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INN at Home: Racial Equity in Journalism

Part two of our virtual spin on the largest gathering of people interested in nonprofit news media and public service journalism

When COVID-19 struck, our original conference, INN at Home, was split into two parts: part one, focused on sustainability (view archived videos) and part two, on racial equity in journalism and how nonprofit news organizations can meet the moment. Sessions ran from approximately 1 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. EDT each day via Zoom, with special pre-conference sessions from our sponsors.

Read Chief Knowledge Officer Fran Scarlett’s note on why this conference is essential to public service journalism. If possible, please consider engaging with our conference materials on racial equity in journalism — feel free to use as a starting point for conversations on equity in your news organization.

Click here to view the entire schedule, with panel descriptions and more, as a PDF.


11:30 a.m. ET

Sponsored by Microsoft
Reboot: Building Equity through Technology in Newsrooms

Joaquin Alvarado, Executive Director, Project Accelerate, and Founder, StudioToBe – Moderator
Ben Rudolph, Managing Director, Microsoft News Lab
Vera Chan, Manager, Worldwide Journalist Relations, Microsoft News
Kat Rowlands, Publisher and Owner, Bay City News Foundation
Verah Okeyo, Project Lead, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, Nation Media Group

1 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. ET

Keynote Speech

How Foundations Can Advance DEI in Nonprofit News
Farai Chideya, Program Officer, Creativity and Free Expression, Ford Foundation

Breakout Sessions

Things I Wish I Knew Before Launching My Media Startup
Karen Rundlet, Director/Journalism, Knight Foundation – Moderator
Marcus Harrison Green, Publisher, South Seattle Emerald
Yvonne Leow, CEO, Bewilder
Wendi C. Thomas, Editor and Publisher, MLK50: Justice Through Journalism

Doing The Right Thing: Using Community Partnerships to Reach Audiences Across the Fault Lines
Glenn H. Burkins, Founder and Publisher, Qcitymetro – Moderator
Giles Morris, Executive Director, Charlottesville Tomorrow
Elliott Robinson, News Editor, Charlottesville Tomorrow
Maxicelia Robinson, Owner and Producer, In My Humble Opinion
Troy Robinson, Owner and Producer, In My Humble Opinion

Sponsored by The Trust Project

This is What Public Trust Looks Like
Lee Hill, Executive Producer, The Takeaway, WNYC, New York Public Radio, Podcasts, Live Streaming Radio, News – ModeratorIrene Romulo, Co-Founder, Cicero Independiente
Tristan Ahtone, Editor-In-Chief, Texas Observer
Jiquanda Johnson, Founder and Publisher, Flint Beat

INN Index Update

Data from the First Survey of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Nonprofit News: Room for Improvement

Watch the presentation of findings from the INN at Home conference

Sue Cross, Executive Director & CEO at INN
Sara Shahriari, Director of Leadership and Talent Development, INN

Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of INN members. This is for members only.
Sue Cross, Executive Director & CEO, INN
Laura Frank, Executive Director, COLab, the Colorado News Collaborative


11:30 a.m. ET

Sponsored by Patch
Pre-Conference Social Hour

Join us for a group of peer-led conversations about our lives outside of journalism. This hour is a chance to meet fellow participants over shared interests, and connect with people you’ll want to keep in touch with after the conference. Sessions will cover topics like favorite books, movies, and music to share; the ways 2020 has changed your personal plans; how we’re handling parenting and school during the pandemic; and your favorite ways to get outside and enjoy nature. Registered attendees can sign up to join a conversation here, then enjoy a casual start to our day (feel free to bring your coffee!).

1 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. ET

Keynote Speech

Lessons from a First: What It’s Like to Be a Change Agent in a Legacy Newsroom
Susan Smith Richardson, Chief Executive Officer, Center for Public Integrity

Breakout Sessions

Don’t Get Dragged: How to Be Credible in Front of Young, Diverse Audiences
Maeven McGovern, Arts Executive Producer/Youth Outcomes Director, YR Media – Moderator
Sabby Robinson, APM Reports Research and Production Fellow, American Public Media Group
Makai Perkins, RYL Studios A&R Intern, YR Media
Emiliano Villa, YR Media Journalism AP, YR Media

Co-Creation Strategies for Reaching and Engaging Local to Global Audiences
Nissa Rhee, Executive Director, Borderless Magazine – Moderator
Peter Klein, Founder, Global Reporting Centre
Michelle Kanaar, Art Director, Borderless Magazine
Mazin Sidahmed, Co-founding Editor, Documented

Journalism is Guilty of Systemic Racism. How to Fix It Anyway.
S. Mitra Kalita, SVP of Programming, CNN Digital
Lee Hill, Executive Producer, The Takeaway, WNYC, New York Public Radio, Podcasts, Live Streaming Radio, News

Closing Talk

Good Intentions Aren’t Good Enough: On Engaged Journalism, DEI, and the Value of Getting Uncomfortable
Ashley Alvarado, Director, Community Engagement, Southern California Public Radio (KPCC-LAist)

If you have any further questions, you can reach out to INN Events and Training Associate Tasha Wilmore.

The Institute for Nonprofit News would like to thank Knight Foundation and the Inasmuch Foundation for making INN at Home possible.

INN thanks these organizations for sponsoring INN at Home:

Gold Sponsor

Microsoft has been a trusted partner with the news industry for 25 years. Through the Microsoft News ecosystem, we partner with 4,500 media outlets and curate the 170,000 stories, photos and videos to more than a half-billion people in 180 countries in 31 languages. Through our AI for Good initiatives, Microsoft provides technology, resources, and expertise to empower those working to create a more sustainable and accessible world. Learn more here.

Silver Sponsor

Patch is a hyperlocal platform that allows people to share local news and events in more than 1,000 communities around the country. In 2019, recognizing that the local news landscape is changing, Patch started a partnership program aimed at providing a wider audience for other news organizations. As part of this, Patch also offers a revenue share program. Program members include The Texas Tribune, The Marshall Project, Chalkbeat, Kaiser Health News, and Consumer Reports. Learn more here.

Bronze Sponsor

The Trust Project is an industrywide collaboration building a more trusted and trustworthy press through transparency tools that the public, technology platforms and advertisers can easily recognize. Hundreds of news sites around the world show our Trust Indicators™, which together form a globally accepted standard that highlights journalism values and responds to user needs, enabling reliable, trustworthy news to stand out from the crowd. The Trust Indicators empower people to sort fact from fiction by learning just who and what is behind the information they see. Technology platforms and others also use our Trust Indicators to improve the authority and integrity of the news they present to the public. For more, please visit

INN also thanks the generous circle of funders providing support for INN and its programs:

Craigslist Charitable Foundation, Democracy Fund, Edwards Family Fund, Facebook, Field Foundation of Illinois, Google, Joyce Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, McCormick Foundation, Open Society Foundation, Park Foundation, Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation, Present Progressive Fund, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Spitzer Charitable Trust, Trisons Foundation and Walton Family Foundation

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