Maynard Institute Founders

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The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education:
Leading the News Industry Toward Better Journalism Since 1977

Members of IJE board gather in Berkeley after incorporation of the nonprofit organization in 1977. Top row from left: Steve Montiel, Frank Sotomayor, Earl Caldwell, Nancy Hicks Maynard, John Dotson Jr. Front row:Dorothy Gilliam, Bob Maynard, administrator Katherine Kennedy and Roy Aarons.  Not present, board member Walter Stovall.

For more than 30 years, the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (MIJE) has helped the nation's news media reflect America's diversity in staffing, content and business operations. Through its professional development programs, the Institute prepares managers for careers in both business- and news-sides of the journalism industry.

Leroy F. Aarons was a journalist, editor, author and playwright whose assignments took him around the globe, and whose stewardship of The Oakland Tribune helped garner that paper a Pulitzer Prize. He died in 2004 of cancer at the age of 70. 

Aarons is a founding board member of the Maynard Institute. He is also founding president of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, which has had a significant impact since 1990 on how mainstream media cover gay issues and relate to their gay and lesbian employees.

Aarons covered events of the 1960s and 1970s as chief of The Washington Post's New York and West Coast bureaus. In 1982, he spent a year in Israel, covering among other things the Israel-Lebanon war as a freelancer for Time magazine. In 1983, he joined his friend and colleague Robert Maynard, then the new owner of The Oakland Tribune, as features editor. In 1985, he was named executive editor and in 1988 senior vice president for news with corporate responsibilities in addition to news supervision. During his tenure, the Tribune won a 1990 Pulitzer Prize for its photojournalism during the devastating October 1989 earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Later, he was a visiting professor of journalism at the USC Annenberg School of Communications, where he developed and taught courses on gay issues and the media. He also supervised research on press coverage of gay and lesbian issues. He wrote "Prayers for Bobby," a book about the suicide of a young gay man; a libretto for an opera about the affair between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, and a radio play about the Pentagon Papers that aired on NPR. 

Note: Leroy Aarons passed away on November 28, 2004. Read more here.

Journalist Earl Caldwell is a professor of journalism at Hampton University, host and producer of The Caldwell Chronicle on Pacifica radio and oral historian and director of the History Project with the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.

Caldwell covered many crucial events in the 20th century, including being the only reporter to witness the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis in 1968. He covered riots that swept black America in 1967-68, the street confrontations outside the 1968 Democratic national convention in Chicago, the trial of Angela Davis, and the child murders and trial of Wayne Williams in Atlanta.

He was a central figure in the U.S. Supreme Court's 1972 Branzburg decision. The first black journalist to write a regular column in a major New York City daily newspaper in 1979, Caldwell wrote it for the Daily News of New York for 12 years.

A native of Clearfield, Pa., he worked at the Progress in Clearfield, the Intelligencer-Journal in Lancaster, Pa. and the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y., before arriving at the Herald Tribune in New York City in 1965. He joined the New York Times in 1967.

In 1995, the National Association of Black Journalists presented him with its prestigious Presidents Award.

Caldwell launched the History Project at the Maynard Institute with the Caldwell Journals, an online serial that is a personal account of the black journalists movement.

Caldwell, who lives in New York City, is a founding director of the institute.

John L. Dotson, Jr. is publisher emeritus of the Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) and is now on the board of directors for The Washington Post. Before becoming publisher of the Beacon Journal in June 1993, he was president and publisher of the Daily Camera, a 35,000-circulation newspaper in Boulder, Colo. Previously, he has held positions at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Newsweek, Newark Evening News and Detroit Free Press.

Dotson is a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board of Directors, which chooses Pulitzer Prize winners each year, and the Board of Visitors of the John S. Knight Fellowship Program, which offers working journalists a year's study at Stanford University in California. He is an ex officio member of the Newspaper Association of America and a member of its diversity subcommittee. He is also a co-founder of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.

Dorothy Butler Gilliam is director of the Young Journalists Development Project at The Washington Post. The project nurtures young people through various journalistic development programs in order to increase the number of Latinos and African Americans choosing a career in journalism.

From 1979 through 1997, she served as a regular columnist for The Washington Post. She wrote columns on local, national and international issues on topics that included education, politics, racial and cultural diversity, gender and social issues. Her journalistic expertise involves broad and extensive coverage on C-Span, Public Broadcasting System's "To the Contrary," Black Entertainment Television, and Howard University's WHMM-TV. In 1993, Gilliam was elected president of the National Association of Black Journalists, which gave her leadership of more than 3,500 members in broadcast and newspaper journalism, public relations, advertising and journalism education.

