Select Page

NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists Leadership Elections

 

NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists is a national organization with over 20 local, regional and scholastic chapters throughout the United States. NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists relies on the hard work of dedicated volunteers who fill leadership positions at both the national and chapter level in order to advance and promote our mission of ensuring fair and accurate coverage of LGBTQ issues and people in media.

NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists Board & Executive Committee

The nomination period for National Board PresidentVice President of Print & Online and four At-Large Director positions has now closed. Members in good-standing will be able to access the Leadership Advisory Poll beginning August 13. Voting in the Leadership Advisory Poll will close at 5 p.m. ET on August 27.

The candidates for office are:

National Board President (One Vacancy):

Sharif Durhams: “NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists has been a home for me since my first convention 20 years ago, and I’m proud of the way we’ve made stories and newsrooms better, often behind the scenes. That approach has given us access but at times made us invisible to some marginalized members who need us most.
We need to ensure more LGBTQ journalists, particularly women, people of color and transgender journalists, are leading newsrooms and feel they can be vocal about our communities when we’re in those positions. We need to better advocate for and amplify freelancers and those in smaller newsrooms who are fighting for the survival of local journalism. Our leadership team has gained allies in the push for better newsrooms, and we need to make that team even more inclusive over the next two years.”

Vice President of Print & Online (One Vacancy):

Jen Christensen: “As an award-winning writer for CNN.com with 20+ years as a journalist, I know how NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists can better serve members. With the pandemic-related recession, layoffs in digital and print newsrooms will continue. Newspapers have lost half their employees since 2008. For those who remain or who want new jobs, NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists should stay THE place for professional development and networking. During my two years as vice president, I created a database to track hundreds of LGBTQ stories and sent encouraging notes and recruited a record number of journalists to submit for awards. On my own dime, I’ve traveled to newsrooms around the country to talk with industry leaders about how to keep newsrooms inclusive. Many have come to convention to recruit and to share their perspective in our View from the Top plenary. I’ve co-chaired seven conventions. I brought in IRE and recruited hundreds of diverse speakers. I worked with ASNE and got LGBTQ added to its diversity survey initiative. During my 5+ years as president, membership grew nearly 50% and NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists more than doubled awards, scholarships, and programs. I’m running to build on my success. I’ll leverage relationships with industry leaders to increase NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists’ visibility and grow programming and membership.”

At-Large Director (Four Vacancies):

Eric Hegedus: “As a longtime member — and having served as a leader in numerous capacities — I have seen NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists evolve in ways I couldn’t have imagined in our early days. But we have more work to do. We must push to keep growing and expanding diversity and inclusion within our LGBTQ+ membership. We also should create more timely programming in conjunction with other journalism groups — especially professional training that can help those impacted by industry job loss during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Todd Henneman: “The mission of NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists remains as vital now as ever. NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists has advanced the inclusivity of newsrooms and amplified examples of fair and accurate coverage, but we as queer journalists have more work to fulfill Leroy Aarons’ vision. We remain uncounted in demographic data of some journalism associations. Coverage, particularly of the trans community, remains spotty at best. And few journalism curricula adequately prepare the next generation of journalists to cover LGBTQ issues. As a board member, I would champion these causes: working with journalism associations and organizations to count us, reaching out to universities to integrate lessons about the LGBTQ community, and curating and developing materials to nurture fair, accurate and inclusive coverage.”

Santiago Melli-Huber: “I’ve been a member of NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists since 2013, when I was a freelance reporter struggling to earn a living in a tough economy. The people I met through NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists have been instrumental in my development as a reporter and as a person, offering mentorships, skill building, and the crucial connections often needed to advance. I love this organization and have never missed a convention, except for my year in grad school, when I served as President of the Columbia University chapter and organized a panel of trans journalists and activists about ethically and effectively covering the trans community.
As an At-Large Director, I want to pay it forward, using my experience to help other young reporters who are struggling to find their footing. I want to use this position to be a voice for young, Latinx reporters and an ally to BIPOC and trans reporters. I plan to use my platform to encourage each member to carry as they climb. By that, I mean actively reach out to young talent, and offer them the advice, training, and connections they need to advance.
I would be honored to give back to this organization, which has given me so much.”

Femi Redwood: “I was honored to be nominated to NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists’ board by the current President Sharif Durhams in 2019. I want to remain on the board to continue the work I’ve started as the head of the diversity committee. One of my major initiatives this year is to survey members and non-members in an effort to find out their experiences and how we can serve them better, specifically journalists who are gender non-conforming and/or journalists of color. Another initiative I’m excited about is exploring the possibility of bringing student NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists chapters to HBCUs.
NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists has been invaluable to my career. It has provided a level of connectivity, kinship, and growth. But unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case for all LGBTQ journalists. I hope to stay on the board to ensure more LGBTQ journalists feel the same way I do.”

