Maynard Forum

100 Questions & Answers About Muslim Americans

By Joe Grimm

Last summer, terrorists stepped up attacks in the name of Islam and a Pew Research "thermometer" study showed that American feelings toward Muslims were growing cooler. The Michigan State School of Journalism decided that its next Bias Busters cultural competence guide would be "100 Questions and Answers About Muslim Americans." The guide was published in November.

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‘Wished I Were White . . . Why Did I Have to Be Born Black?’

from Sacramento Voices

By Burt Clemmons
January 22, 2015

I was about 10 years old when I saw on Jet magazine’s cover the face of Emmett Till, twisted, distorted and beaten beyond recognition. He resembled a monster in a horror movie.

The article said his mother wanted the world to see what his killers had done to her son. She requested an open casket at his funeral, no corrective cosmetics, as if she wanted everyone to feel her pain while she grieved and viewed her son’s pulverized face.

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10 New Things You Might Not Know About Hispanics

It’s smart to stay current. A lot of what folks thought they knew about Hispanics and Latinos is changing. And the picture will continue to change as marketers, demographers and others spend more time researching this growing group, now 17 percent of the U.S. population. This quiz is brought to you by “100 Questions and Answers About Hispanics & Latinos,” published in May by Michigan State University’s School of Journalism. Like any large group of people, research that generally describes this diverse group of more than 50 million people cannot describe any individual. There are all kinds of variations.

Take the quiz >>


After “Selfie” at Mandela Service, More Stereotyping of First Lady

Media coverage of the memorial service for Nelson Mandela was inclusive — up to a point. That this one South African had changed minds and changed the world was clear during scenes from the service broadcast around the world.

But when that big story was overwhelmed, then reduced to President Obama’s handshake with Cuban President Raul Castro and first lady Michelle Obama’s reaction to the president’s picture-taking with two other heads of state, it was business as usual.


What Really Happened at the First Thanksgiving? The Wampanoag Side of the Tale and What’s Done Today

We know what we’re taught in mainstream media and in schools is made up. What’s the Wampanoag version of what happened?

Yeah, it was made up. It was Abraham Lincoln who used the theme of Pilgrims and Indians eating happily together. He was trying to calm things down during the Civil War when people were divided. It was like a nice unity story.


As Miss. Rejects Medicaid Expansion, a Family Vows to Leave

New America Media, News Feature, Posted: Oct 23, 2013

Chris Stark is a fan of the Affordable Care Act. And though he was successful at purchasing an insurance policy through the website, which enabled him and his wife Meredith to bring an end to three years of being uninsured, Chris says the couple is weighing the possibility of leaving Mississippi because of its inaction on Medicaid expansion.

Both in their late 20s, the Starks are nursing students at Itawamba Community College, a short drive from their home near Tupelo. For them, the decision of Mississippi’s governor and legislature to not raise the state’s income ceiling to allow more low-income residents to qualify for Medicaid is unfair and unwise.

Looking to 2016, when they both will have graduated, Chris says he is serious about pulling up roots if the state’s Medicaid guidelines remain unchanged.


Refocusing on Newsroom Diversity

Originally published on Sept. 20 in Columbia Journalism Review.

Robert C. Maynard—journalist, editor, newspaper publisher, and former owner of The Oakland Tribune—spent much of his career trying to improve diversity in journalism. His namesake organization, the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, is devoted to that effort. Twenty years after his death, the organization is headed by his daughter, Dori Maynard, who is troubled by what she sees as a decrease in attention paid to diversity in newsrooms.


Defunding Obamacare Would Destroy American Indian Health System

New America Media, Commentary, Posted: Sep 19, 2013

By Mark Trahant

Congress always works on two tracks. The first rail is legislation that gives the government authority to spend money. The second rail is one that actually appropriates the funds. It’s that second law that dictates how the government can spend dollars for the Indian Health Service (or any other program) under parameters set by law.

This two-track idea is important to remember when you think about the chaos in Washington concerning the budget and debt ceiling. Certain hardline Republicans and Tea Party members, known as True Believers, are bent on using the budget process to rewrite the Affordable Care Act -- and that proposal would be catastrophic for the Indian health system.


In Tumultuous 1960s, One Year Ignited Civil Rights Movement

Paul Delaney (Credit:

On Sept. 15, 1963, I was the new kid in town, into the second week as a reporter for the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, when a bomb went off about 455 miles away. The blast, heard round the world, killed four black girls attending Sunday school at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala.



During our Fault Lines training we often tell journalists that a diverse Twitter stream can provide insight into communities, conversations, thoughts and ideas to which you otherwise might not be privy.

For some that was the case with Monday’s conversation around the hashtag Solidarityisforwhitewomen.

During the trending topic, women from around the world discussed their frustration at feeling that issues pertaining to women of color are often not heard or valued by white feminists, many of whom responded by Tweeting that this was an important conversation to which they should listen.