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.

Bias Busters guides spark conversations

Michigan State students talk about cultural competence raised in Bias Busters diversity handbook.
Michigan State students brainstorm cultural issues in event at library..
We had a great night at the Michigan State University Library Oct. 28 when almost 100 people came out to hear about the Bias Busters project. They answered questions from “100 Questions and Answers About Americans” and then discussed in teams questions from “100 Questions and Answers About East Asian Cultures.”

We asked international students from East Asian countries to join the various circles as resource people.

We talked about China’s relationship with Hong Kong, Korean and Japanese culture and difference among East Asian countries.

The guides led us to conversation, which is just what we want them to do.

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.”

Top 10 countries in international high school enrollment

A new report shows that U.S. high schools are experiencing enrollment changes similar to those seen in colleges.

International enrollment in U.S. schools is up and being driven by students from East Asia.

The Institute of International Education reports that 73,019 international students were enrolled at U.S. high schools in October 2013, a record.

The top 10 countries for enrollment were:

  1. China, 23,562
  2. South Korea, 8,777
  3. Germany, 7,130
  4. Mexico, 2,659
  5. Brazil, 2,292
  6. Vietnam, 2,289
  7. Spain, 2,125
  8. Japan, 1,959
  9. Thailand, 1,827
  10. Italy, 1,718

100 Questions and Answers About Americans was created to help international students in the U.S. and its companion, 100 Questions and Answers About East Asian Cultures, was created to help students understand their international classmates.

See Grace Lee Boggs documentary for free

This month, watch for free the new documentary “American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs.”

Political and social activist Grace Lee Boggs of Detroit
Grace Lee Boggs/ Kyle McDonald photo used under Creative Commons license
Now almost 100 years old, the Chinese-American Detroit activist recounts stories from as far back as when the FBI had her and her husband watched up to living in today’s Detroit. The documentary, by filmmaker Grace Lee, is interspersed with 30-second primers.

You can see a trailer or, this month, the full film, or get more information on its PBS POV web page.

You can also read a writeup about the film on Read the Spirit, which published 100 Questions and Answers About Asian Americans.

How positive are positive stereotypes?

CNN recently featured an opinion piece calling attention to the issue of racial bias against Asians in the United States. After a study released by Wharton, Columbia and New York Universities revealed discriminating perceptions of Asian students in academia, Helen Wan, author and advocate for diversity and inclusion, wrote on the matter in her CNN article The Surprising Racial Bias against Asians.

Researchers from the universities experimented in a mass student-to-professor email to test racial and gender bias in the classroom. Researchers wrote a message that was uniformly distributed to over 6,500 faculty members, omitted their identities and instead signed with names of students, using ones that can be affiliated with race or gender.

Results showed professors were most likely to respond to white males and frequently ignored emails that were signed from Asian students.

“The study highlights the pernicious nature of the ‘model minority’ stereotype of Asians, and the fact that Asians are still viewed as the most foreign ‘other’ in our American culture,”wrote Wan. “Perhaps the biggest outsiders in the politics of ‘not like us.’”

Asian students are assumed naturally ahead of the academic curve and don’t require the same mentoring as others groups may need. So, many lack the educational backing to advance their studies.

While few stereotypes portray minorities favorably, it can still disadvantage members of the group. The cultural gap in the scholastic community is widening and stranding minorities in academic moratorium.

The Model Minority myth is of the issues addressed in 100 Questions and Answers About East Asian Cultures. Among other topics, the cultural competency guide delves into complicated matters and offers readers an opportunity to have questions answered at their own discretion.

Creating a buzz: Chinese students and luxury cars

MLive reporter Melissa Anders writes about the issues and the economics of Chinese college students driving expensive luxury cars while studying in the United States.

The issue is one we deal with in “100 Questions and Answers About East Asian Cultures,” which was released to its student authors today. The student-authors are from the United States, China, Japan, South Koreas and Taiwan. They published their guide in about 10 weeks.

Anders’ article, published Monday, and the guide say that not all Chinese students can afford such wheels, of course. Anders comes closer to quantifying how many do, the reasons they do and the reactions of students, domestic and international, as well as people who work at Michigan State and in the local economy.

It is the perfect sort of question to deal with journalistically and out in the open, rather than with whispers and guesses.