Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Public media strives to be trusted providers of news, educational, and cultural programming, serving the needs of our diverse nation and reflecting all Americans. CPB supports the development of diverse storytellers and of content that addresses the needs of unserved and underserved audiences, particularly children and minorities. CPB encourages and supports public media stations and organizations to provide diverse and inclusive content and programming services.

a photo of five people sitting or standing around a table together
Radio Milwaukee’s HYFIN team includes, from left to right, Chris Alexander, Program Director Tarik Moody, Element Everest-Blanks, Community Engagement Coordinator Darron “DJ” Brüwer, and Anthony Foster.

Public Media Stations

CPB requires public radio and television stations that receive its funding to engage in practices designed to reflect the diversity of the populations they serve. Diversity includes race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, national origin, and economic status. Station grantees must:

  • Annually review and make any necessary revisions to the station's established diversity goal for its workforce, management, and boards, including community advisory boards and governing boards having governance responsibilities specific to or limited to broadcast stations.
  • Maintain a diversity statement that defines how the station’s community is diverse; the extent to which the grantee's staff and governance reflect such diversity; the progress grantee has made to increase its diversity; and the grantee's diversity plans for the coming year. The statement must be on the station website or available at the station's central office.
  • Require all employees, officers, and interns to have training on harassment prevention and implicit bias.

Stations annually provide CPB with information and data that gives CPB a snapshot of the public media system’s financial health, operations, and the diversity of its leadership and staff. For example:

  • The percentage of public media station employees who identify as minorities has increased from 22% in 2012 to 26% in 2022.
  • The percentage of African American officials has increased from 7% in 2017 to 11% in 2022. The percentage of Hispanic, Native American, and Asian American officials has remained steady, not varying by more than a percentage point, during that time.
  • The percentage of public media station employees who are female rose from 48% in 2017 to 51% in 2022, with the percentage of female officials up from 40% to 46% during that time.

Data tables with more detailed figures are available at the CPB Other Reports page.

CPB provides Community Service Grants to 76 minority public radio stations, including stations licensed to Native American tribes and historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). CPB also funds Native Voice One, the public radio distribution service that provides programming targeted to stations on Native reservations, including Native America Calling and National Native News.


Corporation for Public Broadcasting


CPB values and promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. The CPB Board of Directors reviews and approves an annual Affirmative Action Performance Report and Affirmative Action Plan for CPB's management and staff. CPB's hiring practices include an emphasis on diversity in recruiting and interviewing as CPB believes that its success depends on having a talented, diverse staff.


Public Media Organizations

CPB supports a public media ecosystem that nurtures diverse storytellers presenting a wide range of perspectives and provides a variety of media platforms for their stories to be told. Through direct grants as well as through the National Multicultural Alliance, CPB funds numerous organizations including:


Content for Diverse Audiences

To attract diverse audiences to public media, CPB supports the development of innovative content and formats.

 
three people standing together, two men in the back, and a lady upfront making a friendly gesture
Hosts of MPR’s The Carbon Sound. From left to right: Julian Green (content director), Sani Brown (host), Andre Griffin (community engagement)
a man holding up a t-shirt while someone takes his photo
HYFIN’s Anthony Foster at the launch event in Milwaukee
 

Urban Alternative Public Radio

CPB has funded the development and expansion of this locally customized format that uses Hip Hop and R&B. With support from CPB, Chicago Public Radio implemented a new format in its Vocalo programming stream in 2007. CPB also supported the launch of this format in Denver (The Drop), Norfolk (Hot 91), , Minneapolis/St. Paul (Carbon Sound from MPR’s The Current working with KMOJ), Milwaukee (88Nine Radio Milwaukee’s HYFIN) and Jackson, MS (WJSU).

Move To Include

With CPB support, WXXI (Rochester, NY) is expanding Move To Include to five more public media stations across the country. This public media initiative, founded in 2014 by WXXI Public Media and the Golisano Foundation, amplifies disability issues and promotes inclusion of people with intellectual and physical disabilities.

Hindsight

Reel South, a cooperative documentary series between PBS North Carolina, South Carolina ETV, Alabama Public Television, Arkansas PBS, Louisiana Public Broadcasting, Texas Tech Public Media, and Virginia's VPM, partnered with Firelight Media and the Center for Asian American Media to produce and distribute Hindsight. This project paired filmmakers of color and public media stations to create short films for a digital series exploring the COVID experiences of communities of color in the South and in Puerto Rico.

PBS Digital Studios Regional Digital Centers of Innovation

With CPB support, PBS Digital Studios has partnered with Houston Public Media, Rocky Mountain PBS, and PBS North Carolina to deepen and expand the digital production capacity of the stations in their regions with a focus on content that elevates the voices of diverse content creators both in front of and behind the camera.

Audio content for young and diverse audiences

With CPB support, Southern California Public Radio is developing new ways to reach younger, Latino audiences by increasing Latino on-air hosts, producers, and production staff. LAist Studios, SCPR's podcast development and production division, is empowering up-and-coming content creators to produce innovative, on-demand content and engage audiences seeking connection, information, and entertainment.


Programming

From groundbreaking programming such as the children’s program Maya and Miguel, the landmark documentary series Eyes on the Prize, and documentaries such as Who Killed Vincent Chin?, CPB has long supported public media programming that explores diversity of all types, including race, religion, gender, age, geography, and disability. Recent and upcoming programs include:

  • Alma’s Way (premiered 2021)
  • The American Diplomat (2022)
  • Becoming Helen Keller (2021)
  • Code Switch (podcast premiered 2016)
  • Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (premiered 2012)
  • Jelly, Ben & Pogo (premiered 2021)
  • La Frontera With Pati Jinich (2021)
  • Live From Cain’s (premiered 2021)
  • Making Black America: Through the Grapevine (2022)
  • Molly of Denali (premiered 2019)
  • Plague at the Golden Gate (2022)
  • Rosie’s Rules (premiering 2022)
 
promotional image for Making Black America
promotional image for Almas Way by Fred Rogers Productions