Equity and Inclusion at Greater Public

The mission of Greater Public is to ensure the long-term wellbeing of public and independent media. Our mission of public service is achieved only when we serve all communities of the American public. Historically, we have not served or represented all communities. This did not happen by accident but as a result of policies, practices and strategies aimed at serving and representing a largely white, formally-educated, wealthy segment of the American public.

As leaders and innovators, Greater Public strives to fulfill our public service mission to serve and represent all Americans using equitable and inclusive policies, practices and strategies.

Our Values

Greater Public is committed to the values of:

  • Accountability: We assume responsibility for our actions, products, decisions, and policies, and will be transparent about our actions and goals in order to invite feedback.
  • Authenticity: We practice humility and stay in a learning relationship with one another, both within and outside of the organization.
  • Inclusiveness: We create space in our processes and interactions for deep listening, input, and feedback.
  • Empowerment: We support and applaud the unique strengths brought by different individuals. We encourage ourselves to take risks and understand failure as essential parts of meaningful growth.
  • Community: We see ourselves as in relationship with others, and we value activities that serve to cultivate those relationships.

We aspire to create an equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist workplace in which the whole, authentic self of each member of our team is welcomed and affirmed, regardless of age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, and perspective.

Generally, people want to be dealt with as individuals, not categories or labels. However, there are times when we need to talk about a group by name. Therefore, we’ve found consensus in this lexicon of terms. These terms are subject to evolve and we invite people to communicate with us about terms that should be revised.

Our Actions

We center diversity, equity, and inclusion at the core of our work, and measure our progress toward stated goals.

Greater Public CEO, Joyce MacDonald, leads our DEI work. She, along with three quarters of the Greater Public senior leadership team, members of staff, and Equity and Inclusion Advisor Sway Steward, have been meeting weekly since 2020 to evaluate progress toward our stated DEI goals for the year. 

In 2021, Greater Public partnered with Swafia Ames, Managing Director, People, Strategy & Inclusion at Brighter Strategies, to discern our stated values, formalize our lexicon, and capture our annual DEI goals. We’ve also implemented a tracking system and weekly dashboards to help everyone in our organization view our annual goals and activity toward those goals.

Greater Public Board of Directors

Greater Public’s board of directors serves up to two 3-year terms. Board candidates are proposed by a nominating committee based on how their skills and experience complement and expand the capacity of the current board, and directors are elected by a full board vote. Measurable DEI progress is in the CEO goals and regularly reported to the board and the board receives updates on GP DEI activities.

Identity of Greater Public’s Board of Directors

Greater Public Staff

In 2021 we benchmarked Greater Public staff demographics:

Greater Public is a small organization that experiences low turnover in our staff and contract positions. We see this as a demonstration of positive work culture and job satisfaction. But it also means our goal of diversified representation within our organization is likely to advance slowly.

With this in mind, we are exploring ways to bring additional representation and perspective into Greater Public in the short term.

Greater Public Advisory Group

In 2022 we launched a pilot advisory group composed of BIPOC development leaders who are deeply engaged with Greater Public’s content and services. We meet with the group quarterly to receive their observations, ideas, and feedback on Greater Public’s existing content as well as recommendations for future content. 

We cultivate an equitable and inclusive culture within Greater Public.

In 2021 Greater Public conducted a benchmark salary review of staff positions and made adjustments to ensure that all staff were compensated fairly. All Greater Public employees receive a living wage and receive equal healthcare and retirement benefits (not based on title or seniority).

We recognized that in order to create a more transparent and accountable organizational culture, we need a more uniform approach to performance management. We’re piloting a performance management process in 2022 for staff members, and we adjusted contractor retainer agreements in 2022 to include accountability for Greater Public’s DEI goals.

We implemented an internal DEI communication plan in 2022 so all staff and contractors are aware of the goals, efforts, and accountability commitments made by the DEI committee.

From 2021-22 internal small groups met monthly to discuss assigned anti-racism and inclusion-focused educational content. About 85% of all Greater Public staff and contractors participated in these discussion groups. In 2023 we began paid training for all staff and contractors through Equity in the Center. 13 staff (80%) attended six different trainings in early 2023.

We join in solidarity with BIPOC-led efforts to advance equity in public media.

Public Media for All Pledge

Greater Public has committed to completing 10 actions within three years from the Public Media for All pledge in order to demonstrate internal DEI work. We completed six of ten actions in 2021.

We cultivate relationships with and among BIPOC colleagues within the public media system.

We’ve implemented systems that allow people who come into contact with Greater Public to self-identify. Staff receive monthly information about the self-identification of new and existing contacts. These identification processes allow for measurement and enable our accountability.

To share how you culturally identify with us, visit the account center and update your profile.

Our Hour

In 2020, we launched Our Hour: A Gathering for BIPOC in Public Media as a town-hall gathering focused on connection and empowerment for public media Professionals of Color. The group is facilitated by Greater Public Equity and Inclusion Advisor and Public Media for All coalition member Sway Steward. BIPOC professionals can join here.

