As I've grown and embraced my identity as a Cuban American, my approach to storytelling has evolved. I grew up with stories of my grandparents fleeing their home country and coming to the United States as political refugees. Maturity and time have allowed me to recognize how important my familial experiences and heritage are to how I write and lead.
My college education took me to Boston, a city with demographics much different than my hometown of Omaha. I've continued to embrace the people that make up the fabric of these two places I call home. Ensuring intersectionality in newsrooms and in coverage never stops, regardless of where and when I pick up my pen.
DEI Training and Equity in Hiring
During my freshman year of college, I had the opportunity to join the monthly lifestyle publication, Your Magazine. Now, as a rising sophomore, I am proud to lead the publication as Managing Editor. In this new position, I conduct and oversee all hiring, manage our budget, conduct editorial meetings, and ensure publishing cycles run smoothly. As one of the principal leaders of a student-run organization, I attend diversity and inclusion training through Emerson's student engagement and leadership organization (SEAL). Through the program, I learn how to root out my own biases and address issues relating to DEI in our magazine practices. Your Magazine's desire to maintain equity among members of our executive board prompted us to hire an official Diversity Chair as well as rewrite our mission statement.
Millard North High School's Diversity/Inclusion Agreement
In the summer of 2020, New York Times journalist Soledad O'Brien wrote a column detailing the racism and racial inequality present in newsrooms. At the Medill Institute, we examined the relationship this inequity has with warped journalistic coverage. I did some research on this when establishing my presentation, "Inclusivity in Journalism".
The organization of social movements like Black Lives Matter empowered me to create a Diversity and Inclusion Agreement specific to my former high school's journalism program. I wanted to encourage the recognition of unique voices on our staff while also creating an open environment conducive to discussions surrounding identity. The agreement can be seen to the left; all staff members of The Hoofbeat signed.
Even though I have since graduated from Millard North, all Hoofbeat contributors sign the agreement at the beginning of each year.