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Value of mission is shining forth. (NCEW Foundation).

From the selections in the symposium appearing in this edition of The Masthead, I couldn't help but sense a touch of satisfaction that in perhaps a modest way the NCEW Foundation's Minority Writers Seminar has contributed to opening opportunities for minority opinion writers. That, after all, was the inspiration for the seminar when it was conceived back in 1995.

In the seven seminars conducted since then, as reflected in the essays written for the symposium by three of our graduates--Deborah Locke, Leroy Chapman, and Shanna Flowers--some progress has been made to bring talented new voices and perspectives into the craft.

Because I've been blessed to witness all seven of the workshops at The First Amendment Center in Nashville, Tennessee, I can attest especially to the dedicated efforts of Chuck Stokes, who also hasn't missed a session. His column in this edition offers a good example of the devotion the "faculty" members in previous years have brought to share with participants. All the essays in this symposium are valuable and fascinating reading, but I was especially drawn to Vanessa Gailman's piece, because in it she demonstrates the spirit of what the seminar seeks to impart by attracting minority journalists into opinion writing.

A new "faculty" member who just joined our team last spring, Vanessa has accepted my invitation to lead the eighth annual program May 1-4, at the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute at Vanderbilt University Testimonies--exhortations?--in this edition's symposium indicate to me that the NCEW Foundation has embarked on a mission, and made considerable headway, toward advancing the cause of greater diversity.

NCEW Foundation president Tommy Denton is editorial page editor of The Roanoke Times in Virginia. He is an NCEW past president. E-mail him at tommyd@roanoke.com
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Author:Denton, Tommy
Publication:The Masthead
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 22, 2002
Words:289
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