Why Sheroes Gala is Celebrating Women’s Media Leader Julie Burton

The Multicultural Media and Correspondents Association hosted the Sheroes in media gala to recognize the women leading the fight for diversity in journalism.

In honor of Women’s History Month, MMCA hosted a gala to recognize women leaders who fight for media diversity. This fundraiser went towards each of the organizations led by these women. 

Julie Burton
Julie Burton, president and CEO of Women’s Media Center (Image Credit: MMCA)

MMCA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to utilizing means, such as this gala, to address the issue of diversity in media reporting. The organization has acknowledged that the lack of diversity in media has major ramifications for the state of economy, society and politics.

Honorees from this first annual Sheroes in media gala included the president of the National Association of Black Journalists, Dorothy Tucker, president of the Native American Journalists Association, Francine Compton, board chair of the All Women in Media Foundation, Heather Cohen, president of the National Press Club, Lisa Matthews, president of the Asian American Journalists Association, Michelle Lee, and president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Nora Lopez. 

Women’s Media Center and Julie Burton Honored for Accelerating Media Diversity

One of the seven total recipients was Julie Burton, the president and CEO of the Women’s Media Center (WMC). In addition to Burton, this organization is co-founded by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem. 

The Women’s Media Center is an intersectional feminist organization focused on amplifying the voices and stories of women and girls. They do this by researching through their own media lab and hosting both online and on-air journalism. Within the organization there are also opportunities that allow them to teach women and girls to be effective in media. 

SheSource is another prolific asset within WMC, allowing the organization to promote and assist women experts in all fields. 

Burton leads this organization in its advocacy, journalism, research and initiatives designed to empower women and girls in media. She is responsible for the creation of the WMC Media Lab, along with many of the reports and research programs hosted by the WMC. Further, she oversees both the on-air and online media channels run by the organization. 

Burton Highlights Importance of WMC’s Mission

“We at the Women’s Media Center work every day to see more women, hear more women, and read more women on all news platforms. Every project we do has a lens on diversity, inclusion, and equality,” Burton said in her acceptance speech. “Our reports — especially our WMC Status of Women in the U.S. Media and our WMC Status of Women of Color in the U.S. Media — demonstrate the lack of equality for women, and especially women of color, on all platforms of media. Thank you for seeing our work, valuing it, and encouraging us to fight on for a world where each of us and all our stories matter.”

As Julie Burton herself noted, her organization has a record of success in training reporters, especially those who are women of color. Roughly 66% of the women taking part in the WMC Progressive Women’s Voices program are women of color. 75% of the media specialists they trained have worked for outlets such as The New York Times, Washington Post, NPR and CNN. 

More than half of the women experts that the WMC SheSource program promotes to journalists are women of color. As Burton herself mentioned at the gala, “I really think that equality of voice and opportunity has been a guiding light in my life.”

Indeed, this dedication to diversity and promoting an inclusive media experience portends well for the future of diversity in creative media.

One of the Women’s Media Center Board Chairs, Janet Dewart Bell, had this to say about the recognition: “Julie Burton’s vision and tenacity to diversify the media landscape are extraordinary and transformative,” she said. “Under her leadership, the Women’s Media Center strives to foster a more inclusive, representative media — one that truly reflects the wonderful stories and voices of a multicultural society.”


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Author: Kimberly Pike

Kimberly Pike is a writer, artist and self proclaimed cat lady living in Rhode Island. She is passionately writing about women's issues and helping to teach others about it.

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