PMDMC Fundraisers of Color Luncheons

At the 2018 PMDMC, Greater Public board member and WXPN Assistant General Manager Quyen Shanahan and UNCTV’s Susan Scott hosted the first of two Fundraisers of Color Luncheons. The event was planned by Greater Public staff member Leah Manners and occurred as a BIPOC-only informal lunch where participants could chat, meet peers, and share their experiences. Connections made here launched the first email list, Facebook group, and Slack groups for public media development professionals of color with the guidance of Sachi Kobayashi and Andrea Durazo. A second luncheon was planned by Leah Manners and held at the PMDMC 2019 in Dallas, hosted by Quyen Shanahan, Susan Scott, and newly added host Caryn Mathes, General Manager of KUOW.

In 2021, Sway Steward created an Our Hour event at the PMDMC as a placeholder for the Fundraisers of Color Luncheon. The two-hour event provided attendees with a chance to embark on discussions on how scarcity mindset is weaponized to oppress BIPOC, how to build transformative solidarity between marginalized groups, and how classical music programming can be used as a tool for social change.

In 2022, the Fundraisers of Color Luncheon returned as an opportunity for BIPOC to reconnect in-person and engage in conversations around the topic of generational differences. Leaders from across the industry were invited to share their perspectives via video recording on embracing differences. After watching a collection of video vignettes, attendees engaged in dialogue at their tables to develop deeper connections with one another.

The Fundraisers of Color Luncheon will return in 2023, building off of the success of past virtual and in-person events.

Network Growth

In 2021 we set a goal to complete 100 cultivation activities with BIPOC colleagues in order to build new relationships, highlight the system’s best work, and draw from many perspectives and voices to inform our content. We completed 115 cultivation activities that year.

Our goal was to complete 135 cultivation activities in 2022. We’re currently in discussion about how to move beyond measuring the quantity of these interactions to deepen the authenticity and quality of these connections.


Greater Public facilitates multiple active cohort groups called Roundtables in which public media professionals can connect with one another around shared work challenges. Some of these affinity groups came together over time through long-standing networks, so in 2022 we committed to publishing all active cohort groups and their criteria to make them transparent and accessible to all of our members. We also provided our Roundtable hosts with inclusiveness and facilitation training aimed at making all Roundtable cohorts welcoming spaces.


In 2021, Greater Public began to work on this Public Media for All action item:

Recognize that Greater Public staff and leadership have not been doing enough DEI work, while implicitly and/or explicitly reinforcing the status quo in public media through our work, which harmed or deprived people from opportunity. Apologize. Create space for white staff to take ownership of these issues, do work to dismantle racial bias, and learn to listen to and empower people of color colleagues.

Our first step was to examine who has been historically advantaged and disadvantaged by the practices within our own organization:

  • Until recently, Greater Public incorporated informal hiring practices such as word-of-mouth referrals for job candidates, and the use of the hiring criterion “good culture fit,” which often reinforces implicit bias. These practices advantaged:
    • individuals already working in the industry
    • individuals with existing relationships to the organization
    • individuals with identities already represented within the organization

Since 2020, we have created formal job postings for all staff and contractor positions.

  • Greater Public historically did not codify transparent and inclusive policies and procedures. This advantaged individuals who already shared cultural norms dominant within the organization.

We have worked to demonstrate transparency in all of our policies and procedures.

  • Greater Public historically did not actively cultivate a diversity of voices as webinar and conference presenters, and blog authors, which advantaged individuals who already held dominant representation in the industry.

We set annual representation goals in each content area.

  • Greater Public’s workforce has historically included many independent contractors. This practice advantaged individuals with sources of financial stability outside of contract employment.

We are assessing whether or not our compensation and benefits structures are applied fairly between current contractors and staff. In advance of posting another contract position, we will examine the barriers to access that such a position structure might create.

  • Greater Public has historically hired staff based on expertise as defined by dominant practices in our industry. This has advantaged long-time industry fundraising practitioners, and those with industry-generated credentials.

We are aware of the potential impact of this practice and have not outlined a hiring policy that doesn’t heavily rely on industry-generated credentials.

  • The professionalization of public media development beginning in the late 1980s focused on super-serving a core audience of largely white, formally-educated, wealthy Americans in order to stabilize and grow revenue. This has advantaged practitioners at larger organizations who represent these identities.

The legacy of these decisions is still active today. We are committed to supporting the growth of public media’s audience (and the staff who serve them) to include all Americans.

Greater Public acknowledges that our historic practices have led to inequitable opportunities, advancement, and financial gain for individuals within our organization and industry. We apologize for the harm we’ve caused, specifically to BIPOC and less established contributors in our industry who may have experienced decreased financial gain, advancement, exposure, and influence in public media as a result of our practices.

In 2022 we conducted conversations intended to illuminate specific harm that we may seek to repair. If an individual does experience harm when interacting with any aspect of our organization, we are committed to actively listening to and working toward repair in response to those experiences. If you would like to bring to light an instance of harm, please email us.

We support DEI growth and transformation throughout public media.

Greater Public has published our 2021 survey of public media staff about perceptions of public media’s DEI work and staff engagement. We plan to repeat the survey in 2023 in order to assess growth.

