diversity@detroitguild22.org

Click here for updates on committee news and media information.