NABJ president remains reticent about UNITY

A National Association of Black Journalists commission has decided that the organization will not reunite with Unity. President Greg Lee said NABJ — which is having its annual convention in New Orleans this week — will officially announce the news to its members during a business meeting on Saturday.

“We just felt that Unity lost its way as an advocacy organization,” Lee said by phone. “It’s not the same as it was when we first joined.”

There’s a lack of governance structure within Unity, he said, and it’s no longer financially prudent for NABJ to be part of the alliance. NABJ’s decision to withdraw from Unity in April 2011 stirred mixed reactions from members, some of whom voted to seek reunification.

Lee talked with Unity President Joanna Hernandez about reunifying, but ultimately wanted it to be an internal decision. He created a commission to assess the relationship between the two organizations, and appointed members who were in favor of NABJ’s withdrawal as well as some who were opposed to it.

“They were part of this whole process, and while they understand that it’s a painful thing to do, after examining all the issue and aspects, they now too agree that we should remain out,” Lee said. “They realize things have changed, and I think the membership will agree.”

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