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Ozarks Public Broadcasting Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Ozarks Public Broadcasting, comprised of KSMU Radio and Ozarks Public Television (OPT), believes our work and workplace are made better through the earnest prioritization of the organizational values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Our work is guided by the following principles: 

  • Ozarks Public Broadcasting is committed to reflecting and celebrating the diversity of the communities we serve in all areas of station operation.  This diversity takes many forms, including – but not limited to – age, education, ethnicity, expression, family composition, gender, gender expression, gender identity, geographic location, language, marital status, mental ability, nationality, physical ability, physical appearance, political views, race, religious views, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and veteran status.
  • Ozarks Public Broadcasting is committed to ensuring equitable participation in internal and external station activities, recognizing that the resources needed to achieve equity vary by person, group, and circumstance.
  • Ozarks Public Broadcasting is committed to cultivating a culture that values and incorporates the diverse perspectives of team members, and actively pursues engagement and input from team members of all levels.
  • Ozarks Public Broadcasting is committed to creating, selecting, and presenting programming and engagement activities that are reflective of the diversity of the communities we serve.
  • Ozarks Public Broadcasting is committed to consistently evaluating its performance and progress in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion; to sharing information on performance and progress in a transparent manner; and to ensuring that sustainable progress remains a long-term focus of the organization.


Service to the Community

OPT and KSMU select, develop, produce, and present content and engagement activities that seek to represent the diversity of individuals and perspectives in our community, and encourage thoughtful discourse on a variety of topics.

  • As a part of KSMU’s mission to represent and inform the community, the station regularly produces and broadcasts special features and series focused on the stories of underrepresented individuals and groups.  Examples include:
  • Ozarks Public Television’s original film Missouri! A Bicentennial Celebration tells the story of the state – from the original Missourians through recent notable figures.
  • OPT tells the story of the Ozarks’ through documentary films and ongoing series.  Through a partnership with the national American Graduate initiative, OPT’s Sense of Community program recently included a profile of ARC of the Ozarks, and their work in connecting adults with cognitive disabilities with local employers.
  • OPT’s locally-produced film Marian Days: A Spiritual and Cultural Homecoming shares the history and impact of an enduring spiritual and social festival of Vietnamese Roman Catholics, held annually in Carthage, MO.
  • OPT’s Passport series featured instructional language and cultural exploration of other countries.  The series includes Passport to ChinaPassport to Latin AmericaandPassport to Brazil.
  • The long-running weekly OPT series OzarksWatch Video Magazine documents, presents and preserves the unique heritage, richness and complexity of the Ozarks region.
  • OPT and KSMU regularly broadcast special programming that celebrates the diversity of our nation and our world.  These national programs are made available by NPR, PRI, APM, PBS, NETA, APT and other national distributors.


Organizational Accountability

As a division of Missouri State University, Ozarks Public Broadcasting shares in the University’s efforts and initiatives to ensure diversity in all aspects of our work.  The University staff, faculty, governance and student body reflect rich diversity.  

The Missouri State University Division for Diversity and Inclusion strives to enhance the institutional culture of the campus by building a community that values the inclusion of diversity.  Its mission is to ensure consistent emphasis on the core value of inclusive excellence by intentionally engaging the rich and broad diversity of faculty, staff, students and community to effectively educate all campus stakeholders. The division has four areas of emphasis – 

  • Access, success and equity

Increase access, success and equity by attracting, retaining, and ensuring the success of all students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds.

  • Learning and development

Enhance and increase learning development through promoting diversity in the formal and informal curricula.

  • Campus climate

Enhance and increase the development of a psychological and behavioral climate supportive of all students, faculty, and staff as well as campus stakeholders.

  • Institutional leadership and commitment

Enhance and increase institutional leadership, commitment, and integration of policies, practices, and institutional support of Inclusive Excellence as well as cultural consciousness of all university stakeholders.

More information about Missouri State University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion can be found here.


Ozarks Public Broadcasting FY22 Progress Report 

  1. Ozarks Public Broadcasting’s DEI work group is tasked with evaluating station performance and improvement in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Because these principles are central to the entirety of our work, evaluation and goals for improvement include all areas of station operation. This work group is responsible for making annual recommendations for focus and improvement in integration of these principles across station operations.


Progress Report: The staff members who comprised Ozarks Public Broadcasting’s 2021 DEI work group were the inaugural committee tasked with this work. These staff members agreed to serve two-year terms in order to devote adequate time to both the structure and design of the work group, as well as the work itself.   

The group met monthly to identify and evaluate current efforts to incorporate the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into all aspect of the organization’s public services and workplace culture. The group will transition their ongoing evaluation and recommendations to a new group of staff members who will take over the work in FY23.


Ozarks Public Broadcasting FY23 Commitments

Ozarks Public Broadcasting’s DEI Work Group will

(1) perform ongoing evaluation of the organization’s demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; 

(2) identify areas where improvements should occur; and 

(3) provide recommendations to senior management for specific actions that should be taken to ensure OPB, in all areas of operation and service, operates in a manner that reflects its earnest commitment to these principles.


CPB Diversity Initiatives

Additionally, Ozarks Public Broadcasting undertakes the following ongoing initiatives outlined by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), as part of standard station operating procedure: 

  • Include individuals representing the diverse groups for internships or work-study programs, which are designed to provide meaningful professional-level experience and further public broadcasting’s commitment to education.
  • Include qualified diverse candidates in any slate of individuals considered for positions on governing boards.
  • Provide diversity training for management and appropriate staff.


Updated September 2022