Letter from the editor: DEI isn't a piece of the story, it is the story

By Austin De Dios | January 26, 2022 9:58pm

Austin De Dios, Editor-in-Chief for 2021-22.

Media Credit: Brennan Crowder / The Beacon

“Every story is a DEI story.” 

Since my internship with the Dow Jones News Fund this summer, those words have never left me. My internship cohort was selected by the American City Business Journals to cover one thing: diversity, equity and inclusion in business.

But that internship taught me that it isn’t just “one thing.” It’s everything. 

DEI is not a term to be taken lightly. It is not a source for marketing material to promote how “inclusive” a business or organization is — although that is often how it’s treated. 

It isn’t demonstrated through false words and tokenism, or proven in pamphlets and brochures. 

It is the embodiment of a struggle endured every day by a countless number of people. It is the umbrella in which we shield ourselves from the rain of mistreatment, harassment and alienation, and try to right the wrongs of the past. 

Improvement is shown through constant and tireless effort. It is proven every day when people go to work and the classroom feeling like they belong. Establishing an inclusive climate isn’t a battle to win in a day, it's a lifelong fight for equality and fairness. 

I have always felt like it’s a journalist's duty to document that struggle and the change that comes from it. I know so many of my colleagues and friends who feel the same. 

Over the years, The Beacon has acted as a written record of the history of our institution. The highs and lows, successes and shortcomings. And a big piece of that history has been DEI, the challenges posed to QTBIPOC students, faculty and staff on this campus as it strives to be the inclusive place that it has promised and the efforts of our community members to make that inclusive place a reality. 

In an effort to show The Beacon’s dedication to covering this topic, we have made a new page to highlight DEI content and the history, developments, concerns and progress surrounding issues of inclusion on our campus. 

The Beacon will continue to seek the truth on DEI issues and report on them with fairness and compassion. Because this isn’t just a beat, or a story or a section on our sight — it’s the story. 

It’s the story that should bring us all together. 

Austin De Dios is the Editor-in-Chief of The Beacon. He can be reached at dedios22@up.edu.