Freedom Forum Institute Welcomes the Chips Quinn Scholars Class of 2019

CQS, Summer 2019,

Chips Quinn Scholars (CQS) from the Summer 2019 class (from left): Irena Fischer-Hwang, Kalaisha Totty and Riane Roldan.

This week, a group of student journalists from across the country came together in Nashville, Tenn., for robust orientation sessions and a substantive training curriculum prior to beginning their summer internships through the Freedom Forum Institute’s Chips Quinn Scholars (CQS) Program. This diversity initiative fosters the professional growth of aspiring journalists, opening doors to careers in the media industry, with the overall goal of establishing greater newsroom diversity in the United States.

The CQS Program connects selected applicants with 10- to 12-week paid internships at participating news organizations, welcoming its most recent class of candidates during this intensive weeklong multimedia training, held at the John Seigenthaler Center in Nashville.

This year, Sonya Gavankar, director of public relations at the Newseum and Freedom Forum Institute, led a dynamic discussion with the 2019 scholars about preparing for internships in the era of #MeToo. “Embedding the tools of a positive workplace filled with opportunity for those who have traditionally been denied it, ensures that we are effectively training our future newsroom leaders as they enter the workforce as fresh employees and commits the media industry to newsroom diversity like never before,” explained Gavankar.

Mizell Stewart III with students from the Summer 2019 class of CQS on May 14 at the John Seigenthaler Center in Nashville.

The foundation of this engaging conversation was rooted in the Institute’s Power Shift Project, which seeks to create workplaces free of harassment, discrimination and incivility, and full of opportunity. The project encourages media leaders, employees and interns alike to lead the change they want to see in their respective newsrooms. Gavankar represented the initiative’s “Go Team” of respected facilitators who foster custom-tailored training with a one-of-a-kind “Workplace Integrity” curriculum designed by the Power Shift Project. News executive Mizell Stewart, another “Go Team” member, also enhanced the meaningful dialogue on empowering workplace interns.

The Chips Quinn program is presented by the Freedom Forum Institute and funded by the Freedom Forum. It was founded by the late John C. Quinn, former deputy chairman of the Freedom Forum, and his wife Loie in honor of their son John “Chips” Quinn Jr., a newspaper editor who was killed in an automobile accident.

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