Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission

The Graduate School of Journalism Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission was established in the fall of 2020 to address the concerns of students and alums about experiences on campus with DEI.

The DEI Commission, comprised of alumni, staff, and faculty, is a valuable cross-current committee on issues of DEI. The commission supports the DEI work at CJS and provides strategic recommendations each year to the dean and faculty.

Please see below for Committee members for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Commission Mission

Columbia Journalism School’s purpose is to educate students from all over the world to become conscientious, accomplished professional journalists. The school equips them to perform a vital and challenging function: through evidence-based reporting, to find out the truths of complicated situations, usually under time constraint, and communicate them to the public in a clear, engaging fashion. The school also produces and disseminates research about the changing contexts — legal, economic, technological, social — in which journalism takes place, with the aim of helping to shape the future of the profession and of training leaders in scholarship about our field.

Our Core Values

Underlying the ethical, accurate journalism we strive to teach are some core values. We believe that all human beings have dignity, that cruelty is never justified, and that power must be held to account; that a multiracial, multicultural democracy requires vigilant and consistent reporting on the rights and experiences of all people; that verified and contextualized facts are the building blocks of truthful reporting; and that journalism’s obligation is to the public and that it must remain independent and transparent about its methods and affiliations and responsible for its errors.

Report and Recommendations

The CJS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Report

This study was commissioned to assess the school’s DEI environment, examine staff and faculty demographics, analyze school documents on DEI and related topics, look at curricula and policies, and provide a final analysis with recommendations for change.

CJS DEI Recommendations

The commissioned report produced a list of recommendations for how to correct DEI issues at the J-School.

Commission Members


Lonnie Isabel, (Former) Senior Lecturer, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and Vice Chair, Oklahoma Watch, Board of Advisors 


Pamela McKelvin-Jefferson, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism 


Ben Conarck ’16, Reporter

Rishi Iyengar ’14, Tech Writer

Tesfaye Negussie ’08, Digital Video Producer

Ayanna Runcie ’17, Segment Producer

Mythili Sankara ’20, Data Scientist Publishing

Anika Navaroli ‘13, Race & Technology Content Analyst

Cydney Tucker ’16, Freelance Video Journalist


Tarin M. Almanzar, Associate Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid 

Elena Cabral, Assistant Dean of Academic Programs and Communications 

John Haskins, Dean of Student Life 

Melissa O’Keeffe, Assistant Dean, Community Partnerships & Economic Impact

Daniel Rivero, Chief of Staff 


Dolores A. Barclay, Adjunct Faculty; Administrative Manager of the Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights 

Alexis B. Clark, Professor of Journalism 

Jelani Cobb, Dean, and Henry Luce, Professor of Journalism

June Cross, Professor of Journalism; Director, Documentary Journalism Program Samuel Freedman, Professor of Journalism 

William S. Grueskin, Professor of Professional Practice 

Thor K. Neureiter, Adjunct Faculty; Director of Video Journalism 

Bruce Shapiro, Adjunct Faculty; Senior Executive Director, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma; Senior Advisor, Academic Affairs 

Duy Linh Tu, Associate Professor of Professional Practice