Diversity is a priority for many of our newsrooms, and it is for SABEW as well.

That’s why I’m excited to share that SABEW is launching a mentorship program designed to encourage college students of color who are considering careers in business journalism. We could use your help with this program, and I hope you’ll consider signing up to be a mentor.

The mentorship program will run from February through September and focus on guiding college students toward internships, fellowships, and jobs. We’ll ask each mentor to meet virtually with their mentee five or six times, following a specially designed format that ensures your time together is productive.

You’ll help your mentee polish up his or her resume, prepare for interviews, and generally offer the type of professional, one-on-one access that can be invaluable to students hoping to enter the news business.

The mentorship program was developed by SABEW’s Diversity Committee, chaired by NPR Chief Business Editor Pallavi Gogoi. The committee, formed less than a year ago, has recruited college students of color from around the country. Over the next couple of weeks, those students will participate in virtual workshops run by Pallavi and her committee highlighting the importance of business and economic journalism, the high-impact work being done, and career opportunities.

Once those workshops wrap up, the next step for the students will be mentorship with a professional business journalist. That’s where you come in. Registering to serve as a mentor is simple and can be done on the SABEW site. The mentorship program will launch in just a few weeks, so sign up soon.

I’m grateful to Pallavi and the members of her committee for their work, and I hope you’ll join me in supporting this important initiative. A mentorship program won’t result in overnight change, but it’s a step we can all take together toward building a more diverse and inclusive business journalism community.

Kim Quillen
2020 SABEW President
Chicago Tribune
kquillen@chicagotribune.com