Our work on equities – OPB

In early 2019, the OPB embarked on focused and intensive DEI work. We have partnered with the Center for Equity and Inclusion to build a strong foundation and created our own employee-led equity team to lead it.

Since then, we have made progress in the following areas:

Our Journalism and Programming

· We have embedded our reporters in more communities in Oregon and southern Washington to report on the stories that matter to these people.

Related: Race to the Bottom: How Big Business Took Over Oregon’s First Protected Aquifer

· We raised the voices and stories of marginalized and underrepresented people and communities in our content and coverage.

· We use an equity lens when selecting our television and radio programming, and we intend to elevate the stories and voices of different cultures and backgrounds. We’re also challenging distributors to provide more robust offerings that center BIPOC creators, stories, and hosts.

Employees of OPB’s Content Group led the creation of an internal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee focused specifically on issues related to our journalism and programming:

1. The committee uses a fairness lens to provide recommendations and guidance to journalists and producers through content reviews and works with content management on source auditing.

2. The committee also advocates for DEI policies and practices within the OPB.

Related: Indigenous inmates, volunteers navigate a year without ceremonies, celebrations


Training and education

· We conduct ongoing diversity training and learning sessions for OPB staff, individual teams and OPB’s senior management group, as well as supervisory and management staff. These trainings focus on awareness, understanding white culture, and decision making through an equity lens.

Power-sharing, inclusiveness and transparency in decision-making elevate and strengthen our work, and commitment to these core institutional values ​​must begin with senior management.

— Extract from the statement of shareholders’ equity of the OPB

· We have created employee affinity groups, such as a BIPOC affinity group and white learning group, to raise awareness of topics, practices and experiences and to provide support to BIPOC staff.


Policies and Practices

· As part of our rigorous onboarding process, each hiring manager and team undergoes bias training before beginning any interview process. We also provide all new OPB employees with a series of equity materials and introduce them to our equity and inclusion efforts.

· In 2019, we eliminated unpaid internships, providing paid opportunities for existing interns and created two new paid scholarships.

Related: Find out more about internships at the OPB

· In late 2019/early 2020, we conducted an anonymous cultural assessment survey for OPB staff, which provided a basis for identifying the causes of systemic racism and inequality in our organization and for prioritizing our DEI work.

· We have conducted a pay equity study to ensure that our pay practices are fair within the OPB and have made adjustments where necessary.

We participate in Public Media for All – a coalition of public media organizations led by people of color raising awareness of the need for diversity, equity and inclusion in public media, and adopting actionable and shared key practices to answer to.

Related: The OPB joins the initiative “Public media for all”

· In the spring of 2022, we hired OPB’s first-ever equity manager, Shayna Schlosberg, who will help us move forward on our journey.


Collage 1—image credits clockwise from center:

Water gushes from an artesian well at an old farmhouse inside the Summer Lake State Nature Preserve, February 18, 2022 (Emily Cureton Cook/OPB)

· The head of a Green Alpha LLC well, which plunges more than 400 feet underground into a volcanic aquifer. (Emily Cureton Cook/OPB)

Twelve-year-old Asher Fite prepares to ride his horse and help round up cattle at an Oakes Ranch property near Ironside, Oregon on Nov. 16, 2021 (Emily Cureton Cook/OPB)

Oregon State Rep. Mark Owens holds a handful of alfalfa on one of his hay-growing properties near Crane, Oregon on August 27, 2021 (Emily Cureton Cook/OPB)

Oregon State Rep. Mark Owens tours one of his company’s hay fields in Harney County on Aug. 27, 2021. (Emily Cureton Cook/OPB)

Collage 2—LR image credits:

Women laugh while dancing during a spring celebration at Coffee Creek Correctional Institute in Wilsonville, Oregon on May 4, 2019. (Bradley W. Parks/OPB)

Shyloh West, left, hugs Joey Dexter during a powwow at Two Rivers Correctional Institute in Umatilla, Ore., Aug. 24, 2019. (Bradley W. Parks/OPB)

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