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Alesha Davis, a sophomore journalism and english double major from Fort Worth, TX, smiles for a portrait at Ohio University, on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, in Athens, Ohio.

From the Editor’s Desk: Reflecting on a year as Equity Director

One year ago, I joined The Post as an outsider to become the first Equity Director. I was extremely nervous; I didn't know a single person, and I had no clue how this position would work in practice. I had very little guidance to turn to as positions like mine were just starting to emerge, both in the journalism industry and the workforce as a whole. I had ideas, but could I execute them? Would I make an impact at all, or would this become a fruitless endeavor? 

Now, those anxieties have taken a backseat. The Post has drastically improved its content since I first came to Ohio University in 2020. That is largely due to our fantastic editors and writers. Despite only being here for a year, I have seen a shift in the sensibilities of Post staff. I have found myself mostly acting as a stand-by resource for them, primarily aiding in research, suggestions and sensitivity reads. 

I have also dedicated a lot of my time as Equity Director to hosting workshops. Workshops are the primary way institutions conduct their diversity training; many businesses hire outside contractors who professionally conduct these workshops. However, most of these workshops were about preventing microaggressions and harassment in the workplace. 

I find that one workshop is not enough to cover the wide range of information and issues that need to be covered to make better reporters and better people. In fact, there are not enough workshops I could create to even get halfway through. How does one even cover centuries of struggles and customs? How do we pin down concepts to something understandable? How do we capture the vague, encompassing feeling that comes with every facet of life, combining into a personalized fog every human being struggles to navigate? How do you get people to listen? It is something I have tried and will continue to try to achieve.

Since starting in this position, I have listened to others who are fumbling their way through positions like mine. There is a common thread between us. Never knowing if we are doing enough or making an impact, if it is time to stop; these are things I will probably always wonder about. But there is also a willingness to keep pushing if at least one person benefits from our work. We are told we are needed, so we continue to try. I have seen that not everyone will listen. I certainly cannot force everyone to care. But there are some people who want to learn. It is for those people I continue to fumble and experiment. I can only hope these efforts inspire a spirit to continue doing the work when I must move my efforts elsewhere. 

I finished my first year as Equity Director optimistic, and I am moving into the next energized. I have more ideas to bring to the table, as well as a year of experience under my belt. It has been a fruitful experience so far, but there is much room for improvement. I am excited to see what we achieve this year — it has been fantastic so far. My position, this industry, and we as humans continue to evolve. I can only hope it all turns into something worthwhile.

Alesha Davis is a senior studying journalism and English at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Alesha by tweeting her at @AleshaTDavis.

Alesha Davis

Equity Director

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