b'CREATING A DIVERSE NEWS ECOSYSTEM THAT BETTER REPRESENTS AMERICAINNS OBJECTIVE IS NOT TO REPLACE WHAT HAS BEENing articles in an email newsletter before expanding to a lost, but to create a new journalism movement that bet- podcast and social media. ter reflects our country. That must include newsrooms led by people of color, governed by diverse boards andSorrellunderstoodhisaudience,buthedidnthavea engagedwithratherthanreportingonorsimplybackground in journalism or nonprofit management. For ignoringcommunitiesofcolor.Wecannotrestoresupport, he tapped INN resources and connected with trust in journalism without addressing representation inSara Shahriari, INNs director of leadership & talent devel-journalism.opment, who encouraged him to apply to INNs Emerg-ing Leaders Council. Through customized training and Some of this work is systemic, and some of it is aboutpeer networking, the Council helped Sorrell accelerate helping individuals fully activate their incredible talents.hisleadershiptrajectorywithinthisrapidlyexpanding People like Ryan Sorrell.field.Sorrell was just 25 in 2020, and he had quit a corporateEven now, the Kansas City Defender newsroom breaks jobtobecomeacommunityorganizershortlybeforestories on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter because thats the racial justice uprising swept the nation. He saw thewhere their audience is. Its a strategy that has allowed absolute necessity of a Black news outlet in Kansas Citythe Kansas City Defender, despite a modest budget, to that spoke to young people. Knowing that people his agereach more than 10 million people.did not trust traditional news media, he began publish- INNsEmergingLeadersCouncilwasabsolutelyessentialfor our organizations survival and growth. As a Black person, I do not have as ready access to networks of people in the indus-try, or knowledge capital. The program was able to connect me with both, and help me organize my vision for both the short and long-term growth of the organization. I truly cannot speak highly enough of this program.Ryan SorrellFounder & Executive Editor, Kansas City Defender9'