KOTO Making Great Strides To Be A More Diverse, Equitable & Inclusive Organization

In 2020, as the pandemic unfolded, it became clear to the KOTO staff and board that it needed to do much better in reflecting the needs of its diverse community — as its mission statement proclaims. Partnering with the Telluride Medical Center, KOTO began offering Spanish interpretation during its regular noon COVID updates in an effort to address social disparities highlighted during the COVID-19 crisis. The noon updates are still offered in English and Spanish every Thursday. Working with the Collaborative Action for Immigrants (CAFI), KOTO has continued taking steps to create actionable change within its organization. Some have been small. For example, KOTO incorporated Diversity, Equity & Inclusion into its strategic plan and updated KOTO’s diversity statement in the personnel policy. Other changes have been more forward facing, such as introducing a Spanish informational news program at 6:30 p.m. on Monday nights and offering its public affairs program, “Off the Record,” in Spanish once a month. One of the more poignant takeaways from DEI training was that  “if you mean it, put it in your budget.” KOTO took that to heart, and are budgeting for a bicultural reporting position in 2022 to expand its Spanish news programming. KOTO looks forward to collaborating with CAFI and other community partners to continue learning, listening and taking steps to become a more inclusive organization.