Monday, July 21, 2008

Barack Obama Set To Appear At UNITY: Journalists Of Color Convention


Senator Barack Obama to speak at Unity
Democratic Presidential hopeful to participate in live event on CNN

CHICAGO — Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama will appear in front of thousands of journalists next week at the UNITY: Journalists of Color quadrennial convention in Chicago.

Sen. Obama, the apparent Democratic presidential nominee, will appear on stage Sunday morning, July 27. This will likely be his first national appearance after returning from his international trip to Europe and the Middle East. Sen. Obama has accepted the invitation that UNITY also extended to Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee.

“We are pleased that our UNITY colleagues will have the chance to hear from Sen. Obama and be among the first to question him upon his return from his overseas trip,” said Karen Lincoln Michel, UNITY president. “We hope that in this historic campaign, Sen. McCain, whose presence is equally important, will also address our audience – the kind of audience that reflects the growing diversity in America.”

The event was originally planned for Thursday, July 24, but had to change because of scheduling conflicts from the campaigns.

UNITY – an alliance representing the nearly 10,000 members of the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association – will host a dynamic lineup of events, speakers, workshops and discussions focusing on issues and changes happening in the media industry nationwide and globally.

The event will be broadcast live on CNN, and may be repeated throughout the weekend, and will involve journalists of color from both CNN, partner TIME Magazine and the four alliance associations.

“We are honored to have Senator Obama join us at UNITY, especially considering his international schedule,” said Bryan Monroe, UNITY convention chair and vice president and editorial director, Ebony and Jet magazines in Chicago. “It reaffirms the importance and respect of journalists of color in this year’s election process.”

Unity has also been working with Sen. McCain’s campaign, but has yet been unable to secure his commitment to the presidential forum.
“We have had other Republican and Democratic presidential candidates address our organizations – including President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry at UNITY in 2004 – and hope Sen. McCain will join Sen. Obama and choose to continue that tradition,” said Onica N. Makwakwa, UNITY executive director.

The fourth quadrennial convention, which is themed “A New Journalism for a Changing World,” is expected to draw thousands of journalists during the five-day event and Career Expo to be held July 23-27 at McCormick Place West.

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