Anyway, I just felt the need to vent, but I will leave it there and get on with the update. Because I am not going to waste a post on holiday music.
On Friday, I attended UNITY: Journalists for Diversity's regional media summit ("Empowering the Southern Narrative"). I had an amazing time and learned so much, and it was great to be surrounded by so many voices and experiences. I listened to Willoughby Mariano of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution speak about investigative reporting she did that led to massive community change, and I sat in on former CNN Chief Diversity Advisor Johnita Due's keynote speech about cultivating and defining diversity in the media and in our lives. This was followed up by an excellent panel at lunch that discussed diversity in Alabama specifically. Though the panel focused mainly on issues and stories involving black and white issues of diversity that have arisen following the Michael Brown shooting, there was the question: "Yes, but what about everyone else?" I wish there had been more time to address other populations in our state--religions, cultural, sexual, ethnic, etc. But, as the speakers said, the most important thing is to start conversations. You can't change anything if you aren't willing to talk. And talking, as they said, begins right next door. Talk to your neighbors and friends. Small movements lead to big changes. And as Johnita Due said, we all bring something to the table, no matter what our life experiences are.
|Johnita Due speaks about her family's history in the civil rights movement |
and the importance of diverse voices in media. (My photo)
Anyway, it was a great conference, and I am so glad I went with my co-worker, Rebecca. We also got a chance to hang out with one of my favorite Alabama authors, Frye Gaillard (so of course we had him take a photo with us!):
I'm still trying to figure out why my sweater looks so huge on me. At first I thought I was crazy for wearing it, but it was freezing in some of the sessions, so I was super happy I made the decision to dress for the arctic on an October day in Alabama. :) It was lovely to see Frye and to hang out with such inspiring and amazing people all day. I hope I get to attend another UNITY event in the future!