Philadelphia opens local chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists
The start of the decade brings with it some good news: the opening of a Philly chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
In our cover story this week, Adria Córdova talks about the role that the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) played in her life as a young professional - one who had to uproot herself twice, first from her native New Mexico to Minneapolis, MN, and after that, to Philadelphia, PA, in order to pursue the opportunities that would allow her to move forward in her career.
Increasingly, millenials are moving to pursue career opportunities. But that can take a toll. That’s where professional networks like ALPFA come in - especially for millenials from communities of color who are fighting against discrimination in the business world.
For many, the support and “home away from home” feeling that Córdova speaks to in the cover story are a reason why professional groups can be helpful in navigating, confronting, and surviving the barriers and challenges of working in a demanding profession which continues to lack inclusivity.
And it’s not just in the corporate world. Newsrooms and media organizations across the country continue to face a huge diversity problem - a 2018 report from the American Society of News Editors found that people of color comprise just 22.6 percent of those working in the 293 news organizations across the country who opted to participate in the survey.
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists was first founded in 1984 with the purpose of cultivating “recognition and professional advancement of Hispanics in the news industry.”
With more than 2,000 members nationwide, NAHJ has professional chapters in close to 20 cities, in addition to student chapters established on college campuses throughout the country.
Philadelphia has for a long time not had a chapter, but this year that’s about to change.
NAHJ Philly will host its first reception/mixer on Jan. 22, from 6 - 9 p.m., at The Pipeline on 30 S. 15th Street (15th floor). Anyone who is interested in attending can RSVP by Jan. 15 by emailing [email protected].
The fact that there will now be a Philadelphia chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists is significant, says Joy Soto, Community Voices and Engagement Fellow at WHYY and board member of the newly-formed NAHJ Philly.
Soto noted “how important it is for Latino-focused professional groups, specifically in media, to diversify the field and to be a resource for each other.”
“Each of us realize how much it’s needed,” she added, while expressing her hope that the chapter will help address the void of resources for Latino professionals in media.
Lucy Bustamante, on-air reporter and anchor at NBC10 and co-president of NAHJ Philly, said that she was drawn to participating in establishing a chapter in Philadelphia thanks to the support NAHJ has offered her since she first became a member in college.
She noted that a $500 scholarship she received in college from NAHJ helped her pursue her studies, and NAHJ conventions and conferences have consistently helped her learn from a network of experienced journalists.
“I was exposed to other journalists that were breaking barriers way before I knew which barriers existed,” Bustamante said.
She said that for her, and the chapter as a whole, a big goal will be to draw together different generations of Hispanic journalists so that they can learn from and support one another.
“That’s my biggest wish [for NAHJ Philly], that it’s just a big bridge-builder, that all sides understand the need for education,” Bustamante said.
For anyone who is interested in joining but won’t be able to make it to the event on Jan. 22, the NAHJ Philly board members encourage any young professionals in journalism and students interested in participating to contact them via email ([email protected]), or via their Facebook (NAHJ Philadelphia Chapter) and Twitter (@NahjPhilly) accounts.