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Regional Media Summit, “Stories from the Four Corners: Empowering the Southwestern Perspective”

April 29, 2016 @ 8:30 am - 4:45 pm MST

Free - $35

UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, in partnership with the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), is holding its fourth regional conference for a special gathering in Phoenix!

The regional event titled “Stories from the Four Corners: Empowering the Southwestern Perspective” on April 29, 2016, will bring journalists from around the country to Arizona State University for an event centered on prevalent and emerging issues within the Southwest.

Twitter_logo_blue Follow this event on Twitter at #UNITYphx

Workshops will include education, immigration, law enforcement, public records, community outreach and entrepreneurial journalism.

UNITY will also be hosting a free rooftop networking reception at Hotel San Carlos on April 29, 2016, immediately following the Regional Summit from 5:30 – 7:30 PM. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served.

UNITY Student Reporter Shine Salt will be covering the Phoenix Regional Summit and Town Hall.

Here is her biography:

Shine Salt

Shine Salt

Shine Salt is from Kayenta, Ariz., located on the Navajo Nation. She is from the Folded Arm Clan born for the Mexican Clan, her maternal grandfather is the Deer Spring Clan and paternal grandmother is the Bitter Water Clan. In the Navajo culture, it is taught at an early age to say your clans first for introduction to another person. The clan system is very essential to the Navajo tribe because it defines where an individual comes from and to meet extended family.

She received her bachelor’s degree in Fall 2013 for Journalism and Mass Communication, and a minor in American Indian Studies at Arizona State University. Within her time at ASU and after, she has interned with various news outlets: Navajo Times, Arcadia Newspaper, KPHO.com with CBS, and the Cronkite Journal. Shine was accepted into programs like the Native American Journalism Association (NAJA) and the Washington Internship for Native Students (WINS).

While reporting for the news outlets, she learned about community topics like cultural issues of sacred land sites on federal-public land, community development, and government-to-government relations of political affairs among the Navajo Nation and States. In 2015, Shine received a second place award in the Native Media-Student Division for Best News Story with NAJA of a protest at a football game in Phoenix involving the controversial Washington name. Through the experiences of reporting for Native issues, she ambitiously continued her academics to further research tribal laws. For that, Shine has put her minor into a bachelor’s degree for Applied Indigenous Studies at Northern Arizona University, and will be graduating by May 2016.


8:30 AM – 9:15 AM – Registration & Continental Breakfast (First Amendment Forum – second floor)

Russell Contreras, UNITY Board President; Jason Begay, NAJA Board President; Christopher Callahan, Founding Dean, ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication; and Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez, Event Chair, Freelance Journalist, Moderator

9:15 AM – 10:00 AM – Welcome & Opening Remarks (Cronkite Theater)

AM Keynote: Richard de Uriarte, Faculty Associate, History Principles and Ethics of Journalism ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Biggest Room in the World: The Room for Improvement

Description: Journalists have exponentially greater technology tools today for research, storytelling and distributing their work. But traditional values still apply.

10:00 AM – 10:15 AM – Break

10:15 AM – 11:30 AM – Session 1 Breakouts

Workshop #1 – Community Outreach Panel – Below the “Diversity” Surface: Bridging Relationships and Building Sources” – Lloyd Asato, Executive Director, Asian Pacific Community in Action; Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Pastor, First Institutional Baptist Church; Raquel Terán, Arizona State Director, One Arizona; Patricia Hibbeler, CEO, Phoenix Indian Center; and Venita Hawthorne James, ASU Director of Cronkite News, Moderator (Cronkite Theater)

Description: The southwest has diverse communities and including all of them in stories on various issues can be challenging. This session will offer a candid discussion by community leaders about understanding the issues that most affect each ethnic group. Learn how to build trusting relationships with communities and develop sources.

Workshop #2 – “Business Startup Panel – The Power of Startups: Starting Your Own Media Company” – DeShuna Spencer, CEO kweli TV, EmpowerMagazine.com, Radio Host, 89.3 FM WPFW; Eric Ortiz, CEO evrybit; Hector Rodriguez, Author, Rio Bravo Comics; and CJ Cornell, Managing Director at Propel Ventures, Moderator (Executive Board Room – Rm. 444) Description: Startups are changing the way media is created and consumed amid a changing landscape. Learn about these entrepreneurs are putting their ideas in action and how they are promoting their plan.

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM – Luncheon & Keynote Forum – “The Other Arizona: Stories We Are Missing” – Lloyd Asato, Executive Director, Asian Pacific in Action; Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Youngberg, Pastor, Rebel & Divine UCC; Tom Arviso Jr, Publisher, The Navajo Times, CEO, Navajo Times Publishing Company; and Patty Talahongva, Freelance Journalist, Moderator (First Amendment Forum)

1:00 PM – 1:15 PM – Break

1:15 PM – 2:30 PM – Session 2 Breakouts

Workshop #3 – “Education Panel – Hope or Heartbreak: The Future of Education?” – Alia Beard Rau, State Budget and Legislative Reporter, AZ Republic; and Steve Doig, Knight Chair in Journalism, ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications; Rhonda LeValdo , Faculty, Media Communications, Haskell Indian Nations University; and Dr. Rufus Glasper, President, League for Innovation in the Community College, Moderator (Rm. 256)

Description: This session will highlight best practices in effectively reporting the complexities of the education beat. Learn about how current budget shortfalls, political issues, and social trends affect marginalized communities and shape the future of education. Also, learn how data can create stories!

