Feb 17, 2006 in NEWS

CIIJ's 15th Anniversary Fundraiser A Success!

-- For a multimedia presentation on the night's events, click here:
CIIJ Celebrates 15 Years of Excellence

-- Watch the CIIJ 15th Anniversary Video produced by Andrew Devigal.

-- Check out the video made by the Founders Award recipients, CBS5!

-- To view and purchase photos from the night's celebration,
check out our photo gallery on Shutterfly.

-- Click here to view Betty Medsger's keynote speech!

-- See information about donating to the Challenge Fund here.


San Francisco – February 1st, 2006

Respected reporters and key journalism figures from all over the country converged at San Francisco State University on Feb. 1 to celebrate the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism's 15th Anniversary Fundraiser.

"I think this is an absolutely amazing point in history to celebrate 15 years for CIIJ," said Jon Funabiki, CIIJ's first director in the early 1990s. He is now with the Ford Foundation.

Funabiki was one of about 150 donors from organizations such as the Ford Foundation, CBS 5, KQED, Alameda Newspapers Group, San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News at the dinner. CIIJ raised $10,400 that night – putting a large dent in the $38,000 it received as part of the Challenge Fund for Journalism II, a matching grant program sponsored by the Ford Foundation, the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

CBS 5 Eyewitness News anchor Barbara Rodgers, KQED President Jeff Clarke and Félix Gutiérrez, former vice president of the Freedom Forum, were present at the event. They were among other high profile philanthropists, successful journalists, alumni and instructors from the SF State journalism department who exchanged hugs, and recollected fond memories of CIIJ.

"It's like a family reunion," said CIIJ director Cristina Azocar before presenting CIIJ's first Founders Award to CBS 5. Each year, the award will be given to an organization partnering with CIIJ that pushes diversity to the forefront. The award is given in honor of Betty Medsger who founded CIIJ in 1990. "Creating the center was our way of carrying out a formal commitment we made to help diversify newsrooms," Medsger said.

CBS 5 News Director Dan Rosenheim, who accepted the award, said his news organization was humbled and grateful for being recognized.

"We will look at this award as encouragement that we're headed in the right direction," he said.

--Poh Si Teng