Kishor Panthi Among Esteemed Journalists Named as Fellows in SPJ’s Diversity Leadership Program

The Editor-in-Chief of NepYork, Kishor Panthi, a prominent Nepali American journalist, has been selected as one of the eight distinguished fellows for the esteemed Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership Program of 2023. This renowned program, conducted by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the realm of journalism.

SPJ  has announced the eight recipients of the prestigious Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership Program for 2023. The program is named in honor of the late Dori Maynard, a champion for diversity in newsrooms. The selected fellows are set to participate in an immersive experience that will provide them with insights into the inner workings of the SPJ and valuable networking opportunities within the journalism community.

The 2023 Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership Program Fellows are:

Khorri Atkinson covers labor and employment at Bloomberg Law and has written for The New York Times, Axios and other publications. Atkinson is a member of SPJ, NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists, where he’s served in various leadership roles. He’s president of the Washington Association of Black Journalists.

Sheetal Banchariya is working as a city reporter for the New York Daily News after graduating from Columbia Journalism School with a master’s degree in May 2023. Banchariya is also the 2023 Journalism Fellow at Women’s eNews and covers the Equal Rights Amendment with a specific focus on the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Charisse Gibson is a national Edward R. Murrow and Emmy award-winning journalist, producer, and evening news anchor at WWL-TV in New Orleans. She is currently producing a docu-series highlighting how discriminatory housing practices led to generational divestment from minority communities in New Orleans.

Mechelle Hankerson is news director at WHRO Public Media, the NPR affiliate station in eastern Virginia. She’s a newspaper journalist at heart who believes in the importance of maintaining quality journalism on whatever platform is most sustainable and accessible.

Bria Lloyd started her career as a multimedia journalist at WDVM (now DC News Now) based in Winchester, Virginia. It was there that she found her passion for investigating. Since then, she’s worked at Al Jazeera English, PBS NewsHour and Scripps News. She is currently an investigative reporter at Connecticut Public Radio.

Kishor Panthi, a New York-based Nepali American journalist, leads Khasokhas and NepYork and has been published in Huffington Post, Thrive Global and City Limits. An ex-ABC TV Nepal editor and anchor, Kishor authored “Kampan,” “UNTRANSLATABLE” and “Zero Mile.” Panthi was honored with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award and holds an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from CICA International University.

Angélica Serrano Román covers state tax policy for Bloomberg Tax. Before covering taxes, she was a journalist and web editor at Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism. She teaches journalism at Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in Puerto Rico and holds a Master of Arts in business and economic reporting from New York University.

Shen Wu Tan is a freelance writer who has worked as a reporter for five years at three different news agencies, including The Wyoming Truth and The Washington Times, covering a wide array of stories. She briefly worked as an intern for the Weekend Argus in Cape Town, South Africa.

The highlight of the program is the SPJ23 Journalism Convention, scheduled to take place in Las Vegas from September 28 to 30. The fellows will be granted exclusive access to networking sessions, interactions with SPJ leaders at both national and local levels, and engagement with prominent figures in journalism advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Claire Regan, SPJ National President, expressed her enthusiasm for the program, stating, “SPJ strives to amplify new and diverse voices both within the organization and in journalism overall. This program… gives them the tools to be leaders in the Society and their workplaces.”

Rebecca Aguilar, SPJ Diversity Leadership Program Coordinator, acknowledged the program’s role in opening doors for journalists with diverse backgrounds, promoting their growth and leadership skills within newsrooms and classrooms.

Eleanore Vega, Chair of the SPJ Diversity & Inclusion Committee, emphasized the program’s alignment with Dori Maynard’s vision to champion diversity, equipping fellows as future leaders in the newsroom.

The Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership Program continues to be a driving force in fostering diverse perspectives within journalism and dismantling barriers to inclusion. With these eight exceptional fellows leading the way, the program continues to build a more representative and equitable future for the field.