The Freedom Forum Institute’s Power Shift Project Receives CBS Grant to Combat Sexual Harassment in Media Organizations

Power Shift Project

The Power Shift Project’s June 2018 graduating class of Workplace Integrity Trainers.

The Freedom Forum Institute announced today that CBS Corporation has awarded a $500,000 grant to the Power Shift Project to expand the reach of its unique Workplace Integrity training, designed to change cultures in newsrooms by eliminating harassment and discrimination.

The grant will underwrite tuition and travel support for qualified media organizations to attend the Power Shift Project’s Workplace Integrity: Train the Trainers workshops, which prepare individuals in the news industry and journalism education groups to deliver this one-of-a-kind training curriculum in their own organizations. CBS’s support will also help build capacity to work with minority journalism organizations and advocates for underrepresented populations to advance the goals and lessons of the curriculum to diverse audiences.

The Workplace Integrity interactive curriculum is built around the three pillars of critical thinking, courageous conversations and creating cultures of respect and trust. During the two-day workshops held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., participants use critical thinking, creative role playing and group exercises to learn ways to teach colleagues how to prevent sexual harassment and misconduct and the behaviors that can lead to it, such as incivility and bullying. Participants experience the training, see it deconstructed and practice delivering it in small groups under the guidance of a skilled facilitator who understands newsroom culture.

“This generous support from CBS will accelerate the Power Shift Project’s important work and enhance capacity for industrywide delivery of these training resources,” said Cathy Trost, senior vice president and executive director of the Freedom Forum Institute. “This gift also strengthens our efforts to ensure that our work addresses the intersectionality of issues that impact traditionally underrepresented populations.”

The Power Shift Project’s Workplace Integrity training curriculum, tailored for media organizations, was designed by Loyola University Chicago’s Jill Geisler, a world-class leadership trainer and coach who is the Freedom Forum Institute Fellow in Women’s Leadership.

“The Workplace Integrity curriculum changes cultures because it is built on the input of the staff and the support of top leadership,” said Geisler. “People of good will work together to eliminate harassment, discrimination and incivility. I can’t wait to train more trainers!”

Five new Workplace Integrity: Train the Trainers workshops will be held at the Newseum in 2019. Upcoming workshop dates are Jan. 16-17, March 26-27, June 12-13, August 15-16 and Oct. 16-17. Apply here. Qualified applicants will receive underwritten tuition and travel support, as well as light breakfast, lunch and refreshments during the two-day sessions, a certificate of completion and a kit that includes a facilitator’s guide, slides and other resources.

The Power Shift Project is an industrywide initiative designed to enhance the quality and future of journalism by improving the diversity, equality and culture of news organizations. The principle goal of the Power Shift Project is to create and promote workplaces free of harassment, discrimination and incivility, and full of opportunity, especially for those who have traditionally been underrepresented in media’s most powerful roles.

“The Project is grateful to be among the groups receiving the generous support of CBS which is helping to expand the reach of this important work,” said Gene Policinski, president and COO of the Freedom Forum Institute. “However, we recognize there is much work to be done to create meaningful and lasting change.”

The Power Shift Project launched in January 2018 as a response to concerns about sexual misconduct in media organizations and as a catalyst for change to create safer, more equal and diverse newsrooms. The first Power Shift Summit, held Jan. 9, 2018, gave voice to more than 130 diverse media leaders, journalists, educators, survivors and advocates, which resulted in the Power Shift Summit report, which included recommendations and a call for action for meaningful and sustainable culture change.

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, the Power Shift Project will convene Power Shift Summit 2.0 at the Newseum to explore what’s changed in the past year. The summit will gather invited leaders across journalism and the media industry to focus on #MeToo and the media one year later.

More information about the Power Shift Project is at Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter at @powershiftpro.

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