McLean, Virginia- At its prime, UNITY: Journalists of Color was the world’s largest organization of ethnic journalists, drawing its members from four national journalism organizations in the U.S. – the National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Asian American Journalists Association and Native American Journalists Association. UNITY held conventions once every four years, attracting as many as 9,000 attendees beginning in 1994.
Two years ago, however, the black journalists left the coalition over disagreement on UNITY financial and organizational issues. Soon thereafter, the predominantly white National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association was admitted to the coalition and the name was changed to UNITY: Journalists for Diversity. This week, the Hispanic Journalists voted to leave the coalition as well over similar issues, leaving just two journalists of color organizations and the lesbian and gay journalists.
Acknowledging that the name “UNITY: Journalists of Color” will never again apply to the crumbling UNITY organization, the board of directors of UNITY voted unanimously to auction off the old name on eBay. The starting bid is $1,000 dollars with a “buy it now” price of $3,000. A UNITY board member who spoke to The Adobo Chronicles on condition of anonymity, said that if the auction raises the full $3,000, the amount will be divided equally among the remaining member organizations, each receiving $1,000.
Rumors are spreading on social media that some black and Latino journalists are pitching in to raise the $3,000 to buy the UNITY: Journalists of Color name so that they can start a new organization that is truly representative of an ethnically-diverse coalition of journalists. The smaller Native American Journalists Association and the usually quiet Asian American Journalists Association will be invited to join the new organization but it remains unclear if the lesbian and gay journalists will be invited as well.
At last check on eBay, the auction has not generated a single bid.