Workshop #4 – “The Native American/Latino Vote – Potential 2016 Swing Blocs” – Felicia Fonseca, Flagstaff Correspondence, Associated Press; Chris Ramirez, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Enterprise Reporter/Business; Gabriela Maya Bernadett, Freelance Reporter, Indian Country Today; Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, State Politics Reporter, Arizona Republic; and Maritza Gallego Félix, Reporter, Producer and Writer, Telemundo Arizona, Moderator (Executive Board Room – Rm. 444)

Description: The 2016 US presidential election comes after a multiethnic, diverse coalition elected the nation’s first black president. Each voting bloc has pressing concerns from police shootings to school reform to voting and water rights. What should journalists and community members be expecting in the 2016 election?

2:30 PM – 2:45 PM – Break

2:45 PM – 4:00 PM – Session 3 Breakouts

Workshop #5  “Immigration Panel – 2016 and Beyond: Immigration Fight or Flight “Astrid Galvan, Tucson Correspondence, Associated Press; Nigel Duara, Phoenix Correspondence, L.A. Times, Jude Joffe-Block, Senior Field Correspondent, KJZZ Public Radio; and Valeria Fernández, Contributing Journalist, Arizona Center for Investigative Journalism; and Suzanne Gamboa, Senior Writer/Latino Section, NBC News.com, Moderator (Rm. 256)

Description: Immigration remains a polarizing topic in the American Southwest, especially in Arizona and especially in a presidential election year. But beyond the shouting and the policy fights are real struggles involving real people. Panelists will discuss how immigrants are reshaping communities and our political environment.

Workshop #6 – Law Enforcement Panel – A Balancing Act: Media and Law Enforcement Relations in Race and Cultural Reporting.” – Lt. Michael Pooley, Tempe Police; Gary Tahmahkera, Lab Coordinator, ASU Microbiology, Former Chief of Police, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community; Viridiana Hernandez, Public Policy Director, Center for Neighborhood Leadership; and JJ Hensley, Digital Content Editor, Former Maricopa County Sheriff and Public Safety Reporter, Arizona Republic, Moderator (Executive Board Room – Rm. 444) Description: This panel of law enforcement and seasoned crime beat reporters discuss closing the gap between media and police. The group will delve into how journalism plays a role in how covering crime and police also affects other social issues. And how we can all be responsive and responsible in the need for race and cultural reporting.

4:00 PM – 4:15 PM – Break

4:15 PM – 4:45 PM – Closing Session – “Four Corners: Facing History and Building Futures” (First Amendment Forum) Russell Contreras, UNITY Board President; and Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez, Event Chair, Freelance Journalist, Moderator

PM Keynote: Cynthia Zwick, Executive Director, Arizona Community Action Association

Diverse Communities, Common Issues

 Description: Diverse communities are the norm rather than the exception in our country, yet we continue facing challenges of poverty, oppression, racism, income inequality and economic inequity in an out-of-balance political environment influenced by money and lobbying, and one in which many voices go unheard. How do we unite rather than divide, empower rather than victimize or diminish, and what is our individual and collective responsibility?

Tom Arviso, Jr.

Tom Arviso, Jr.

Tom Arviso Jr. is the Chief Executive Officer of the Navajo Times Publishing Company, Inc. and the Publisher of the Navajo Times newspaper.

The Navajo Times Publishing Company is based in Window Rock, Ariz. on the Navajo Nation and is the only Native American owned and operated newspaper-publishing company in the United States. The Navajo Times newspaper is a weekly publication and it is the largest Native American owned newspaper with a paid circulation of 25,000 and over 200,000 readers each week.

A member of the Navajo tribe, Arviso is of the Toa’hani’ Clan (Near the Water Clan), born for the Ts’ah yisk’idnii’ Clan (Sage Brush Hill Clan). His maternal clan is Ta’baahi’ (Water’s Edge Clan) and his paternal clan is Tse’nahbil’nii’ (Sleep Rock People Clan).

Originally from Window Rock, Arviso majored in journalism at Arizona State University and at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Ariz. He is a graduate of Window Rock High School.

In September 2015, Arviso was voted to serve on the Associated Press Media Editors national Board of Directors. There, he represents small newspapers from all across the U.S.

Arviso served as the President of the board of directors of UNITY: Journalists for Diversity in 2013. UNITY is an international alliance of professional journalists associations made up journalists of color and minority journalism students from all over the world.

He is an honorary lifetime member of the Native American Journalists Association where he served as vice president, treasurer and as a board member for a number of years on the NAJA Board of Directors. NAJA has its headquarters at the University of Oklahoma in Tahlequah.

From 2002 to 2012, Arviso served on the board of directors of the Arizona Newspapers Association, based in Phoenix. While on the ANA board, he served as a voice and as an advocate for all minority-owned and operated newspapers, and journalists of color, throughout the Southwest.

In September 2012, the Associated Press Managing Editors Association presented Arviso with The Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership at its annual convention held at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

In April 2012, the Society of Professional Journalists in Arizona honored Arviso with its prestigious Phil Alvidrez Award for Excellence in Journalism, at an awards ceremony held at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.

In October 2009, Arviso was presented with the distinguished “John Peter and Anna Catherine Zenger Award for Freedom of the Press and the People’s Right to Know,” by the University of Arizona School of Journalism and the Arizona Newspapers Foundation.

Arviso received a John S. Knight Fellowship in Journalism in 2000- 2001 and studied newspaper management at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. He is the first full-blood Native American to have been selected for a Knight Fellowship.