A Vision of Transparency and Inclusion

We hold a vision for what we want to see define the culture and practices of our industry in 10-20 years:

  • Power within public media organizations is representational of the surrounding community the organization serves.
  • Multiple perspectives have equal value within public media organizations.
  • Public media organizations practice a culture of transparency and accountability.
  • Public media organizations’ staffs are representative of the communities they serve, and hold the range of competencies (including cultural, lived experience, etc.) needed to achieve the goals of the organization.
  • Public media organizations maintain mutually beneficial community partnerships.

The DEI content we create in the form of webinars, blog posts, conference sessions, and training is focused on building skills in at least one of the above areas.

DEI Executive Forum

In 2021, we launched the DEI Executive Forum, which provides six-month cohort experiences to give public media executives the skills and strategy to make equity a reality in their organizations. The forum was created and is led by Equity Strategist Minal Bopaiah using principles of behavioral science and human-centered design to enable participants to move toward lasting organizational change. This is the feedback we received from the first Forum cohort. One participant reflected, “I learned more in these 6 months than I have in any other training or conference or affinity group.” Several participants observed that the Forum created a safe space in which participants were willing to be vulnerable, and this dynamic cultivated participant growth.

Inclusive Manager Program

The Inclusive Manager Program is for all leaders and managers in public media who want to address the complex challenges facing our industry when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion. The program is co-designed and facilitated by Kathy Lu and Shilpa Alimchandani. Greater Public has offered two of these cohorts each year since 2022.

Equity and Inclusion Thought Leadership

We maintain annual goals to publish equity and inclusion thought leadership on our blog, including eight posts in 2021, 13 posts in 2022, and a goal of at least 12 posts in 2023.

2023 marked the second year of the Audience Development Summit, a collaboration between Greater Public and PRPD, to bring together public media leadership, development, marketing, and content professionals to connect with and serve new audiences. Younger and more diverse audiences are the future of public media and our goals to develop those audiences are inextricable from DEI goals.

We will offer “Leading Change Inclusively,” a one-day workshop at PMDMC23 that trains executives and middle managers on a strategic approach to managing change, one that is both inclusive and effective, and one which allows leaders to be their best selves at work.

We use our platforms to elevate BIPOC voices and leadership in public media.

Because Greater Public elevates the accomplishments of individuals and organizations as part of our conferences, webinars, and blog posts, we are accountable for cultivating and highlighting the work and experiences of diverse networks of people.

In 2020 we audited the whiteness of our own content, including authorship of blog posts, PMDMC panelists and webinar presenters with the goal of increasing the number and diversity of voices we represent in each of the above content areas.

The Public Media Development and Marketing Conference (PMDMC)

Starting in 2021, Greater Public began to intentionally program the PMDMC to use equity as a lens to to reframe the fundraising landscape. We program a track focused exclusively on DEI practices relevant to our industry titled “Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Action.” We also work to bring strategy and examples into every PMDMC track that point the way toward the equity-focused changes our industry needs in order to thrive.

PMDMC23 DEI Goals:
PMDMC22 DEI Goals:
PMDMC21 DEI Goals:

Greater Public Blog

In 2020 we audited our blog to determine how many posts were authored by white writers vs. BIPOC. We’ve set representation goals each year since.

Our goal in 2023 is to represent 30% BIPOC authorship on our blog.

  • 2022 percentage of posts by BIPOC authors: 20%
  • 2021 percentage of posts by BIPOC authors: 41%
  • 2020 percentage of posts by BIPOC authors: 12%
  • 2019 percentage of posts by BIPOC authors: 2%

Greater Public Suppliers and Service Providers

We are accountable for ensuring that our contracted external service providers are in alignment with our organizational values.

In 2021 we had conversations with our four largest vendors about their approaches to DEI and affirmed a values alignment with each of the vendors. That same year we sought to work with an audit firm that defined itself as a historically underutilized business. The Texas-based firm we selected is women-founded and owned Blazek & Vetterling.

Our work in 2022 is to examine the timelines and processes that can lead to our working with already-networked vendors due to time constraints. We also plan to advance accountability with vendors by developing a formal articulation of values to use in those partnerships.

Greater Public Website

With the exception of our blog, the fundraising content published on our website, greaterpublic.org, is written by our team of employees and contractors, and the demographics of authorship mirror the demographics of our organization. In our small organization with a low rate of turnover, this has made us aware of the perspectives that might be missing from the fundraising content we publish on our site.

We will begin to address this in 2022 when our pilot Advisory Group will review the content of at least two major website toolkits.


While we have not historically asked presenters to self-identify, these are our estimates of presenter representation in past years:

  • 2022 BIPOC presenters: 31% 
  • 2021 BIPOC presenters: 29%
  • 2020 BIPOC presenters: 27%
  • 2019 BIPOC presenters: 12%


Greater Public’s DEI work is active and is ongoing; there is much that remains to be done. By being transparent about our own actions, we at Greater Public hope to be in solidarity with the entire public media system about what a sustained, impact-focused commitment to DEI looks like: It is not an arrival point for an organization but a commitment to demonstrate our core values through action over time.