Optimizing Inclusion training

Optimizing Inclusion: A Learning Experience for Media Leaders is a series focused on creating and supporting a truly inclusive environment in USC Annenberg’s Media Center, which serves as a classroom, student-led newsroom and incubator for new ways of connecting with audiences.

This leadership learning series will guide you through developing the critical understanding and functional skills to help you collaborate with, manage and lead diverse teams more effectively, and to — ultimately — tell accurate, ethical and impactful stories about the complex communities in which we live, work and learn. The first three courses are foundational training modules, mandatory for all media center students, faculty and staff.

The series is hosted by Shaun Harper, founder and executive director of the USC Race and Equity Center.

Core Courses

Recognizing and Reducing Implicit Bias

This module begins with considerations of how each of us is socialized at an early age to view other groups. Participants reflect on messages they received from parents and family members, schools, media, and other sources; when and how they unlearned these messages; and how they might still have some unconscious assumptions and problematic views. 

Interrupting and Confronting Explicit Acts of Racism and Sexism in the Newsroom

Women and people of color are routinely subjected to varying forms of discrimination, microaggressions, and harassment that negatively impact their experience in the workplace. Such challenges are compounded by policies and practices that hamper efforts for them to feel fully included, seen, and championed where they are employed. This results in an environment where such populations are relegated to the margins. Through critical interrogation of employment practices, engagement with actual narratives and lived experiences of women and persons of color, and self-reflection, participants in this module will gain a consciousness about such problems and be provided with tools and resources to disrupt racism and sexism.

Leading Productive Conversations about Race, Racism, and Sexism

It is common for people to avoid engaging in conversations with their colleagues about racial or gender issues in society and in the workplace. Sadly, this often leads to misinformed views that go unchecked and unchallenged. This session will help students more deeply understand what many Americans and others across the globe have been protesting since June of 2020, and how issues of gender and sexism speak to inequitable conditions in the workplace. 

For more information, please contact optimizinginclusion@usc.edu.