In October of 1998 Arviso was honored by the Arizona Newspapers Association with the “Freedom of Information Award.”

The Native American Journalists Association presented Arviso with its prestigious “Wassaja Award,” in July 1997, for “extraordinary service to Native journalism.”

Arviso began his career with the Navajo Times in 1983 as a college intern. He later worked as a sports writer, sports editor, reporter and photographer for the Navajo Times. He was hired as the managing editor of the Navajo Times in October 1988 and assumed the duties of editor and publisher in 1993.

A staunch believer and advocate for the First Amendment and Freedom of the Press, Arviso fought many battles with tribal government leaders and officials over editorial control and censorship of the Navajo Times for a number of years.

To seek independence from tribal government ownership, Arviso lobbied and then convinced the Navajo Nation Council to approve the for-profit, incorporation of the Navajo Times. The tribal council voted in favor of this official legislation on October 23, 2003.

On January 1, 2004, the Navajo Times officially began operation as the Navajo Times Publishing Company, Incorporated. For the past 12 years NTPC, Inc. has been quite successful in operating as an independent business and an award-winning newspaper.

Arviso, his wife Brenda, and their children and grandchildren currently reside in Gallup, N.M.

Lloyd Y. Asato

Lloyd Y. Asato

Lloyd Y. Asato is the Executive Director for Asian Pacific Community in Action. Before returning to APCA in 2014, Lloyd served as the Deputy Director for the National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians where he led the organization’s national policy advocacy work. Lloyd, a graduate of the University of Hawai`i, also served as senior policy analyst and community capacity program director for the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. Lloyd began his career in public health as director of the Hawai`i State Office of Rural Health and served as senior planner in the Office of Planning Policy, and Program Development, Hawai`i State Department of Health.

Dagoberto Bailon

Dagoberto Bailon

Dagoberto Bailon started organizing in 2006 to stop Proposition 300, a proposition that would bar undocumented students from accessing in-state tuition. In 2011, he co-founded the Arizona Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project (AZ QUIP) to provide a safe space for people who identified as undocumented and queer (‘UndocuQueer’). Dago uses cultural organizing by incorporating drag at immigrant events to talk about LGBTQ issues. Further, he developed AZ QUIP curriculum that is now being implemented with QUIP nationally. He is a 2014 Code for Progress fellow.

Gabriela Maya Bernadett

Gabriela Maya Bernadett

Gabriela Maya Bernadett is a proud member of the Tohono O’odham Nation, registered with Gu Achi District. She currently resides in Tucson, Ariz., and works as a freelance reporter for Indian Country Today covering issues pertaining to the Southwest.She graduated from Yale University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in History of Science/History of Medicine and the University of Arizona in 2015 with a master’s degree in American Indian Studies.

CJ Cornell

CJ Cornell

CJ Cornell is a serial entrepreneur, media industry executive, investor, advisor, mentor, author, speaker, educator with a long history of creating and marketing products in online media, television and other consumer platforms. As a serial entrepreneur, CJ Cornell was CEO, founder or senior management of more than a dozen successful startup ventures that collectively attracted over $250 million in private funding; created nearly a thousand new jobs; and launched dozens of innovative consumer, media and communications products that have exceeded $3 billion in revenues. Recently he has been a visiting professor of entrepreneurship at New York Institute of Technology, Director of Venture Development at Cogswell Polytechnical College in Silicon Valley, and Professor of Practice of Digital Media & Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication, and was awarded ASU’s prestigious President’s Award for Innovation. Dr. Cornell holds degrees in engineering, management and a Ph.D. in marketing and strategy, and sits on the board of 5 high tech companies and many public entrepreneurship development agencies.

Richard de Uriarte

Richard de Uriarte

Richard de Uriarte is a faculty associate at Arizona State University Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications, where he teaches History, Principles and Ethics of Journalism. He retired in December 2015 after having served seven years as Communications Manager at the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and 30 years as a reporter, editorial writer and Reader Advocate at The Phoenix Gazette and Arizona Republic. During his career he covered and commented upon state and local government, the legislature, politics, demographics, immigration and the media itself.

He spent nine years in New Mexico as a reporter and columnist at The Las Cruces Sun News and as press secretary for Gov. Jerry Apodaca. His writing has been honored by both the Arizona and New Mexico Press Associations and by the Valley of the Sun Chapter of SPJ with its Phil Alvidrez Award for Excellence in 2009. He served on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Town Hall and currently is on the advisory council of The Ryle Foundation. For 21 years, he was a volunteer basketball coach at the Kieckhefer Boys & Girls Club in South Phoenix. A graduate of St. Joseph’s University with a master degree in Public Affairs Journalism, he won a Fulbright and Rotary Foundation Scholarship to Peru in 1969.

He is married to the former Frieda Garcia of Santa Fe. They have four daughters and six grandchildren, all in Phoenix.

Steve Doig

Steve Doig

Steve Doig is the Cronkite School’s Knight Chair in Journalism, specializing in data journalism — the use of computers and social science techniques to help reporters do their jobs better. Doig joined the Arizona State University faculty in 1996 after a 23-year career as a newspaper journalist, including 19 years at the Miami Herald. There, he served variously as research editor, pollster, science editor, columnist, federal courts reporter, state capital bureau chief, education reporter and aviation writer. Investigative projects on which he worked at the Miami Herald or here at the Cronkite School have won several major journalism prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, the Investigative Reporters & Editors Award and the George Polk Award for Medical Reporting. He has trained hundreds of reporters and journalism students in workshops across Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia, and was a Fulbright Distinguished Professor in Portugal. He is a political science graduate of Dartmouth College. He also graduated from, and later taught at, the Defense Information School and spent a year as a combat correspondent for the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, for which he was awarded a Bronze Star.

