Diversity Style Guide
Congratulations to Rachele Kanigel, associate professor of journalism at San Francisco State University, for the launch of a new diversity style guide for journalists.

The guide is filled with contemporary definitions and is well organized, listing terms alphabetically and by area. More than 700 terms are included. The guide revives one created at San Francisco State’s Center for the Integration and Improvement of Journalism in the 1990s. Its latest update had been in 2002. This update was needed.

The guide is intended for journalists but can be used by anyone, of course.

The Michigan State Journalism School is proud to have supported the project by allowing Kanigel to use content from our student-produced Bias Busters series (10 guides and counting) for about 100 items. The project draws in information from a dozen other guides, as well.

Graduation show of cultural pride stirred surprising reaction


Kalā Kaawa was nervous at his college graduation, but not for the usual reasons. As Carla Herreria writes on the Huffington Post, the surprise Kaawa planned for the University of Hawaii’s commencement went far beyond the pranks that some grads pull.

And the families there seem to have loved his message.

Patty Talahongva, who is not affiliated with the university, wrote on her Facebook page: “Here’s to our traditional ways, which includes clothing, NOT costumes! Here’s to being true to our heritage.”

Fall reading list includes Bias Busters series

Diverse reading list for fall includes Bias Busters, book about Bill Cosby and one by Charles Blow.

Thank you to Richard Prince of Journal-isms for listing our series as a best bet in his fall reading list.

Prince writes for the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and regularly reports on issues affecting the media and news consumers.

Some of his other picks for fall include “Cosby: His Life and Times” (video trailer above), Charles Blow’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” and Charles E. Cobbs’ “This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible.”

Redskins name ruled ‘disparaging,’ loses trademark

The latest twist in the debate over the use of the name “Redskins” by Washington D.C.’s professional football team took an unusual turn today. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled the use of Redskins is “disparaging to Native Americans” and canceled the team’s trademark.

Native American groups have fought the use of the name for years.

The ruling means that the team may still use the name and logos, but would no longer have exclusive use of them. It amounts to an economic hit on the team, which pools merchandise revenue with the other National Football League teams.

ESPN reported that the trademarks will remain in effect while the decision is appealed.

Background on the nickname debate, which has heated up in recent years, was one of the items we added this year when we updated the Native American Journalists Association’s “100 Questions, 500 Nations: A Guide to Native America.”

Millions change race on Census forms

Can people change their race?

Uncle Sam and the U.S. CensusMillions did between 2000 and 2010, according to Census forms. Watch for a report on this later in 2014. A glimmer of the story came out this month at the annual Population Association of America conference on Boston. The full analysis was not yet ready.

People most likely to change their racial identification are Hispanics, people of mixed race, American Indians and Pacific Islanders, according to a report by D’Vera Cohn of the Pew Research Center.

In almost every census, categories and definitions on the forms change. This would explain why Native Americans had such an unaccountably large increase in the 2010 count.

In that same Census, instructions for Latinos changed, in part because this is not actually a race, but an ethnic group. Two and a half million people changed from describing themselves as “Hispanic and some other race” to “Hispanic and white.”
Continue reading “Millions change race on Census forms”

Rock your mocs goes viral, global

A Nov. 15 campaign to celebrate indigenous heritages went viral and circled the world as indigenous people from all over the world “rocked their mocs” by wearing traditional moccasins, talking about them and posting pictures of them on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Head shot of Jessica “Jaylyn” Atsye
Rock Your Mocs champion Jessica “Jaylyn” Atsye, from Facebook
Jessica “Jaylyn” Atsye of Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico, U.S., set up a Facebook page for the event in 2012 and told the Associated Press that she wanted to get away from the “whole racial thing.”

The first Rock Your Mocs day was in 2011, according to Indian Country Today.

The AP said several people saw the day as a break from the controversy over the mascot name for the Washington Redskins football team.

You can pictures on the Rock Your Mocs Facebook page.