I realize some members are just joining this discussion for the first time, while others have been engaged from the beginning. NABJ has released 3 statements on our UNITY talks. They answer many of the questions that keep surfacing. Please read them by clicking on this link.
Allow me to concentrate on some positives before I get back to UNITY. I cannot answer every question that appears in this forum daily. That's why we are scheduling an online town hall meeting to discuss only this topic. We plan to posts a Q&A to address your questions on nabj.org this week. Keep in mind, volunteers handle practically all of our communications. Someone asked what would NABJ do with the extra UNITY money... hire a communications director for starters. We have half the staff that we had about 5-6 years ago.
The staff, board, and I are working on offering you year-round services and programs. Next week, we'll have the health disparities conference in Washington, DC. I know everyone can't be there, but that conference is helping us diversify our revenue stream.
This is the season when we turn a lot of our attention to planning a successful convention. We will be announcing some awesome programming starting this month. I know everyone can't be in Philadelphia either.
That's why we're also scheduling online training for chapter officers and members; 3-4 webinars on reinvention. One includes a talk with an attorney to tell you your rights before and after you lose your job. We're partnering with the National Urban League to give you a sneak preview of its State of Black America Report next week. CBS News is hosting a special recruitment opportunity for NABJ members only. Go to the web site for info. on where to send your resume and to apply for the Ray Taliafero grant for entrepreneurs. The DJTF does a great job of hosting multimedia webinars.
That's just a sample of things to come.
It hasn't been easy providing services on a shoestring budget, but there are many people working to keep NABJ alive and relevant AND asking the tough questions.
Before my term ends, my goal is to continue upgrades to the web site to keep you connected with people who want to hire you and help you build your own brand. In the meantime, when the board meets quarterly (sometimes on our own dime) it meets with media companies, and we're getting job leads practically every day because of those relationships. Some of them are posted online in the jobs center and on listservs. Google just called last week to advertise their openings. Please apply!!
Can we do more on the advocacy front? Absolutely. There's plenty to do.
For now, we plan to do more than just publish our diversity census this year. It's a powerful tool that isn't getting enough eyes. Keep in mind, Bob Butler and I along with some great volunteers worked on last year's reports and previous reports without a budget. UNITY had a 100k-200k budget for advocacy. NABJ's budget this year for board advocacy trips is $2,000. We squeeze in media company visits whenever we can- during vacations and business trips.
Now back to UNITY. I won't spend much time talking about the past -who asked what and when. I will say we've spent a great deal of time getting our own house in order, sweeping around our own front door (as the Williams Brothers sing) before we started sweeping around UNITY's. You elected me to look out for your best interest, and I do that every day. Now back to the trenches as Meta would say.
Yours in service,
Kathy Y. Times