Historic news from NLGJA and UNITY this morning.  The NLGJA board has unanimously voted to accept an invitation to join UNITY as a full member.  We will be joining our colleagues at the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association and the Native American Journalists Association as the newest member of UNITY and will participate in the UNITY 2012 Convention in Las Vegas to be held Aug. 1-4.

Here is the letter President David Steinberg sent to NLGJA members this morning:

nlgjaI am pleased to announce that NLGJA has been issued an invitation to join UNITY, the coalition of minority journalism organizations, and that, this weekend, the NLGJA board voted unanimously to become a full member of UNITY.

Representatives from NLGJA and UNITY will be meeting in the coming weeks to craft a memorandum of understanding that will give NLGJA full membership in UNITY and incorporate the group into UNITY’s continuing work for diversity in the news industry. NLGJA will have four members on the UNITY board of directors and will have equal representation on the programming committee for the UNITY 2012 convention, which will be held Aug. 1-4 in Las Vegas in partnership with our UNITY partners, AAJA, NAHJ and NAJA.

The NLGJA board’s decision to join UNITY followed discussion among NLGJA’s members at our convention in Philadelphia last month. Joining UNITY will help NLGJA further its goals of fostering fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues in the news media and encouraging newsroom diversity.

Joining UNITY will also allow NLGJA members to participate in a broader discussion of diversity issues and engage in dialogue with a wider array of journalists. Through this partnership with UNITY, NLGJA members will be able to participate in additional networking and career development opportunities, will be able to educate other UNITY members about the issues LGBT employees face in the newsroom, and will have an opportunity to learn about issues facing other journalism communities.

Becoming a member of UNITY is an exciting opportunity for NLGJA, and I’ll be sure to keep you informed as we move forward with this partnership. If you have any questions, concerns, comments or suggestions about this process, please get in touch with me.

Joining UNITY was a dream of NLGJA founding-father Roy Aarons who pursued inclusion until his death in 2004. Formal talks between UNITY and NLGJA began earlier this summer and an announcement about  the invitation was made at NLGJA’s convention in Philadelphia.

UPDATE: Here is the official joint statement from UNITY and NLGJA. And a tweet from NLGJA about UNITY’s strategic plan and UNITY’s name.