Gwen Ifill Mentee 2020 Reflection

I am a journalist. 

I document history, change and shortcomings. 

I document injustice, celebrations and progress. 

But sometimes as I’m telling the world of everything that is seemingly right or wrong, I’m ignoring what’s right or wrong in my newsroom. 

As I’m writing about racism or sexism, I’m feeling the tension of microaggressions. As I’m writing about uplifting voices, I’m simultaneously trying to find a way to make the mighty blow of my voice more palatable. As I’m talking to sources, admiring them for their boldness and freedom in expressing their thoughts, I sit and wonder “What if?”

I daydream of the newsroom ran by women of color. 

What would the stories be? What would the culture feel like? Would our time be more efficient? Would our words be more empathetic?

During my time as a Gwen Ifill fellow, in each webinar, I felt my dream becoming realized. I could suddenly imagine a newsroom without microaggressions — the empathy of accountability and the efficacy of solutions. I could reimagine from a goal of “Just get in” to a life of “Get in and make a change.” I am grateful to my mentor Bianca Consuji for her time offering a listening ear and wise counsel. I’m thankful for cohort sisters that make it possible to laugh through the daily stresses of deadlines and the constant reminders that I am enough. 

I learned of this fellowship after being rejected from a different program, and I don’t think I’ve ever have been so happy to receive a rejection.

Mentorship means to build as you climb, and with the support of the mentors and mentees, I know I’ll always have a support system to fall back on, or reach for when the going gets tough. 

And for that I’m thankful.