Nigel-Duara-HeadshotNigel Duara covers the border for the Los Angeles Times, based in Tucson. A Miami native, Duara was previously a reporter for the Associated Press in Portland, Ore., the greatest city in the world. He is also a veteran of the American Middle West, with stints in Iowa City and Des Moines, Iowa, where he met his wife, who insisted on being in his bio, along with their yellow lab, Churchill. He graduated, barely, from the Missouri School of Journalism.

Maritza Gallego Felix portrait

Maritza Gallego Felix

Maritza Gallego Felix’s work has been published in major newspapers in the U.S., Mexico and other countries. She is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and part of the ethnic media organization New America Media. She is a leader in the Arizona Latino Media Association and she has excelled throughout the last decade winning multiple awards. She is also the international representative of the Spanish organization Oceanidas in the United States and North America.

Maritza began her career in Televisa Hermosillo, and collaborated with some projects on Radio Sonora. She graduated with an honors degree in Communication Sciences at Universidad del Noroeste now the Universidad del Valle de Mexico. She got a diploma in Journalism from the Autonomous University of Chihuahua and a certificate of the prestigious association of journalist “La Máquina de Ideas.” She has also study social communications at Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey and BBC.

Maritza always felt a great passion for literature and investigative reporting; that’s why she joined the great editorial team of Healy Newspapers, first in El Imparcial and later La I in Hermosillo, Sonora. As a founding member of La I, Maritza joined a team of Mexican journalists who ventured to modernize journalism; with a focus on people, less on politicians.

Upon moving to the United States she became a freelance journalist writing stories about the lives of hundreds of immigrants who roam the “boulevard of broken dreams” in Los Angeles, California.

In 2009, she joined the editorial team of Prensa Hispana, one of the publications in Spanish with more reach and more impact in Arizona. Since then, she has won multiple awards from Arizona Press Club and has swept contests in Spanish. In 2012 and 2013 she was named the “Best Spanish Journalist” by Phoenix New Times, one of the most important publications in Arizona.

Besides reporting, writing and photography, Maritza also has a passion for television and radio. She writes, produces and creates.

Valeria Fernández

Valeria Fernández

Valeria Fernández of Uruguay is a contributing journalist for the Arizona Center for Investigative Journalism who brings more than a decade of experience as bilingual documentary producer covering Arizona’s immigrant community and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Her award-winning, independent reporting has taken her throughout the world, and has focused on topics ranging from migrant kidnappings to racial profiling. Fernández also contributes to CNN Spanish and Al Jazeera English, and has been published by newsrooms such as The Associated Press. In 2012, she produced the documentary “Two Americans,” which contrasts Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and a 9-year-old U.S. citizen trying to stop her parents’ deportation. In 2014, she helped produce the international web documentary, “Connected Walls,” about life along the Arizona borderlands.

Marchelle F. Franklin

Marchelle F. Franklin

Marchelle F. Franklin is Director of Police Community Affairs with the Phoenix Police Department. In this role, she serves as executive advisor to the Chief of Police and City Manager’s Office on strategies to enhance police and community relations.Marchelle has over 28 years of experience in the public and private sector with a strong background in public/private partnerships and alliances, developing and influencing public policy, community development and engagement, project planning/management, economic development, legislative affairs, strategic planning and human resources development.

Prior to her role in the Phoenix Police Department, Marchelle served as Deputy Aviation Director for Community Development and Government Relations with Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Chief of Staff to Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and Chief of Staff to Phoenix City Councilman Michael Johnson. Before joining the City of Phoenix in 2002, her career spanned over 16 years in senior and executive human resources management positions in the private sector.

Marchelle earned a Master of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Finance from Grand Canyon University, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and completed the Executive Development Program in Human Resources Consulting and Strategy Development at the University of Southern California.

She serves on the boards of the Black Chamber of Arizona (Board Chair), Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators Central Arizona Chapter. Marchelle is a member of the International City/County Management Association, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, NAACP (Life Member), National Coalition of 100 Black Women Phoenix Metropolitan Chapter (Charter Member) and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

She resides in Phoenix and is the mother of two adult sons.

Astrid Galván

Astrid Galván

Astrid Galván is an border and immigration correspondent for The Associated Press based in Tucson, Arizona. Galván worked as a reporter at the Arizona Republic and Albuquerque Journal from 2008 to 2013, covering topics including law enforcement, higher education and local government. In New Mexico, she wrote several investigative stories about the Albuquerque Police Department focusing on a spate of officer-involved shootings that prompted an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Felicia Fonseca

Felicia Fonseca

Felicia Fonseca is the northern Arizona correspondent for The Associated Press. Much of her coverage has focused on American Indian tribes and public lands. She recently was named to the AP’s expanded Race and Ethnicity Team that will focus this year on the election’s impacts on people of color. She graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Spanish. Prior to joining the AP that year, she worked as a copy editing intern at the Santa Fe New Mexican and the Albuquerque Tribune, and a reporter intern for La Voz del Norte, all in New Mexico. In 2010, she received The Associated Press-Robert Eunson Distinguished Lecturer Award from Northern Arizona University for her coverage of northern Arizona.

Rufus Glasper, Ph.D.

Rufus Glasper, Ph.D.

