Unify: Journalists for Diversity stands with Black journalists and Black Americans

Unify is a coalition of the New England chapters of the NABJ, AAJA, NAHJ, and NLGJA

JUNE 26, 2020 — Unify: Journalists for Diversity stands in solidarity with Black journalists and Black Americans seeking justice in the nation and accuracy in news coverage of their communities.

Formed in 2017, Unify is a collaboration between the New England chapters of the National Association of Black Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists.

Those of us who are non-Black Latinx, AAPI, and LGBTQ journalists support our Black colleagues, our Black loved ones and neighbors, and the Black and biracial members of our own communities demanding an end to police violence and systemic racism.

We value the voices and professional contributions of Black reporters, editors, producers, and photographers. Black journalists experience trauma reporting on racial injustice, and many have been subjected to racist acts and epithets while working with professionalism and restraint. All journalists in the United States have a First Amendment right to do their jobs without harassment or abuse.

The Black communities we cover are in pain. We pledge to listen for insight and guidance as we support change driven by Black voices, ideas, and priorities. We pledge to foster frank conversations within and among our communities about the anti-Black racism that exists in every community.

We will work within our own newsrooms and with news directors across the region to ensure that our staffs reflect the diversity of the communities we cover, and that we report on those communities with appropriate sensitivity and context, centering Black voices.

For too long, media companies have failed to center the experiences of Black Americans and have relied on narratives that reinforce stereotypes of poverty and criminality. Absent of these voices, news organizations fail to deliver an accurate picture of communities and individuals, and they misrepresent racial disparities, thereby stifling progress.

Our coalition is committed to change. Contact any of the chapter presidents if you wish to discuss further steps.

Gary Washburn, President, Boston Association of Black Journalists
Kareem White, President, Southern New England Association of Black Journalists 
Young-Jin Kim, President, Asian American Journalists Association, New England Chapter
Karina E. Cuevas, President, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, New England Chapter
Jeremy C. Fox, President, The NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, Boston Chapter