Aug. 29, 2013
Greetings, UNITY supporters:
We have had a busy summer. In keeping with UNITY’s mission of diversity and inclusion, UNITY was represented at the conventions of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA).
Interim UNITY Executive Director Walt Swanston, who had a whirlwind tour of all five conventions, spoke with sponsors, recruiters, exhibitors and association members about UNITY’s plans for a 2016 convention. “We have begun to explore cities and dates,” she said.
We applaud all our alliance partners and our co-founding association, NABJ, for their 2013 successes and look forward to continuing to work together. To read convention updates from the UNITY partners’ leadership, click here.
Now is the time to be optimistic about UNITY and its future. The Ford Foundation has reaffirmed its support for UNITY’s mission with a $150,000 grant to build a coalition of diverse journalism associations to advance diversity and inclusion in media coverage, staffing and ownership. UNITY’s NewU program is in its fourth year of awarding seed money to encourage media entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds.
In recent days, issues and challenges facing UNITY have been made public. It is healthy for an organization of UNITY’s age to reexamine whether our mission still serves the alliance and the industry, as well as whether changes in governance should be made.
UNITY remains committed to diversity and inclusion through a unified partnership aligned with UNITY’s mission. Our name and our membership have evolved, but our common belief remains that there is strength in diversity of media coverage and media leadership.
We have been reviewing options for streamlining operations and financial management to benefit everyone in the alliance. One of our first orders of business is to elect a president, which we expect to do by the end of September. We will move forward from there.
Yours in journalism diversity,
Acting President/Vice President, UNITY: Journalists for Diversity
Walt Swanston, Interim Executive Director