Joanna Hernandez

Joanna Hernandez

I am pleased and proud about the way the UNITY alliance partners banded together, ready to help journalists of color when Gannett announced the layoffs of 700 employees, which affected people working in departments across the company.

The alliance composed of the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association began focusing on compiling openings in various regions and working to connect employees with potential employers; AAJA aggregated these job leads and is looking to formalize a pipeline to help those who have lost their jobs find other employment in the industry.

If you are a journalist of color and you have been affected, UNITY is here for you.

We have job leads for you. Here is the link to the compiled list of job leads as well as career resources, including a Webinar that is open to all on dealing with layoffs and buyouts.

http://bit.ly/aajajobleads

If you know people who have been affected, please share this information with them. UNITY has shared these resources with other organizations such as the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and the National Association of Black Journalists, because, when it comes to newsroom diversity and fair representation in the media, we are all in this together.

The best place to look for a job this summer will be at our alliance partner conventions. I recently attended the NAHJ convention in Orlando. NAJA’s convention is coming up next week in Fort Lauderdale from July 13 to 16 and I am looking forward to heading to Detroit for AAJA’s gathering on Aug. 10 to 13. I will be at both conventions, and I look forward to seeing you there.

The value of the UNITY alliance is our ability to partners often join voices. When Al Jazeera reporter Dorothy Parvaz was detained shortly after arriving in Damascus to cover anti-government protests in Syria, we called on the country for her release, working with PR Newswire to spread the message on a digital billboard in New York’s Times Square. We’ve also helped journalists in Haiti and have spoken out against the murders of journalists in Mexico who report on drug violence.

We also look toward the future, helping young journalists here at home hone their skills, as we did with the 2011 UNITY Global Fellows. And the application process will soon open has open for the second New U: Entrepreneurs Working Through UNITY, funded by The Ford Foundation.

 

Soon, UNITY will open registration and the call for workshop proposals for the 2012 convention at Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention Center in Las Vegas Aug. 1 to 4, 2012.

Our Board of Directors has begun drafting a new five-year strategic plan for UNITY so that we can better serve our alliance partners and the organization’s mission to increase diversity in news media. Please share your ideas on the future of UNITY with Mekahlo Medina, chair of the Strategic Planning Task Force, at mekahlonahj@gmail.com by July 31, 2011.

Keep on the lookout. There’s more to come….

As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments or suggestions at president@unityjournalists.org.

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