Rufus Glasper, Ph.D., is the President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement. He is also Chancellor Emeritus of the Maricopa Community Colleges, one of the nation’s largest multi-college community college systems. He served as chancellor from 2003 through February 2016, and previously held district leadership positions for more than two decades. In 2012, he was appointed to the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council, comprised of prominent university presidents and academic leaders charged with advising the Secretary and senior leadership at the Department on several key issues. Additionally, Dr. Glasper serves on the Air University Board of Visitors, the intellectual and leadership center of the Air Force that provides dynamic comprehensive education to prepare graduates to develop, employ, command, research and champion air, space, and cyberspace power at all levels, and the American Council on Education. Dr. Glasper also serves on the boards of the Arizona Community Foundation, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, The Valley of the Sun United Way, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences and The O’Connor Institute. He is also an emeritus member of Greater Phoenix Leadership. Dr. Glasper earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Luther College (Decorah, Iowa), and a Master’s and advanced degrees in school business administration from Northern Illinois University. He received his Doctorate of Philosophy degree in higher education finance from the University of Arizona.

JJ Hensley

JJ Hensley

JJ Hensley moved to Arizona in 2005 to cover Mesa Public Schools. He went on to cover business and public safety in Mesa before moving on to cover the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and later Phoenix police.

Since working as a reporter Hensley has served as the breaking news editor at The Arizona Republic, which provided the opportunity to work with journalism students at Arizona State University Cronkite School, and more recently as the digital content editor for azcentral.com.

His work as a reporter and editor in the Phoenix area offered a broad perspective on the impact that public institutions can have in our communities.

Venita Hawthorne James

Venita Hawthorne James

Venita Hawthorne James is a veteran journalist with more than three decades of experience at The Arizona Republic/azcentral.com. She leads the Cronkite News – Phoenix Bureau, in which students cover important stories across the state. She oversees coverage of sustainability and consumer news.

Hawthorne James was drawn to journalism by watching her mother lay out the weekly Iowa Bystander on the family dining room table. Her career began in her native Midwest, where she reported for The Topeka Capital-Journal. She then moved to Arizona, where she worked as a reporter, editor and news executive for more than 30 years at The Arizona Republic/azcentral.com.

Hawthorne James most recently led reporters and editors in the Republic’s Community Watchdog operation, dedicated to accountability coverage of city government, growth and development, public safety, K-12 education and reader-contributed content in cities and towns across the Phoenix metropolitan area. She led teams that launched community newspapers and websites in the West Valley and other regions. During her tenure, the newspaper conducted in-person and virtual town hall meetings on major issues and launched the Valley’s first virtual school-choice fair for middle school students and parents.

Hawthorne James is a former chapter president and regional director of the National Association of Black Journalists and collaborated with journalists, business and community leaders to host the 25th anniversary NABJ convention in 2000. She also is an alumnus of Leadership West, an organization the trains West Valley residents to create positive change in Arizona.

Hawthorne James is a former chapter president and regional director of the National Association of Black Journalists and collaborated with journalists, business and community leaders to host the 25th anniversary NABJ convention in 2000. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo.

Jude Joffe-Block

Jude Joffe-Block

Jude Joffe-Block got hooked on radio while working as an assitant to a radio reporter in Mexico, and has been happiest wearing headphones and pointing microphones ever since. Joffe-Block began serving KJZZ in October 2010 as a Fronteras: Changing America Senior Field Correspondent based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. She joined the Phoenix newsroom in July 2012. Before joining the Fronteras Desk, she contributed stories on immigration and criminal justice to KALW in San Francisco and multimedia content in both Spanish and English to The Associated Press in Mexico. She is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and Yale University, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico.

Rhonda LeValdo

Rhonda LeValdo

Rhonda LeValdo (Acoma Pueblo), Faculty in Media Communications at Haskell Indian Nations University. She is also the host for Native Spirit Radio 90.1 FM-KKFI Kansas City, Freelance Reporter for National Native News (Public Radio News) and Native News Network (Online). LeValdo is the Co-founder Wellbound Storytellers.com blog site and Native Health News Alliance (NHNA); and past president of the Native American Journalists Association. Rhonda also sits on the board of directors for Unity Journalists for Diversity.

Lt. Michael Pooley

Lt. Michael Pooley

Michael Pooley is a Lieutenant with the Tempe Police Department. He began his law enforcement career in 2001 with the Tempe Police Department where he has worked as a patrol officer, member of the SWAT Team, Narcotics Detective, Police Explorer Advisor, Patrol Sergeant, Negotiator Supervisor, Media Relations Sergeant and currently a Lieutenant over Hiring, Training, Firearms, and Media Relations. During his six years working in Narcotics, Lt. Pooley was involved in many narcotic investigations, from low level drug dealers to large scale drug cartel investigations and everything in between.

Lt. Pooley was assigned to a Federal Drug Task Force, HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) where he worked in many capacities with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies across the country to investigate large Drug Trafficking Organizations. Many investigations that he led involved Title three investigations (wire taps), Undercover Operations, working with confidential informants, writing and serving warrants, and organizing and initiating drug raids.

Lt. Pooley was recognized for his work and investigations both locally and nationally, receiving many awards and commendations including from the US Attorney’s office as well as from the Executive Office of the President of the United States, where he and his wife were flown to Washington DC to accept the award.

