There’s no one better to advise up-and-coming journalists than someone who has been in the industry. And for Melissa Harris-Perry, mentoring the female journalists of tomorrow is not just something she wants to do; it’s something she feels is a necessity.
According to TIME, the editor-at-large of Elle.com and founding director of Wake Forest University’s Anna Julia Cooper Center is creating and leading a mentorship program for “five female Wake Forest undergraduate students focused on creating content on issues that affect women and girls of color.”
Harris-Perry told TIME that she wanted to start the program to not only launch the journalists of tomorrow, but to also help the next generation achieve the diversity that current newsrooms lack.
“Newsrooms aren’t as diverse as our audiences and as our population,” Harris-Perry explained to TIME. “It’s important that we’re developing young talent and making sure that young people who have these skills and have these interests will contribute in the long run in making sure that our newsrooms are reflective of their readers.”
Thus, the program will offer five students training from Harris-Perry herself, as well as other magazine editors and industry professionals, according to TIME, and at the end of the year-long program, “the scholars will produce a long-form multimedia project centered around a certain issue, which will be published on Elle.com.”
As for Harris-Perry, she hopes the program serves the students well and launches them into the careers of their dreams.
“They have extraordinary big goals,” Harris-Perry said of the students in the program, according to TIME. “Whether they want to go to law school or become a beauty editor, we want to provide them with the foundational support to do that.”