Bill Celis to be honored for efforts to encourage students of color in journalism

By ASNE Staff, Link to original post: https://www.asne.org/blog_home.asp?Display=2475

Columbia, Mo. (June 28, 2018) – William (Bill) Celis, an associate professor of journalism at the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism and the school’s associate dean for diversity, inclusion and strategic initiatives, is the recipient of the 2018 Barry Bingham Sr. Fellowship, the American Society of News Editors announced today.

The $1,000 award, given in recognition of an educator’s outstanding efforts to encourage students of color in the field of journalism, will be presented at the 2018 ASNE-APME News Leadership Conference Sept. 11-12 in Austin, Texas.

A merger of ASNE and the Association of Opinion Journalists, which originated the fellowship, was completed in 2016.

In addition to being nominated by several alumni, Celis was recommended by Félix F. Gutiérrez, Ph.D., professor emeritus of journalism at USC Annenberg.

“I’ve been involved in journalism diversity advocacy and education for more than 50 years and consider Bill one of the most outstanding of the many fine folks I have worked with,” Gutiérrez wrote.

“At USC Annenberg, he has worked as a teacher and administrator to expose his students to diverse cultures and communities, has guided numerous students from marginalized groups to develop their journalistic potential and put in place curricular and classroom revisions advancing diversity across the spectrum. In recognition of the major changes he led and the combined efforts that followed in changing a historically white private university, the USC School of Journalism was awarded the 2012 AEJMC [the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication] Equity and Diversity Award.”


“He sets an example for students and faculty in showing that both diversity and digital ability are key to journalism’s future. He prepares students to work in both arenas in his classes and in initiatives he has helped put in place for the entire school. This includes conceiving and helping develop Intersections: The South Los Angeles Report, Annenberg’s first community news website dedicated to reporting from underserved communities of color in South Los Angeles County.


“The site, along with a new companion course he developed on urban affairs, helped introduce more Annenberg students to Watts, Compton and the South Central corridor and how to report from these communities …”


Here is what some alumni said:


“Even today, 10 years after I took his course, he remains only a text or phone call away for advice. I could not have asked for a better instructor or mentor.”

— Salvador Duran, national correspondent, Univision


“Professor Celis was … integral during my time at USC in helping to amplify my voice as a Japanese American. A vivid memory was a class discussion about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. I hesitated to speak about what I believed to be a historic injustice to Japanese Americans who were driven from their homes and forced into internment camps. I still remember Professor Celis telling me after class that he supported my position and encouraged me to speak out on issues involving my background and identity, an important skill that continues to help me in my career …”


— Laurie Kawakami, social strategy editor, The New York Times


“My first job out of school was being the only voice of Spanish TV news in the market with the Telefutura affiliate.

“It was a one-person department; I anchored cut-ins, reported, handled all the digital and social media updates. It was a difficult job with long hours for little pay, but over the years, many viewers thanked me because they finally had a voice.

“I would not have been able to provide that voice without the guidance and instruction of professor Celis.

— Eric Alvarez, general assignment reporter, WTLV in Jacksonville, Florida.


“Bill introduced me to the various themes and problems surrounding social injustice in education. Every class, he created a terrain for his students to freely engage in the public discourse on social justice in education; inviting rich and diverse literature on social justice education, he showed us that social injustice is never a one-dimensional issue.

“Through Bill, I learned that social justice is a multi-layered issue that requires a multi-faceted approach from all ethnic, racial, religious, sexual and political groups. Bill encouraged each and every student to leave his or her comfort zone and tell the untold stories of the underrepresented individuals, families, and institutions …”

— Yoomi Chin, Ph.D, co-founder and chief marketing officer, Arkaive Inc.; lecturer, University of California Los Angeles


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About the American Society of News Editors

The American Society of News Editors focuses on leadership development and journalism-related issues. Founded in 1922 as a nonprofit professional organization, ASNE promotes fair, principled journalism; defends and protects First Amendment rights; and fights for freedom of information and open government. Leadership, innovation, diversity and inclusion in coverage and the journalism work force, opinion journalism, news literacy and the sharing of ideas are also key ASNE initiatives.

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