For the past three years, Lt. Pooley has been assigned as the Public Information Officer for the Tempe Police Department. During this time he has been the spokesman for many horrific and sensitive stories that gained local, national and international attention. Lt. Pooley has worked very closely with the media on a daily basis and understands their needs, while still upholding the integrity and sensitivity of each incident. Lt. Pooley works daily with local and national media outlets and has been commended by both for his hard work and honesty. During his tenure as PIO for the Tempe Police Department, Lt. Pooley has been instrumental in implementing and using the department’s social media platforms. He truly understands the use of social media and how important it is to communicate with the community and the media. Lt. Pooley has much experience in using social media to control the messages which are disseminated. Lt. Pooley earned a B.A. in Justice Studies from Arizona State University and a Master of Education, Counseling from Northern Arizona University. He has also graduated from the Northwestern University School of Police Command.

Chris Ramirez

Chris Ramirez

Seismic shifts in the oil and gas industry has touched off massive economic growth in Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend, making Chris Ramirez one of the most heavily-read journalists in Texas.

He works as an enterprise business reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, and has been in the news industry for more than two decades.

Before to his arrival to Corpus Christi in 2013, he worked as a metro reporter for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where he covered education, demographic trends and municipal government. Chris got his start in journalism working as writer for a small daily newspaper in the U.S. Virgin Islands. There, he covered everything from courts and crime to cricket matches. That eventually led to reporting positions at the Bakersfield Californian, the Albuquerque Journal and the Arizona Republic.

While working for the Republic, he was an integral part of the paper’s reporting team that covered the 2006 Arizona governor’s race. That election provided one of the nation’s first tests of controversial Voter ID law.

Chris was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., raised in Inglewood, Calif., and studied communications at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. In the 1990s, he represented Puerto Rico in international competition as a track athlete.

Alia Beard Rau

Alia Beard Rau

Alia Beard Rau is the state budget and legislative reporter for The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com. She has covered state politics for the past five years, focusing on the impact of key policy decisions on everyday Arizonans. Recent stories include an analysis of how much tax cuts have impacted the state’s finances, and an analysis of the private school tax credit program.

She has worked for The Arizona Republic for 12 years, covering a variety of education, government and public safety issues. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Hector Rodriguez

Hector Rodriguez

Hector Rodriguez is the author and creator of the internationally renowned comic book series, El Peso Hero. El Peso Hero has been one the most internationally talked about Latino superhero in decades. With modern social issues such immigration, human trafficking and institutional corruption, El Peso Hero has garnered attention and praise from the Latino community and been featured on Univision, CNN, Telemundo, Fusion, PRI The World, CBS Radio, Latino Magazine and countless of other media sites worldwide.

Fernanda Santos. (Photo by Nick Oza.)

Fernanda Santos. (Photo by Nick Oza.)

Fernanda Santos is chief of the Phoenix Bureau of The New York Times and the author of “The Fire Line: The Story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots and One of the Deadliest Days in American Firefighting,” to be published on May 3 by Flatiron Books. Fernanda has reported in three languages, in Latin America and the United States. She got her start in journalism in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, her home country, where she bore witness to violence, inequality and immeasurable hope. In those scenes, she found her passion for telling true stories.

Website: www.fernandasantosbooks.com

DeShuna Spencer

DeShuna Spencer

DeShuna Spencer is the Founder/CEO of kweliTV, a video-streaming platform offering indie films, documentaries, web shows and news programming for the global black community. For more than six years, Spencer has been the founding publisher of emPowermagazine.com. Spencer is also the producer/radio host of emPower Hour on DC’s 89.3 FM WPFW.

A Memphis native, Spencer graduated from Jackson State University where she studied communications and journalism. She has worked for The Clarion-Ledger and the The Oakland Tribune, and has written for the Crisis Magazine, AOL and the Washington Examiner. A former AmeriCorps*VISTA, she is an alum of the Chips Quinn Scholars Program, a competitive fellowship program for young journalists of color. In 2012, she was named 40under40 by The Envest Foundation for her entrepreneurial and philanthropic achievements. Recently, Spencer received the “Who’s Got Next” award by the National Action Network as a future leader in civil rights. Spencer, a budding filmmaker, recently completed her first documentary, Mom Interrupted. Follow her on twitter @deshuna.

The Rev. Dr. Warren Stewart Jr.

The Rev. Dr. Warren Stewart Jr.

Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Sr., is a native of Coffeyville, Kansas where he was reared in a Christian family and African-American Church environment. He accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior at the age of 16 and preached his Trail Sermon at the age of 17. He is married to the Rev. Karen E. (Curry) Stewart and they are the parents of a blended family of five sons, Warren, Jr., Matthew, Jared, Justin, Aaron and two daughters, Jamila Imani and Jessica Elizabeth Curry. He is the grandfather of Warren Josiah, III, Micaiah Lovel, Matthew Christian II, Jonny Angel, Jared Chamberlain II, Kaira Nechee, John Paul Silas, Jase Alexander, Joshua Elijah and Mia Noelai. He is presently the Senior Pastor of the First Institutional Baptist Church of Phoenix, Arizona and has served there since July 1, 1977. Dr. Stewart was appointed Executive Secretary of the Home Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., in November 1994 and served through January 2005, and also continued serving as Chair of that Board through January 2010.

