Keith Woods is Chief Diversity Officer at NPR. He leads and supports NPR's efforts to bring greater diversity to its audience, content and staffing while creating a workplace where a diverse staff can grow and thrive. He is a resource across the organization for leadership and staff working on diversity efforts, as well as for public radio leaders from more than 260 Member stations across the country. Woods also heads up the editorial Training team, which helps strengthen and support the work of journalists by training them in leadership, storytelling, reporting, editing, diversity, audio production and digital strategy.
He came to NPR in 2010 to lead the organization's corporate diversity strategy and has worked with the newsroom on a multi-year effort to increase the diversity of sources. He has trained the staffs of more than 30 public media stations from Canton, N.Y., to Juneau, Alaska.
Before joining NPR, Woods was Dean of Faculty of The Poynter Institute, a school for journalists in St. Petersburg, Fla. There, he led a dynamic faculty and taught for 15 years in seminars on race relations, diversity, ethics, reporting and personal essay writing. He is co-author of The Authentic Voice: The Best Reporting on Race and Ethnicity.
Woods has worked to help professionals, faculty and students better understand and handle matters of diversity through workshops at dozens of journalism schools, radio stations, newspapers and television stations across the country. While at Poynter, he chaired two Pulitzer Prize juries.
He is a native of New Orleans and a graduate of Dillard University and the Tulane University School of Social Work. He is a former sports writer, news reporter, city editor, editorial writer and columnist, working his way through those jobs in 16 years at the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
As a child, I found my father's love of the national anthem utterly bewildering. His was the generation of men born free but shackled by bigotry. So why did he sound so proud, singing that song?