By Assunta Ng
Every four years, the UNITY Convention, a national conference for journalists of color, is highlighted on my calendar. I don’t go there looking for jobs, for career networking, or even to find a date, as some of my other journalist colleagues do.
I show up to be inspired by getting to know thousands of journalists of color, including Hispanics, Blacks, Native Americans, and Asian Americans from all over the country and overseas. On Aug. 2, I was at UNITY in Las Vegas, fully aware of the crisis it was facing. I was hoping to see a miracle.
The attendance didn’t just drop, it plummeted from 6,000 in 2008 to 2,300 this year. The National Association of Black Journalists voted to pull out of UNITY in 2011 because it didn’t make sense to the organization financially. President Obama wasn’t there. The career fair was almost half the size compared to past conventions.
Then one more bit of bad news hit UNITY at the end of the convention. UNITY’s director quit. The energy of the past conventions no longer existed. What a difference from the 2008 event!
However, when people or organizations are successful, they don’t need your support. When they are not, they need you more than ever. The least I could do is show up. Also, Sin City is fascinating. It’s a chance to indulge in a mini vacation. (end)