Dr. Stewart’s academic achievements and awards include an Associate of Arts Degree, 1971, Honor Graduate, Coffeyville Community Junior College, Coffeyville, Kansas; Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion and Philosophy, 1973 graduating Summa Cum Laude, Bishop College, Dallas, Texas; Master of Divinity Degree, 1976, Union Theological Seminary, New York City; Master of Sacred Theology Degree, 1977, selected to deliver Commencement Address, Union Theological Seminary; Doctor of Ministry Degree, 1982, American Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley, California; was recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Ottawa University, Ottawa, Kansas, 1994; and the recipient of the Award of Excellence in Black Church Studies, 1982, Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies, Los Angeles, California. Dr. Stewart has also been the recipient of numerous awards and commendations from churches, colleges, civic and community organizations, locally, statewide and nationally. He was recognized by The Arizona Republic newspaper as one of the ten most influential religious leaders in the Valley (Phoenix), October 6, 1985, The Phoenix Gazette 1993 Hall of Fame as being “one of ten people whose achievements had the most notable effect on . . . Arizona,” the Arizona Daily Star (Tucson) as a “Living Legend” on January 20, 2002, 2003 Calvin C. Goode Lifetime Achievement Award by City of Phoenix/MLK, Jr. Celebration, Phoenix Business Journal as one of 25 “Leaders and Legends” in the business community in 2005, Phoenix New Times “Best Pro-Civil Rights Pastor” and Arizona Informant “Faith Community Award”, both in 2011. Dr. Stewart was inducted into the 30th Anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr. College of Ministers & Laity—Board of Preachers, and had his oil painting portrait unveiled and hung in the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel, Atlanta, GA, on April 9, 2015. Dr. Stewart and FIBC received the 2015 President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Dr. Stewart is the author of INTERPRETING GOD’S WORD IN BLACK PREACHING, published by Judson Press, 1984 and in its fifth printing; HOW TO HANDLE GIANTS: Sermons to African-American Youth and Their Mentors, published by Townsend Press, 1995; Do Prophets Exist in Contemporary Culture?, 2009; Our Values as a Pastor and People: The Bible Study; and VICTORY TOGETHER FOR MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: The Story of Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Sr., Governor Evan Mecham and the Historic Battle for a Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday in Arizona, as well as has published articles and sermons in several major publications. He has also served as Adjunct Professor of Ottawa University-Phoenix Campus, Phoenix Seminary and the Doctor of Ministry Program at Fuller Theological Seminary, as well as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the American Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley, California.

Dr. Stewart served as Associate Minister of the Cornerstone Baptist Church, Brooklyn, New York, under the pastorate of the late Dr. Sandy F. Ray, in whose honor the Annual Sandy F. Ray Institute for pastors, ministers and lay persons was founded and held annually at First Institutional. At FIBC, Pastor Stewart has licensed 139 sons and daughters into the Gospel Ministry.

Dr. Stewart has traveled and preached extensively throughout the United States and internationally to include 38 States and Territories, and 51 Countries, including a challenging three-week Preaching Mission, sponsored by the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., Foreign Mission Board, to several African countries including South Africa, and attended the First African/African-American Summit held in West Africa in 1991 convened by the late Dr. Leon H. Sullivan. Also, FIBC, under Pastor Stewart, built a new church edifice and parsonage for the First Institutional Baptist Church of Soweto, Republic of South Africa. In April of 2004, he was extended an invitation by Executive Secretary Emile D. E. Sam-Peal to serve as the Guest Preacher during the 90th Annual Session of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention, Inc. Since February 2005, first participating on Baptist World Alliance Mission Team Trip to North-East India, he has been involved in ministry in India. Dr. Stewart’s ministry is characterized by an unwavering commitment and Spirit-filled zeal to engage in Evangelism and Emancipation, meeting the needs of the whole person. As a result, since 1982, the First Institutional Baptist Church has intentionally BECOME A DISCIPLING FELLOWSHIP THROUGH EVANGELISM AND EMANCIPATION under the leadership of the Holy Spirit through Dr. Stewart’s pastoral ministry. In the 1990s, he led FIBC in completing three phases of the VISION 2000 Master Plan which built an educational, administrative and outreach building, acquired additional property, and renovated the worship center at a total cost of nearly four million dollars in cash debt-free. In 2004, a five million dollar family life center was built completing the VISION 2000 Master Plan, totaling almost $9,000,000.00. In addition, FIBC has established FIBCO Family Services, Inc., Samaritan House for Homeless Families, Ujima House for Unwed Teenage Mothers and their Infants, and sponsors the Broadway House low-income housing complex and several residential homes for the seriously mentally ill, all of which provide social services to thousands monthly.

Dr. Stewart served as the first General Chairperson for ARIZONANS FOR A MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. STATE HOLIDAY which contributed significantly to the legislative passage of Arizona’s Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on September 21, 1989. Dr. Stewart also organized and led VICTORY TOGETHER, INC., a broad-based coalition that campaigned for a Martin Luther King, Jr./Civil Rights Day in Arizona which was won by a historic vote of the people in the general election on November 3, 1992. He has also served as the President of the American Baptist Churches of the Pacific Southwest and Paradise Missionary Baptist State Convention of Arizona, Inc. and Congress, respectively. In 2011, he organized an Exploratory Committee for the open U.S. Senate from Arizona in 2012 to consider running on a platform of justice. From 2012-2014, Dr. Stewart served as Chair of the Board of the National Immigration Forum as well as co-organized the Black/Brown Coalition of Arizona. He was drafted and ran for the Phoenix City Council-District 8 seat in 2013. Dr. Stewart is an enthusiastic advocate of the sanctity of life ethic which believes that all human life has intrinsic value from conception to natural death. He is also recognized by others as “a man of conscience, commitment and dedication to the cause of moral leadership, human rights and a soldier of justice and equality.”

Patty Talahongva

Patty Talahongva

Patty Talahongva is a past president of the Native American Journalists Association. She also served on the UNITY Journalists of Color board and the Radio and Television News Directors Association (now RTDNA).

