Letter from the Chapter President

Claudia E. Cruz, president, NAHJ Bay Area Chapter
Claudia E. Cruz, president, NAHJ Bay Area Chapter

¡Saludos familia!

In my previous letter, I mentioned how good I felt about the prospects for our chapter this 2016 and so far my forecast has been right on the money.

Let’s start right there: money.

While I can’t yet disclose who the grantor will be, our chapter has a strong commitment of $15,000 to be used toward student internships for the next year, as well as, a Hispanic Heritage month workshop and job fair event in San Francisco this fall. Additionally, the PG&E Foundation has committed $2,500 to fund another student internship at a local media outlet this year.

This means that in the past 12 months, including an earlier PG&E grant of $2,000 received late last summer, a contribution of 50 tickets by AT&T to the SF Giants that sold for a total of $1,257, and the $145 raised at our chapter’s Google News Lab workshop at KQED this past April, NAHJ Bay Area has raised nearly $21,000 in just one year!

But this isn’t the only way we’re fundraising. Our chapter is also selling commemorative pins to celebrate our local Bay Area pride. As of publication we’ve already raised $110 just off the sell of pins. Way to go team!

Due to this generosity from members, non-members and grantors, we’ve paid the NABJ/NAHJ convention registration fees for two local students, one from NAHJ SJSU chapter and the other from the UC Berkeley NAHJ student chapter. We’ve also been able to supplement the stipend of three student interns at the Sacramento Bee. Of course, this comes on the heels of our chapter’s first sponsored intern at the SF Chronicle.

After the Google News Lab workshop at KQED in April 2016.

And as we make inroads and lay the foundation to help our local student affiliate chapters get their foot in the door at Bay Area newsrooms, as a chapter we are very cognizant about our responsibility to mid-career professionals. In April we held our first Google News Lab workshop at KQED, where we learned how to do advanced searches, find and interpret public data, use the image search and Google map tools, understand Google trends and benefit from consumer survey data. We now have a strong Education Committee with members Mary Aviles and Lucio Villa at the helm. They’ve created a survey and want your input. Take a look.

For the first time this past June, ABC7 hosted our chapter’s general meeting and the turnout was fantastic, especially so because NAHJ’s national Executive Director Alberto Mendoza flew out to meet members for the first time. Furthermore, and with Mendoza’s presence and input, the chapter’s executive team met with some members of the executive news team at the station and discussed ways to build a stronger partnership between the two entities to create more internship for students and job opportunities for mid-career professionals. We’ll have more news soon.

But we aren’t done yet! Our social calendar is filling up! This 30th of July, member John Diaz will host his annual BBQ at Casa Diaz. If you haven’t signed up please do so through our Facebook page and please mention what you hope to bring (it’s a potluck).

Besides de delicious food, what’s great about going to the barbecue is that it takes place right before the NAHJ national convention. This year’s convention, which takes place between Aug. 3 and 7th, is co-hosted with NABJ in the spirit of Unity and as a result, anywhere between 3,000 and 7,000 people are expected to attend. In total, there will be about 100 sessions, a job fair and many parties. But most attendees are really excited about the presidential candidate town hall sponsored by CNN. Both presidential candidates are expected to attend. I’m happy to announce that at least 14 members of the Bay Area chapter will represent.

It was a great turn at the June 29th general chapter meeting at ABC7.

How much do you love your SF Giants? Well, don’t forget to come and cheer them on as they take on the National League Champs the NY Mets on Friday, Aug. 19th at 7pm (full disclosure: I’m rooting for the Mets. You’ve been warned!). Remember this is a chapter fundraiser and proceeds go toward chapter activities. Buy your ticket here.

And lastly, and certainly not the least, our chapter will host a Hispanic Heritage month workshop and job fair event. The details are still being ironed out, so stayed tuned.

The above accomplishments are only possible because we’ve remained true to our mission to help diversify newsrooms so that the story of Latinos are shared and told accurately. Thank you for believing in what we do. ¡Pa’lante!

Claudia Cruz

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