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Dori J. Maynard: A Legacy of Fierce Love

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By Sally Lehrman
March 3, 2015

By Sally Lehrman

Dori J. Maynard, a fierce and courageous warrior for diversity in journalism and public discourse, employed three powerful weapons: Passion, grace, and love.

In an era of financial and technological disruption throughout journalism, Maynard insisted that newsrooms honor their highest purpose. The news must teach each group of society about the others’ realities and concerns, engaging everyone in addressing the problems of the day. No one could be marginalized. No one could be typecast and repeatedly excluded from our daily lives as criminal, victim or outsider without a useful point of view.

Over the last year of her life, this challenge grew ever more urgent to Maynard. Cities across the country were erupting in rage in response to the killings, one after another, of unarmed black men by law enforcement. In the news, images of African Americans had expanded only slightly – from perpetrators to victims, too. Depictions of Latinos remained monochrome -- the angry, troubled or dependent immigrants. The contributions of Native Americans and Asian Americans had almost entirely disappeared. In notes for an upcoming speech, Maynard urged, “For the sake of the country, for the sake of ourselves, this cannot continue.”

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Dori J. Maynard, a fierce and courageous warrior for diversity in journalism and public discourse, employed three powerful weapons: Passion, grace, and love.

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