WASHINGTON, DC (December 16, 2021) – Today NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists announced that USA TODAY Network Tennessee Opinion and Engagement Director David Plazas is the recipient of the 2021 NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists Leadership Award. The award recognizes individuals who have made a positive impact on their newsrooms by increasing diversity and improving news coverage of the LGBTQ community.
Plazas is the Opinion and Engagement Director for the USA TODAY Network in Tennessee and for the Tennessean. He has written award-winning editorials and columns on issues ranging from affordable housing to racial equity, and social justice to government accountability, including challenging the Tennessee legislature for anti-LGBTQ legislation. He oversees the opinion team for multiple publications across the state including The Tennessean. He also leads The Tennessean’s Civility Tennessee campaign on civic engagement and delivered a TEDx Talk at Belmont University in 2020 on the art and science of public disagreement.
Plazas chairs The Tennessean’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, which has led efforts to create more equity in coverage, the newsroom and projects. The group developed the Black Tennessee Voices initiative launched in 2020 to tell stories for and with Nashville’s Black community. A Latino Tennessee Voices newsletter launched in September. He is past co-lead of Gannett’s Pride Forward employee resource group and co-chairs Interfaith Forward ERG. He serves on the CEO’s Diversity Advisory Council.
Prior to moving to Tennessee, he lived and worked in Fort Myers, Florida for 14 years, serving as an editor and reporter at The News-Press. He holds a bachelor’s in political science and Spanish and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and an MBA from Florida Gulf Coast University.
The NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists Leadership Award is made possible through the generosity and support of Randy Lovely and the Gannett Foundation.
About NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists
NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists is a journalist-led association working within the news media to advance fair and accurate coverage of LGBTQ communities and issues. We promote diverse and inclusive workplaces by holding the industry accountable and providing education, professional development and mentoring. For more information, visit www.nlgja.org.