By Kailey Cota, SIPA student assistant
Posted September 29, 2020
The Southern Interscholastic Press Association (SIPA) is committed to helping students, advisers and administrators at schools across the South create high-quality student media programs and cultivate a meaningful relationship with peers and mentors.
Since 1923, the nonprofit organization has provided a unique experience for all kinds of storytellers. This summer, SIPA identified six core values to guide its programs, initiatives and opportunities.
SIPA commits to building and fostering relationships among both students and advisers across the region, creating a scholastic media family that inspires camaraderie, creativity and collaboration.
While building relationships, SIPA supports First Amendment rights throughout the Southeast region, encourages students to engage in the critical consumption of media, and guides students in improving the production of meaningful, ethical and accurate storytelling.
“In our core values, we wanted to emphasize elements that make SIPA unique as a scholastic journalism organization: that we are a regional organization, that we offer student and adviser leadership opportunities, that we build relationships and bonds beyond classrooms and state boundaries," Leslie Dennis, SIPA director, said.
Additionally, SIPA ensures scholastic media programs in majority-Black and Latinx and Title I schools will have equitable access to SIPA educational opportunities and encourages dialogue and student storytelling that is unique to the South.
“Two key points that I feel are critical are offering equitable access to Black, Latinx and Title I students and exploring topics of Southern storytelling – comfortable or uncomfortable – that illustrate the full range of voices within our region,” Dennis said.
By adding these core values to the mission statement, the executive committee hopes to give the SIPA community a sense of direction for the organization.
“These core values provide us a roadmap for our educational and financial initiatives and allow us to be transparent in how we serve our full membership,” Dennis said.