Unity Accepts Gay-Journalists Group

Journal-isms: The expansion of the group for journalists of color could redefine its focus.

(Credit: nlgjaconvention.org)
(Credit: nlgjaconvention.org)

National Lesbian, Gay Journalists Association to Join for 2012

UNITY: Journalists of Color will now include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA), after the boards of directors of both organizations agreed to the partnership last week,” Unity announced on Monday.

The decision appeared not to be unanimous. “The majority voted and moved on, and we take it all in stride and move forward to a successful 2012 Unity convention,” Darla Leslie, president of the Native American Journalists Association, told Journal-isms.

Leslie said she did not want to discuss the votes of the NAJA representatives until she consulted again with the NAJA board of directors.

“I’m going to leave that in a gray area,” she said. “There was a lot of good debate. The Unity board has a bunch of strong individuals.”

Likewise, Joanna Hernandez, president of Unity: Journalists of Color, Inc., told Journal-isms by email, “At the end of discussion, the motion to invite NLGJA was carried by a majority of the 12-member board. We are not releasing additional details about our conversations or how people voted because our priority is celebrating this exciting new partnership and planning for our 2012 UNITY Convention in Las Vegas. We are only 316 days away!”

The decision by the Unity board comes less than a week after talks began about a possible reunification of the National Association of Black Journalists with Unity. While NABJ was a Unity member, the coalition limited membership to journalists of color associations, but the departure of NABJ this year left Unity with seats to fill for its Las Vegas convention.

NABJ President Gregory Lee Jr. told Journal-isms by email: “This was a decision made by the Unity Board Directors and does not involve NABJ. UNITY has to do what is best for them in 2012 and beyond. Right now, NABJ’s primary focus is planning programs for our membership, including our 2012 convention in New Orleans.”

The announcement did not address whether the name “Unity: Journalists of Color, Inc.” would be changed, but Michael R. Triplett of NLGJA tweeted, “UNITY anticipates reviewing ‘journalists of color’ as part of strategic planning, #NLGJA reps be part of that as full #UNITY members.”