Community associate organizes workshop on covering marginalized communities

Group of around twenty high-schoolers chat in small groups of four to five.

Cherubs talk amongst themselves as they wait for CA and cherub alumna Marissa Martinez to begin her workshop about reporting on marginalized communities. Photo by Marissa Martinez

Diversity in newsrooms and covering diverse populations have been on community associate Marissa Martinez’s mind since she was a cherub in 2016. So, she created a workshop on covering marginalized communities.

She said college students often make mistakes when covering these communities. Martinez said she has learned a lot about promoting diversity in newsrooms.

“I wanted to get ahead of it and reach out to you before you get to your senior year of high school,” Martinez said. “You can start forming habits early on, so that you don’t run into any problems down the line.”

The workshop touched on reporting about race, religion, gender and sexuality. Martinez told cherubs how, as editors, they can promote diversity in their high school newsrooms.

Ryann Perlstein of Beverly Hills, California, was among 21 cherubs who attended the workshop. She said that the workshop gave her a lot of tips on inclusion and diversity that she will include in her own newspaper.

“I’ll use the things I learned in this talk to try to enhance my newspaper and make it more representative of my community,” Perlstein said.

Maya Kempf-Harris of Westminster, Maryland, said the workshop inspired her to make change in her newsroom.

Kempf-Harris said she plans to “ask a more diverse group of people outside of my small staff to write stories to make sure we get different perspectives whenever possible.”

Martinez said she isn’t sure whether the workshop will become an annual part of cherubs, but added she would love to teach it again.