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Diversity and Inclusion

Diverse Voices In the Media

Diverse Voices in the Media: Lessons from Reporting on LGBTQ Kansas
Engagement: Introductory           

C.J. Janovy’s 2018 book, No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas, tells a surprising story of grassroots activism in the stereotypically hostile state of Kansas. Winner of the Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize, it was a 2019 Kansas Notable Book and a finalist for a national Lambda Literary Award. Two of the book’s chapters take place in Manhattan. This session offers a unique opportunity for dialogue between community members and the journalist who wrote about that community. In a panel discussion, Janovy and several of the Manhattan activists she wrote about will explore questions of trust in the media, how mainstream journalists engage with the LGBTQ community, and how students can approach these stories.

Sponsored by the Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media/A.Q. Miller School of JMC



Dr. Steven SmethersDr. Steven Smethers
A. Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Dr. J. Steven Smethers is the Director of K‐State’s A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He also teaches in such areas as community journalism, media convergence, media management, and qualitative research. A former Kansas broadcaster, Dr. Smethers is a member of the board of directors of the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Foundation, and he is a past member of the KAB board of directors. His background in local broadcasting has yielded a research agenda that is grounded in community journalism and engagement, and he has conducted research designed to help Kansas communities explore alternative media delivery sources for relaying community news. His community journalism research interests have also yielded regional histories of local broadcasting, and how rural radio stations reflected the rural lifestyles of the people they served.


CJ Janovy

 C.J. Janovy
Author of "No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas"

C.J. Janovy is a veteran journalist with deep roots in the Midwest. She writes columns and edits the opinion section of the Kansas Reflector, part of the national States Newsroom network of nonprofit journalism sites focused on state governments. Prior to joining the Reflector, Janovy served as digital managing editor and as an arts reporter at KCUR, Kansas City’s NPR affiliate. She also spent more than a decade as editor of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt-weekly newspaper, during the era when it was owned by Village Voice Media. 





Dr. Brandon Haddock

Dr. Brandon Haddock
LGBT Resource Center Coordinator


Dr. Brandon Haddock is the student services coordinator of the LGBT Resource Center at Kansas State University. They received their doctorate in geography at K-State in 2016, where their research has focused on issues of rural minority populations and sexualities and gender identities with attachment to rural place and space. Haddock has worked in LGBT education and advocacy work more than 25 years with organizations such as AIDS Project of the Ozarks, Gay and Lesbian Community Center of the Ozarks, and the Human Rights Campaign.  





Darci PottroffDarci Pottroff
Director of Application Services Information Technology

Darci Pottroff is director of application services in the Information Technology unit at K-State, where she manages the KSIS, HRIS, FIS, CRM and other systems. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees while working full time at K-State. In 2014, Pottroff and her wife were the first couple legally married in Riley County, and were among the plaintiffs who sued the state of Kansas for recognition of their marriage. In 2015, Pottroff was elected to the Riley City Council. She and her wife have three adult children and five grandsons.





Christopher Renner

Christopher Renner
Applied Linguist, Educator, Multiculturalist
and Community Organizer 

Christopher Renner is an applied linguist, educator, multiculturalist and community organizer. He is the former Italian instructor at K-State. He was a founder of the Flint Hills Human Rights Project, former board member and chair of the Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice and served on the Social Service Board for the City of Manhattan. From 2005-2010, he hosted the public affairs program “Community Bridge” on KSDB 91.9 FM. He co-chairs the local Indivisible group and serves on the executive committee for the Riley County Democratic Party. 





Gloria Freeland
Professor Emerita
A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communication