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Journalists write to empower

All voices – be they brown, black, white, queer, transgender or straight – deserve to be heard.

When we open our ears to the experiences of others, the voices we wouldn’t normally listen to challenge us to open our eyes to new ideas and understand those around us.

Through open communication – we, as a community, can facilitate a healthy atmosphere where inclusivity is encouraged and differences are embraced.

Whether it is talking about sexual assault, the LGBTQIA community, different heritages or a variety of experiences, The Collegian believes in promoting an environment where anyone can share their experience. This is the kind of community we want to help build.

Promoting diversity does not just stem from the pigmentation of one’s skin, culture, religion or ethnicity. It comes from diversity of thought and experience.

We as students are part of a diverse campus community, surrounded by leaders who are equally as diverse as the students they serve. President Joseph Castro, a Mexican-American, and Vice President Frank Lamas, a Cuban-American, are perfect representations of the students who make up their institution.

Castro and Lamas are individuals who broke down barriers and surpassed preconceived boundaries pushed upon them by society’s stereotypes and generalizations.

Generalizations do nothing to spur progress.

Unfortunately, privilege exists and that is an aspect of society that can not be destroyed overnight.

Activism and calls to action dismantle prejudice within different cultures and communities. There is power in calling out the majority and demanding inclusion, but not in fighting racism with more harmful stereotypes and generalizations – that gets us nowhere.

We can end prejudice and the stereotypes by coming together and accepting intersectionality.

It’s hard not to sound like idealistic or yearning for goals that are impossible to reach, but it’s true – we get nowhere alone. We need each other.

Those with privilege need to recognize what gives them an advantage and use it to help empower others.

If the last few years has taught us anything, it’s that racism, privilege and prejudice are alive and well.

Black lives are being taken every single day. Those living in disadvantaged neighborhoods like Flint, Michigan have been drinking contaminated water for two years. The reproductive health of women everywhere is being policed by men in congress determined to make safe abortions impossible.

At the forefront are news organizations dedicated to reporting the most true representations possible of what is happening in our world.

Granted, there are media organizations whose goals are to push a single agenda, but it is the true intent of ethical journalism to deliver unbiased and informed truth.  

Even when writing opinions or editorials, journalists are trained to immerse themselves into the big picture to grasp a better understanding of the topic before they begin to write and share.

Whether you’re an activist or a journalist, writing should be guided by research and the asking of questions.

Members of the Collegian editorial board are part of the diverse Fresno State student population – a group of people who identify with different sexual orientations, all coming from Latin descent – who strive to understand issues even through their diverse lens.

In one way or another, we are all members of different minorities doing our duty as employees in print journalism to bring unbiased, factual truths to light.

It is the goal of The Collegian and its editorial board to uphold our journalistic integrity and eradicate racism and prejudice by educating our readers – not by loosely informing our readers.