This week read about Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot limiting interviews to only POC journalists, and a student launching a petition to allow teachers to fly the Pride flag in Indiana.
Mayor Limits Interviews to POC Journalists
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot drew mixed reactions after her unique decision to limit coverage of her two-year anniversary as mayor to one-on-one interviews with Black and Brown reporters.
Lightfoot, the city’s first Black woman mayor and first openly gay mayor, expressed disappointment in the lack of diversity among the press corps in a May 19 statement.
“There is almost no one in the editorial boardrooms or in the City Hall press corps who have themselves lived the experience of a woman of color in the city of Chicago,” Lightfoot wrote. “It is impossible for this glaring lack in diversity to not be reflected in the daily coverage of government, politics, and city life.”
Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University Dean Charles Whitaker told the Chicago Tribune, “I don’t necessarily know that it is the best way. We would never, ever in a million years allow that of a white politician. And so it’s dangerous now to say we are going to allow that of a Black politician simply to make a point about the historic inequities in the media.”
Student Launches Petition After School Bans Pride Flags
Photo via PxHere.
Over 4,380 people have signed a change.org petition to allow Indiana teachers to fly the pride flag in their classrooms after three teachers at Pendleton Heights High School were reportedly told to take down the symbols in their classrooms.
Pendleton Heights Principal Connie Rickert told the Herald-Bulletin, “Teachers are legally obligated to maintain viewpoint neutrality during their official duties to ensure all students can focus on learning and we can maintain educational activities and school operations.”
The pride flag is widely seen as a way for both closeted and LGBT youth to know they are in a safe, affirming space. After South Madison Board of Trustees President Bill Hutton inaccurately drew comparisons between the pride flag and flags that represent white supremacy, LGBT students in the district sounded off.
Bryce Axel-Adams, who started the online petition, told the Indy Star, “We’re tired of having so little representation. We’re tired of having people act like our feelings don’t matter, like our mental health doesn’t matter.”
The petition, Axel-Adams said, will continue until the flags are allowed in classes once again.