Letter from the editor: Setting a new standard as DEI editor

By Chiara Profenna | September 9, 2022 10:00am

Chiara Profenna, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion editor of The Beacon.

Media Credit: Emma Sells / The Beacon

The new academic year has burst into action, full of change and promises of hope, renewal and transformation. In response to a growing need for representation, The Beacon has also made a few changes, most notably the creation of the new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion editor position.

Following last semester’s addition of a DEI section on The Beacon website, Editor-in-Chief Brienna Haro felt it was important to create a corresponding editor position. 

Within The Beacon, we value  diversity, equity and inclusion and created this role to be an evolving position that exists to uplift the voices of marginalized communities on our campus. 

As the first DEI editor, I want to make my purpose clear to the community while I continue to decipher my role on the editorial board.

The DEI editor is responsible for ensuring inclusive coverage in our publication, while promoting the values of diversity, equity and inclusion in our practices.

This position is responsible for managing the growing DEI section on the website and maintaining a DEI mindset on staff. This mindset recognizes our implicit biases as individuals with personal experiences, while striving to be more inclusive in our work.

We’re all unique in our thoughts and experiences. DEI is not about ignoring those differences, it’s about acknowledging them and responding in an equitable manner.

Additionally, the DEI editor is a resource for BIPOC students, the LGBTQ+ community, DEI leaders on campus and anybody who feels, or has felt, marginalized in any capacity. 

The Beacon will always strive to be representative of the UP community as well as a safe space for students to be heard. As the student voice of UP, our biggest challenge is being able to share everyone’s experiences and opinions on campus.

Representing this diverse community is also a collaborative effort. Because DEI isn’t a fleeing headline, we want the UP community to use our platform, for uncovering truths as much as shining a spotlight on the incredible work done by leaders on campus. 

Chiara Profenna is the DEI editor of The Beacon. She can be reached at profenna23@up.edu