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 seek to select, develop, produce, and present content and engagement activities that 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:
- Entrepreneurship in the Rural Ozarks focuses on small business owners in rural areas and the importance of those businesses to the economic vitality of small towns.
- Brave Talks is a collaboration between KSMU, Harmony House and Project HEAL, focusing on intimate partner violence in our area and how the community can work together to create a safer community for everyone.
- Shorter Lives: Why Missouri’s Life Expectancy is Dropping explores some of the reasons why the state’s population as a whole is living fewer years.
- Springfield’s Forward SGF Plan takes a look at how Springfield’s development will be guided for the next two decades, including historic neighborhoods and transportation for all demographics.
- Faces Behind the Numbers profiles 10 individuals in the Ozarks who passed away from COVID-19.
- The Springfield-Greene County African American Heritage Trail highlights stories from the trail, featuring historic points of interest.
- The Intersection of Housing and Homelessness in Springfield examines the city’s challenges in getting homeless residents into shelters, and how the problem relates to a severe shortage of affordable housing.
- Ozarks Public Television’s recent documentary, Generations: African American Experiences in Springfield and the Ozarks, explores the challenges and success of Black Americans in the region.
- Now Showing – The Life and Times of Springfield’s Movie Theaters is an OPT documentary that examines local theaters of the past and the films that became an inseparable part of our cultural landscape.
- OPT’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. OPT’s Sense of Community program recently included a profile Burrell Behavioral Health’s Be Well Initiatives, which addresses the impact of the pandemic on our mental wellness.
- 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.
- 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.
As a unit of Missouri State University, Ozarks Public Broadcasting shares in the University’s efforts and initiatives to ensure inclusive engagement.
The Missouri State University Office of Inclusive Engagement strives to enhance the institutional culture of the campus and general community. The office’s mission is: Through consistent emphasis on our core value of inclusive excellence, Missouri State University intentionally engages the rich and broad diversity of faculty, staff, students and community in order to effectively prepare all campus stakeholders as well as increase the success of all students in our global society and global economy.
Missouri State University’s Inclusivity Principles include:
- Missouri State University is committed to carrying out its public affairs mission, which calls on the university to develop successful students who excel academically and within the three pillars of ethical leadership, cultural competence, and community engagement.
2. Missouri State University believes in and supports inclusive excellence. This includes creating welcoming environments within the university and the communities it serves.
3. Missouri State University values diversity because people from all backgrounds should feel valued, respected and empowered.
4. Missouri State University defines diversity broadly to include people of all races and ethnicities, religions, ages, sexes, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities, and socioeconomic and veteran statuses.
5. Missouri State University recognizes and supports a student’s unique background as an important influence on the teaching and learning process, as all students should have equal opportunities for success. We strive to eliminate attainment gaps.
6. Missouri State University works to attract, retain, and ensure the success of all students, faculty, and staff.
7. Missouri State University believes in and supports its faculty’s freedom to deliver curriculum based on their academic disciplines.
8. Missouri State University creates and supports policies and practices of inclusive excellence and cultural competence.
9. Missouri State University provides equal opportunities for everyone and actively responds to complaints of bias or discrimination.
More information about Missouri State University’s Office of Inclusive Engagement can be found here.
Ozarks Public Broadcasting FY23 Progress Report
Ozarks Public Broadcasting’s DEI work group is tasked with evaluating station performance and progress 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 serves two-year terms and is responsible for making recommendations to ensure and improve integration of these principles across station operations.
Progress Report: These staff members devote adequate time to both the structure and design of the work group, as well as the work itself. Throughout the last fiscal year, 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 current work group is evaluating multiple projects identified by the previous cohort to determine feasibility and actionable initiatives. Priority projects include an internal climate survey and solicitation of grant funding for inclusive engagement.
Ozarks Public Broadcasting FY24 Commitments
Ozarks Public Broadcasting’s DEI Work Group will
(1) Perform ongoing evaluation of the organization’s demonstrated commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion;
(2) Solicit feedback from all levels of stations staff through by conducting an internal climate survey;
(3) Solicit grant funding for freelance rural and cultural reporting on KSMU, which are historically underrepresented areas on the station; and
(4) 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 served by OPB for internships or work-study programs, which are designed to provide meaningful professional-level experience and further public broadcasting’s commitment to education.
- Provide Harassment Prevention training for all staff.
Updated September 2023