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WFAE journalists selected for 'Upward:NC' leadership program

Miller and Mobley Smith
Jeff Cravota
Dante Miller, left, and Sarah Mobley Smith

Sarah Mobley Smith and Dante Miller have been chosen to participate in “Upward: NC,” a leadership development program for journalists of color.

As two of six fellows from around the state, Mobley Smith and Miller will attend workshops and receive one-on-one mentorship as part of the program, which was designed by media consultant Emma Carew Grovum and has been launched in partnership with the NC Local News Workshop at Elon University.

Recruitment and retention of journalists of color are challenges for local newsrooms across the country. Upward: NC looks to identify and invest in future leaders. Journalists from The News & Observer, WRAL, The Charlotte Observer and PBS North Carolina also are participating in the program.

“We are extremely excited and proud to have Sarah and Dante participate in this program,” said Debra Turner Bailey, WFAE’s chief people officer. “Not only will this be a great networking and developmental experience for them; we are also hoping to learn things, which will enhance our internal mentoring initiatives.”

"As members of our Race & Equity Team, Dante and Sarah already are leaders in our newsroom who helping to shape our coverage and understanding of communities of color and those struggling to attain equity and economic mobility in this region," said Ju-Don Marshall, WFAE's chief content officer and executive vice president. "I'm happy to see a program emerge here in North Carolina that can help support them as their leadership and influence continue to grow."

WFAE Race & Equity Coverage

WFAE has expanded its staff to increase coverage of race and equity issues. Mobley Smith, Miller and others work to ensure WFAE's sources, reporting, talk shows and live discussions are as representative as possible. A snapshot of the team's work includes:

Dante Miller

As a community engagement producer, Miller has coordinated in-person and virtual events about race and equity in Charlotte, including the "Black fathers on fatherhood" and a five-part series on mental health. She joined WFAE as a Report for America corps member in 2020. Read more about Miller and her work.

Sarah Mobley Smith

Mobley Smith joined WFAE as the senior editor of the Race & Equity Team in 2021. Her career began at her college NPR member station WEAA and she now has over three decades of experience working in public broadcasting. Mobley Smith has worked on several shows at NPR including “Morning Edition,” “Weekend Edition” and “All Things Considered.” She also spent time in Maryland at WZYQ in Frederick and WYPR in Baltimore. Read more about Mobley Smith and her work.