Skip to main content
Merrill College CNS D.C. students

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

TerrapinSTRONG logo

The Philip Merrill College of Journalism is proud to embrace the TerrapinSTRONG vision of an inclusive environment where every member of our community feels that they belong and are empowered to reach their full potential.

After completing the TerrapinSTRONG onboarding course, new members of the Merrill community can look forward to the following TerrapinSTRONG initiatives:

Events

Graduate Student Mixer

When: Wednesday, Aug. 31, 4-5 p.m.
Where: Knight Hall, Gaylord Library

In line with the tenets of TerrapinSTRONG, this type of mixer event fosters community between returning and new students in the graduate cohorts at Merrill. We are hoping to establish a peer mentor model between the graduate cohorts. Ideally, incoming students will have a returning student they can lean on as a resource.


Peer Mentorship Mixer

When: Friday, Sept. 2, 3-4 p.m. 
Where: Knight Hall Lobby and Courtyard

A kickoff event to celebrate the inaugural edition of the Merrill Peer Mentorship Program. In the Spring 2022 semester, 10 returning Merrill students were selected to serve as mentors for an incoming group of first-year students. These mentors will be a valuable resource for Merrill first-years and assist in their transition to the University of Maryland. As part of this kickoff event, mentors will welcome their group of 10 students to Merrill College through a couple activities. No registration required.


General Interest Meetings

The Diversity and Inclusion Program Coordinator will be holding several general-interest meetings for affinity-based journalism groups during the Fall 2022 semester. These will be general-interest forums for those who want to either establish, revitalize or simply create community among individuals/journalists who identify with any of these particular groups at Merrill College. We want to make sure you get connected to the larger networks and some of the resources and opportunities this larger affinity-based organization provides. Here are times, dates and locations for these meetings:

National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) @ Merrill

When: Wednesday, Sept. 14, 4-5 p.m. 
Where: Knight Hall, Gaylord Library 


Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) @ Merrill

When: Wednesday, Sept. 21, 4-5 p.m. 
Where: Knight Hall, Gaylord Library


The Association of LGBTQ Journalists (NLGJA) @ Merrill

When: Wednesday, Sept. 28, 4-5 p.m. 
Where: Knight Hall, Gaylord Library 


First-Generation Journalists Meeting

When: Wednesday, Oct. 5, 4-5 p.m. 
Where: Knight Hall, Gaylord Library 

Higher education can be a challenging place for students who are the first in their family to attend college or university. This is an annual meeting for students who identify as a first-generation college student and want to connect with other students of similar backgrounds. What does our first-generation status mean to you? To your family? To your journalism? 


Mentorship Programs

Merrill Mentorship Program 

The Merrill Mentorship Program empowers students to be successful in newsrooms, media outlets and other organizations by connecting them with industry leaders and experts. Our thoughtful mentors are here to provide their mentees with the skills, resources and support to ensure Merrill students are successful in their next career steps. If you are interested in participating in this program, both prospective mentees and mentors can use the same link to sign up.


Peer Mentor Program

The Merrill Peer Mentor Program is a first-year experience designed to facilitate the successful transition of incoming students into the journalism major. Peer mentors are sophomores, juniors and seniors at Merrill who each guide a group of eight to 10 incoming students through their first semester at UMD. Peer mentors will be a point of contact for academic, student involvement and campus-related questions, and will encourage first-year students to attend and participate in campus and college events.

Tune into diversity-related panels on Merrill College’s YouTube channel, such as this Howard Center Speaker Series event on how to use data to uncover racial inequities.
 
Delve into diversity, equity and inclusion themes within your JOUR 200 course. In this required history/orientation class for incoming students, there are group discussions covering topics such as diversity, inclusivity, equity, social justice and identity. Trailblazers in journalism history will be researched and discussed, and their struggles and successes will be analyzed.

Check out The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism's collaborative projects and public programs that elevate and amplify discussion of sports, race, gender, politics and the world. 

Explore the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism’s various investigative projects, many of which concern communities of color and groups living on the margins of society: 

  • Printing Hate, which focuses on the historic role of white-owned newspapers in fueling racial hate and violence.
  • Code Red: Baltimore’s Climate Divide, which investigates the disproportionate effects of climate change on communities of color in Baltimore.
  • Essential and Exposed, which unearths the risks that workers on the front lines of American industry have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
TerrapinSTRONG and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Video Discussion

Every member of the Merrill College community was invited to participate in a discussion about what it means to be TerrapinSTRONG at Merrill. We used the diversity, equity and inclusion video created for the 2021-22 academic year as a starting point for this conversation. This discussion was held virtually. 
When: Feb. 16, 2022

Graduate Student Mixer

Grounded in the TerrapinSTRONG ideals of fostering community and inclusion, this workshop served as an opportunity for professional development and networking among Merrill College’s first- and second-year cohorts. This event was held in person. 
When: Feb. 23, 2022

First Gen Journalists Meeting

Higher education is a challenging place for all, but especially for individuals who are the first in their families to go to college. This workshop had the goal of fostering a sense of community at Merrill for individuals who are the first in their families to go to college. This event was held in person.
When: March 9, 2022

Is the NFL Racist? Among Other Loaded Questions

This virtual conversation explored the implications of former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores' decision to bring a class-action lawsuit against the NFL through a diversity, equity and inclusion lens. How does this compare/contrast with the attitudes and actions of other American institutions, such as the Supreme Court and the Oscars? How about the Olympics? What does this mean for our coverage? 
When: Thursday, March 10, 2022

TerrapinSTRONG @ Merrill College

Merrill College's official TerrapinSTRONG rollout took place from March 7-18. This event was a discussion for those who wanted to learn more about the TerrapinSTRONG initiative and what that means to be TerrapinSTRONG in the context of our community. 
When: Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Workshop for Merrill Students: 'My Identity, My Journalism' 

In what ways does your identity impact your journalism? How does your background impact the way(s) you interact with the communities you are reporting on? This workshop was rooted in tenets of small-group dialogue and active listening. This event was held in person. 
When: March 16, 2022

Video Game Optics with Dr. Kishonna Gray 

This virtual event was geared toward individuals who are interested in covering the video game industry, and participating in a conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion in the video game world. The event itself was a Twitch livestream in which a current Merrill College senior, Adryan Nash, gamed with Dr. Kishonna Gray, a prominent video game scholar and Associate Professor in Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. The two discussed what it means to be a person of color in this predominantly white industry, among other themes, such as knowledge creation in a digital space and advice for individuals who want to report on the growing video game industry.
When: Thursday, April 28, 2022 

Every community owes its existence and strength to the generations before them, around the world, who contributed their hopes, dreams and energy into making the history that led to this moment.

Truth and acknowledgement are critical in building mutual respect and connections across all barriers of heritage and difference.

So, we acknowledge the truth that is often buried: We are on the ancestral lands of the Piscataway People, who are the ancestral stewards of this sacred land. It is their historical responsibility to advocate for the four-legged, the winged, those that crawl and those that swim. They remind us that clean air and pristine waterways are essential to all life.

This Land Acknowledgement is a vocal reminder for each of us as two-leggeds to ensure our physical environment is in better condition than what we inherited, for the health and prosperity of future generations.

To learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives at Merrill College, email Diversity and Inclusion Program Coordinator Aaron Guillermo Vogel at agvogel@umd.edu.

To learn more about the TerrapinSTRONG initiative, visit go.umd.edu/TerrapinSTRONG or email terrapinstrong@umd.edu.

For More Information

Portrait of Aaron Guillermo Vogel

Aaron Guillermo Vogel

Diversity and Inclusion Program Coordinator
Back to Top