Currently she is a freelance journalist based in Phoenix.

She is in production on a documentary about the non-smoking movement which started on her reservation in northeastern Arizona and received a commendation from the World Health Organization. She also has documentaries in the Penn Museum as part of its Native American Voices exhibit. Patty also produced a documentary about Native American Code Talkers for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

She currently writes for a hyper-local newspaper, North Central News, and produces for CBS News. Patty is also working with two non-profits in Phoenix to restore a building from the Phoenix Indian School and turn it into a Native American Cultural and Business Center. Follow her on Twitter: Witespider

 Gary D. Tahmahkera

Gary D. Tahmahkera

Gary D. Tahmahkera is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma, currently residing in Mesa, Arizona. Gary is a 1987 graduate of the Arizona Law Enforcement Training Academy and served as a tribal police officer with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community of Arizona for 17 years. Gary held several position in the department throughout his career to include, Certified Law Enforcement Instructor, Field Training Officer, Ranger, Patrol Sergeant, Captain and served as Chief of Police for the last ten years of his career. During his tenure as Chief of Police he implement several community policing programs that were recognized as being the first of their kind in Indian Country Law Enforcement. Gary had the honor of sharing the police department and Community accomplishments with other tribal law enforcement agencies while serving as a consultant for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Indian Country section and the Department of Justice, Office of Tribal Justice Program. Upon completion of his law enforcement career, Gary continued to serve the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian as a member of a citizen’s law enforcement advisory commission. Currently, Gary is employed by Arizona State University, School of Life Sciences, as an instructor and laboratory coordinator for undergraduate microbiology laboratory courses at the Tempe, Arizona campus.

Raquel Terán

Raquel Terán

Raquel Terán was born and raised in the Southern Arizona Sonora Border. Raquel comes from a family whom instilled values of listening to others, not giving up and being dependable. As a community organizer, Raquel has put those values to work in the fight for civil, labor and immigrant rights. For the past decade, Raquel has been adamantly involved in the state and national efforts for comprehensive immigration reform.

Raquel is a strong believer that in order to change the political landscape of Arizona and the country, Latinos need to develop a political infrastructure through civic participation and leadership development. Through her past involvement in Reform Immigration for America, Promise Arizona, Citizens for Better Arizona and Maricopa Citizens for Safety Accountability, she has lead large scale voter registrations, get out the vote efforts such as the ousting of Russell Pearce, by engaging thousands of volunteers and empowering families and leaders to speak out and take action in their communities.

Raquel continues her vision of a better Arizona as the current Arizona State Director for Mi Familia Vota. Raquel has been recognized by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 40 Under 40 Hispanic Leaders and by the Isaac Amaya Foundation as Activist of the Year and Tucson Primero de Mayo Leader. Raquel serves as a board member for Chicanos Por La Causa and the Arizona Worker Rights Center.

In 2012, Raquel was a candidate for Arizona State Senate. She received a national recognition by New American Leaders Project, Courage to Run Award. Most recently, she obtain the Daniel R. Ortega Public Service Award from Valle del Sol.

The Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Youngberg

The Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Youngberg

Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Youngberg was ordained in 1990 as third generation Southern Baptist preacher in my family.

Quickly, she found that she needed a much broader view of God’s love and moved to the United Church of Christ in 1995

By then, she  was a chaplain on active duty with the Army where as an UCC chaplain she became a haven for LGBTQ soldiers during the time of “Don’t ask don’t tell.”  Since that time she completed her  doctorate in pastoral counseling and currently pastor Rebel & Divine UCC, a unique post-modern church reaching out to LGBTQ youth and young adults in Phoenix, Ariz.

Cynthia Zwick

Cynthia Zwick

Cynthia Zwick has served as Executive Director of Arizona Community Action Association (ACAA), since 2003. ACAA is a non-profit organization that works to end poverty in Arizona by focusing on economic equity and ensuring equal access to systems and opportunities for everyone, focusing on employment, wages, exploitation and wealth building.

ACAA also advocates on behalf of Community Action Agencies and the low-income community throughout Arizona. ACAA works with community partners throughout the State to: educate the community about issues related to poverty, injustice and oppression; improve public policy; and ensure low-income families have access to the tools needed to become and sustain financial stability.

ACAA works to build strong, supportive and sustainable communities, intervenes in utility rate cases, provides training and technical assistance, conducts SNAP outreach and enrollment, supports the Arizona Self Help website, and administers the first warm weather fuel fund – the Home Energy Assistance Fund – to help families with utility bills and weatherization. ACAA also engages in public education and movement building throughout the State, provides education about energy conservation and hosts the Arizona Asset Alliance.


Here is a map of parking locations around Cronkite and a map of metered parking spots in Downtown Phoenix.

Campus Map



A room block has been established in downtown Phoenix for $149.00 per night plus tax:(three blocks from ASU Walter Cronkite Building)

Hotel San Carlos
202 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004
602-253-4121 Group Code: UNITY PHX Confirmation: B00C16 Rate: $149.00 before taxes and fees Dates Available: 4/27/16 – 4/30/16 Website: http://www.hotelsancarlos.com/


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Panda Express Chinese Kitchen One Arizona - Peoples Movement for a new Arizona.

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The Refuge Coffee and WineStumpy's Pizza

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April 29, 2016
8:30 am - 4:45 pm
Free - $35
Event Category:


Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
First Amendment Forum - Second Floor555 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phoenix, AZ 85004 US
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