Nancy Hicks Maynard has spent more than 40 years in the news business. She is the former co-owner and publisher of The Oakland (CA) Tribune. She covered domestic policy for The New York Times in New York and Washington, and education for the New York Post. Maynard also served as senior vice president of The Freedom Forum, the media foundation, and chair of its Media Studies Center. In addition, she has been a panelist on "Face the Nation," "Meet the Press," and "Washington Week in Review."

She is president of Maynard Partners Inc., a consulting company that focuses mostly on media and its impact on the future, and author of MEGA MEDIA: How Market Forces Are Transforming News. Currently she is fonder and director of Editors' World, a project to redefine and improve international news coverage in mid-sized media markets.

A graduate of Stanford Law School, Maynard has served on the boards of numerous organizations, including Tribune Company; the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS); Vivendi Prospective; The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education; and the Journalism Advisory Committee of the Knight Foundation. She has been a director of Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation's oldest and largest managed health care plans; the Newspaper Advertising Bureau; Haas Business School at the University of California, Berkeley; the Newspaper Management Center at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management; and Individual Investors' Advisory Committee, New York Stock Exchange.

Maynard has been a member of the Global Business Network; Women's Forum West; and the Commonwealth Club of California. She was a 1999 recipient of a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation's study center in Bellagio, Italy. In 1998, she was awarded the National Association of Black Journalists' Lifetime Achievement Award. Maynard also received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997 from Denver's Five Points Media Center and was awarded the University of Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism in 1992.

Robert C. Maynard co-founded the Institute for Journalism Education, a non-profit corporation dedicated to expanding opportunities for minority journalists at the nation's newspapers. In December 1993, following Maynard's death, the institute was renamed the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.

In 1979, Maynard became the editor of The Oakland Tribune and in 1983 bought the paper, becoming the first African-American to own a major metropolitan newspaper.

The newspaper received numerous awards, including a Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for its coverage of the Loma Prieta earthquake. The earthquake and the 1991 Oakland hills fire, combined with a national recession and a troubled city economy, forced Bob and Nancy Maynard to sell the Tribune in 1992 to MediaNews.

Maynard dropped out of a Brooklyn high school at 16 to become a writer in Greenwich Village in the 1950s. His journalism career began in 1961 at a daily newspaper in York, Pa. In 1965, he received a Nieman fellowship to Harvard University. In 1992, his daughter, journalist Dori J. Maynard, became the first woman to follow her father to Harvard as a Nieman scholar. After Harvard, Bob Maynard covered civil rights and urban unrest as a national correspondent for the Washington Post. He later became the newspaper's ombudsman and joined its editorial page staff. It was in Washington, D.C., that in 1975 he married then New York Times reporter Nancy Hicks.

Despite being a high school dropout, he received eight honorary doctorates.

A. Stephen Montiel is the director of the USC Institute for Justice and Journalism. He served as president of the Maynard Institute from 1988 through 2000.

Montiel has more than two decades of experience as a journalist, educator and foundation executive. He was formerly vice president for communications of the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles and worked as a reporter and editor for The Associated Press in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. During his 10 years of news experience, he was also a reporter in Vietnam for Pacific Stars and Stripes, a staff writer and copy editor at the Arizona Daily Star and a copy editor at the Los Angeles Times. He was a member of the California Chicano News Media Association while in Los Angeles.

From 1979 to 1981, he was assistant professor of journalism at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He directed the institute's Summer Program for Minority Journalists in 1978, 1980 and 1985, the Editing Program for Minority Journalists in 1981, and the institute's 1991 Management Training Center. Montiel has been a member of the Maynard Institute Board of Directors since its incorporation in 1977.

He served as deputy press secretary of the 1984 Olympic Games and as campaign press secretary for the re-election of Mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles in 1985. He graduated in 1969 from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in journalism.

Frank O. Sotomayor is Associate Director of USC Annenberg's Institute for Justice and Journalism. He worked as a Los Angeles Times editor for 35 years, including 18 years as an assistant Metro editor. He was co-editor and a writer on the Times series "Latinos in Southern California," which won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

In 1974, Sotomayor taught at Columbia University in the reporter training program for minorities. When that program was ended, he joined with other faculty members to relaunch the Summer Program for Minority Journalists at UC Berkeley in 1976. He was on the founding board of the Institute for Journalism Education and served as IJE vice chair for nearly a decade until 1993, when he stepped off the board. He was a frequent instructor in SPMJ and, in 1980, served as the first director of the Editing Program for Minority Journalists.

Early in his career, Sotomayor was a reporter and copy editor at the Arizona Daily Star, Philadelphia Inquirer and Pacific Stars and Stripes. He received a B.A. in journalism from the University of Arizona and a master's in communication from Stanford. Later, he was a Nieman Fellow and studied at Harvard. Sotomayor was also a co-founder of the California Chicano News Media Assn. In 2002, he was named to the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He co-edited the book "Frank del Olmo: Commentaries on His Times."