October 24, 2016
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Speak Out Campaign For Inclusion Started By Colorado Students

Student journalists at the University of Colorado at Boulder are addressing issues of inclusivity and diversity through a bold, groundbreaking new awareness campaign announced today with U.S. Rep. Jared Polis as the keynote speaker.
The CU Independent, CU Boulder’s student-run online news publication, launched the campaign, called “Speak Out,” from the steps of the terrace of the University Memorial Center on the Boulder campus. The campaign will feature innovative advertising on buses and T-shirts in addition to a revolutionary approach to the CU Independent’s reporting assignments.
“I want to applaud this conscientious group of young journalists for generating this campaign,” said Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.). “By creating awareness among their fellow students, and at the same, creating a forum for that awareness to be expressed, they are profoundly elevating the values of inclusivity and equality at CU-Boulder. They are a credit to the campus, to our state, and to the values of American college students everywhere.”
In addition to Polis, speakers at the event included Erin Yoshimura, a cultural intelligence trainer and owner of Empowerful Changes of Arvada, and Nadia Gedeon, a 9News assignment editor and president of the Colorado Association of Black Journalists.
The Speak Out campaign is an endeavor the students have been working on for nearly a year with the CU Independent Student Diversity Advisory Board and TDA Advertising & Design, a Boulder company that donated its time to help with the effort. The campaign is funded entirely by donations and CU Independent advertising revenue. No public funds are involved.
“This wonderful effort showcases a creative approach to the values of diversity and inclusion on our campus,” said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “Generating dialogue on issues of inclusion can only help to improve our campus climate and help us build on the great progress we have made on diversity in recent years. I congratulate our students at the CU Independent.”
CU Independent Editor-in-Chief Danielle Alberti said that the students want to raise awareness and encourage activism through this campaign, providing a forum for voices to speak out against campus issues such as racism, heterosexism, sexism and classism.
Toward that end, Alberti said, the daily online publication intends to devote resources in the form of staff and space on its Web site to this project, beginning a revolutionary reporter “beat” system that focuses on social justice issues.
“As far as we can tell, this kind of beat system has never been done in a news setting,” Alberti said. “Having reporters who dedicate their time specifically to social justice issues is really a unique idea for a newsroom. We’re excited to see how these stories will add depth to our coverage of the university.”
The stories and resources will be supplemented with catchy and fun marketing materials that also carry meaningful messages, including T-shirts and bus advertisements, Alberti said.
The campaign already has received positive feedback from several sources, including Polis, who did not hesitate to be the keynote speaker at the kickoff event once he saw the intelligent and thought-provoking messages behind the student media’s campaign, Alberti said.
The students also have received support from throughout the university community, said CU Independent Adviser Amy Herdy, including the University of Colorado Student Union diversity director, the university’s Gender Violence Prevention and Education coordinator, the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, the Denver Asian Pacific American Commission and CU-Boulder administration, including DiStefano.
“This campaign truly became a collaboration between the students and many members of the CU community,” Herdy said. “Everyone is very excited to see this kind of innovative awareness campaign launched.”
- CU -

Contact:            Danielle Alberti, 720-934-3722
                        Amy Herdy, 303-947-7258
                        Peter Caughey, CU media relations, 303-492-4007

University of Colorado, Office of News Services 584 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0584 United States 

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