As media works through issues, of trust, engagement and truth, Maynard, which has historically had expertise in these issues, can play a critical role in this conversation. We have been at the forefront of strengthening trust between journalists and the communities they serve. The institute is uniquely qualified to lead and train in this area and carry out legacy of the institute’s founders.
Here are the strategic priorities defined by the MIJE Re-Imagined planning committee:
The Next Generation – Maynard 200
Over five years, we will train, support and mentor the next generation of media entrepreneurs, leaders and storytellers of color. The Maynard 200 will be a powerful cohort of media champions that will truly reflect the nation they seek to serve.
The Need: We recognize that the pipeline to and through the still-massive and influential traditional media outlets has been severed. There is a need to support journalists of diverse backgrounds within these vital institutions, along with the work they seek to do and the influence they hope to exert. We further recognize that many of tomorrow’s leaders of color now operate on their own, or as independent contractors, tasked with their own professional development and left to fend for themselves in finding mentors, supportive peers and access to capital. We also know that storytellers of all types seek to contribute to the narrative of their lives and their communities. The Maynard Institute is uniquely positioned to serve these media professional and to create a movement across the media landscape.
Cultural Competency for Future Communicators:
The strategic planning committee found there continues to be a need to address a glaring lack of cultural competency among students. So we will partner with the main engine of 21st Century talent _ great journalism schools _ to give the nations new journalists and communicators the tools they need to be able culturally navigate our nation.
Using the institute’s Fault Lines diversity framework as a foundation, we will collaborate with academic partners to create interactive e-learning modules that can be plugged into existing course curriculum. These tools will seek to serve students going into journalism, marketing, public relations and strategic communications. We want to show them the value of connecting the work they do to diverse communities, and equip them with the ability to have productive conversations with sources, clients and colleagues across the Fault Lines of race, class, gender, generation and geography.
The institute will evolve from being just a journalism trade organization, to connecting with news consumers concerned about issues of diversity, power and equity in media.
This is a big and exciting shift.
Projects related to this include creating our own content, like a Fault Lines podcast, providing a diversity report, as well as getting out in front in the digital space and owning the conversation about diversity online in a far more inclusive and intentional way.
Converse and Convene:
Take conversations from the digital space into public space. Serve as a connector and convener around issues of diversity and inclusion. We will seek to collaborate and partner with individuals and organizations that are stepping into this space to help double and triple the efforts for maximum impact.
Diversity Trainer and Rapid Responder:
We want to be the go-to organization for news organizations seeking to train their staffs to culturally navigate the communities they seek to serve. We will use our Fault Lines framework as well as the latest research and tools.
Maynard will also be a responsive source of support and guidance to news organizations when problems arise.
Sustainability and Leadership: Membership: A New Way Forward
Capture all the energy this organization has helped created in the last 40 years with a devoted, committed group of members who will help us achieve our strategic goals.
How do we do this?
MIJE must transition from being primarily grant supported, to at least in part, membership supported.
The strategic planning committee found willingness on the part of Maynard alumni and people concerned about the issues Maynard seeks to address, to support the organization at various levels.
We will be starting a membership pilot in 2017 with a group who can help us define what members would like to receive for their support and how they would like to be engaged.
A critical part of the re-imaging process had to do with understanding the kind of board necessary to get Maynard where it needs to be and keep it pushing forward.
While the current board has vital expertise, the board must expand to meet the new needs of the organization. To that end, the board expanded by three new members in 2016 and will expand in 2017 as two directors rotate off and we add three additional board members.
These new members will align with the strategic directions we have before us, and include more entrepreneurs, digital natives, marketing, membership and fundraising experts, and others with relevant expertise. Criteria for board membership will continuously evolve, seeking innovators, disruptors and people who reach across the Fault Lines of life and professional expertise.