NAHJ reconsiders its membership in Unity

Maynard Institute

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists is re-evaluating its membership in Unity: Journalists for Diversity, Richard Prince reports.

Student journalists at NAHJ’s convention reported the organization’s board “discussed NAHJ’s relationship with Unity during closed-door sessions on Friday and that the discussion will eventually open up to all NAHJ members in a future town hall meeting, possibly in September,” Prince writes.

Unity’s last few years have been eventful. The National Association of Black Journalists withdrew from Unity in 2011 and decided against a reunion the following the year. The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association joined the organization, which changed its name from Unity: Journalists of Color at the beginning of 2013. Its president, Tom Arviso Jr., resigned in April, saying his “leadership style has not been as effective or as productive as I would like.”

“UNITY’s mission remains relevant,” the organization’s acting president, Doris Truong, wrote in an email to Poynter.

We were just awarded a $150,000 Ford Foundation grant to build a coalition of diverse journalism associations to advance diversity and inclusion in media coverage, staffing and ownership.

UNITY’s board has discussed changes to the entire structure of the organization, all of which are meant to address NAHJ’s concerns. Really, NAHJ has raised issues that we all agree need revisiting, especially as we come up on the 20th year since the first UNITY convention in 1994.

Truong says she expects “we will work quickly toward a resolution after Labor Day” and that she “spoke briefly last week with NABJ’s new president, Bob Bulter, about how UNITY would love to have NABJ back in the fold.”

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