Joanna Hernandez, current vice president of UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc. (UNITY), has been elected president of the organization. (See UNITY Press Release)
Ms. Hernandez was elected by UNITY’s board of directors at its fall board meeting this past weekend. Sharon Chan, president of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) was elected vice president, Leisa Richardson of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) was elected secretary, and Michaela Saunders, current UNITY secretary of the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) was elected treasurer.
Their two-year terms begin on January 1, 2011.
“I am honored to serve UNITY with such a phenomenal team at this critical time in our industry,” Ms. Hernandez said. “I am looking forward to strengthening our alliance and working closely with the industry to advance UNITY’s mission of increasing diversity and seeking fair coverage of people of color and our communities.”
In addition to being the immediate past vice president of UNITY, Ms. Hernandez has served as a director on both the UNITY and NAHJ board of directors. She is a Multiplatform Editor at The Washington Post and an adjunct professor at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. Ms. Hernandez previously was director of the Features Production Center for The New York Times Regional Media Group; held several newsroom positions while at The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.; has worked as a copy editor in several newsrooms, including The Record and Herald News in Northern New Jersey, the San Francisco Examiner, and Newsday on Long Island, N.Y.; and began her journalism career as a reporter in Connecticut. She has a journalism degree from New York University and is a graduate of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education management training program.
“The leadership of UNITY Journalist of Color accomplished much in the past year by focusing on advocacy, policy, and protecting the freedom of journalists globally. We worked to secure relationships with publishers and broadcasters to protect jobs and pushed for diversity in newsrooms everywhere. Better still we provided journalists the tools to be their own boss through our New U training program. It’s a good start but there are economic challenges that lay ahead that will require a steady hand to steer us toward continued success,” said Barbara Ciara, outgoing UNITY president.