Kristina Torres: “As public understanding of LGBTQ+ communities continues to evolve, the work of the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists is more critical than ever. From demanding fair and accurate coverage of our communities and issues to giving journalists a platform on which to build skills and grow their networks, the association provides a necessary foundation of shared experience and knowledge. As a three-year national board member and committee chair of the 2020 Excellence in Journalism Awards, I know that what we do leaves no doubt how important that work is and how talented our members are.
That doesn’t mean we stop there. As the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic takes its toll on newsrooms and media platforms everywhere, I am committed to expanding our supporting role and shoring up our outreach, skill-building workshops and resources. I remain committed to using our financial oversight and fiduciary duties responsibly, while recognizing the very best of what we offer is based on good people working together to advance our mission forward. I ask for your support for reelection to At-Large Director position.”

Executive Committee members may serve two consecutive terms in each office, and at-large National Board Members may serve three consecutive terms. All National Board of Director terms are two years.

All nominees must be members in good standing for at least one year by the time of the election. Those seeking an Executive Committee seat must also have served as an at-large Board of Directors member or Chapter President for at least one year as of the election. Eligible members may nominate themselves.

No more than two Board Members may be elected from any one chapter.

In the event of a contested election, online voting for the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists National Board of Directors will be made available to members in good standing from August 13-27, 2020. According to NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists bylaws, board elections are advisory but, to date, the board has never failed to follow the election results.

Election results will be ratified by the Board of Directors at the Fall board meeting, typically held during the 2020 National Convention. Nominees are encouraged to attend. Additional details will be released soon.

Please Note – All Board Members are required to:

  • Attend and participate in board meetings: Board Members must attend at least one of the two in person meetings (mid-year, convention) and at least one of the twice-annual board calls.
  • Maintain current membership in the organization.
  • Participate actively in committee/task force work.
  • Raise or give at least $1,500 for the organization each year.
  • Board members will need to be available to staff.
  • Be active in their local chapter.

 

Campaign guidelines for those running for executive committee or board member positions:

  • Any campaigning and electioneering online, including social media and email communications, must come from a personal account. Candidates may not use any NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists-sanctioned national or chapter accounts, emails addresses, logos or other branding to promote their candidacy.
  • NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists will distribute a listing of candidates and platforms/bios to current members. NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists will not provide membership lists to any candidate for campaign purposes.
  • Candidates may reach out to members directly through other means at their discretion, but should act responsibly and be respectful of voting members.
  • While campaigning, candidates should urge all members in good standing to vote, and encourage lapsed members to renew their membership and vote.

 

 

NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists Chapter Leadership 

NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists is not currently accepting nominations for chapter leadership positions. If you have questions about your current chapter leadership, please email kimmy@nlgja.org.

Nominees for NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists chapter leadership positions – both new candidates and those planning to run for re-election – shall be required to submit an application detailing, among other things, their journalism and media experience, current employment status and a statement explaining why they are seeking office. The NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists elections chair and national staff shall use the information to confirm the nominee’s membership status and eligibility for office. Upon request, non-confidential information in the application shall be made available to the voting membership.

In the event of a contested election, online voting for Chapter Leadership will be made available to members in good standing. According to NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists bylaws, board elections are advisory but, to date, the board has never failed to follow the election results.

Nominees must be current members in good standing for at least one year by the time of the election deadline. Candidates may only submit nominations in the chapter with which they are affiliated (as reflected on their online member profile) at the time the call for nominations closes.

Please Note – All Chapter Leaders are required to:

  • Attend and participate in chapter board meetings
  • Obligated to organize one local chapter event within the calendar year
  • Maintain current membership in the organization
  • Chapter leaders are expected to participate in chapter leadership calls organized by the national office
  • Carry out strategic goals expectations related to chapters
  • Chapter presidents are encouraged to attend at least one national board meeting annually
  • Chapter leaders are encouraged to attend the Chapter Leadership Meeting held during with the National Convention
  • Chapter leaders need to be available to national office staff

 

Guidelines for those running for chapter leadership:

  • Provide a comprehensive 200-word biography and platform to be included in your nomination form. This may be distributed to the local members by NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists in the event of a contested election.
  • Any campaigning and electioneering online, including social media and email communications, must come from a personal account. Candidates may not use any NLGJA-sanctioned national or chapter accounts, email addresses, logos or other branding to promote their candidacy.
  • NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists will distribute a listing of candidates and platforms/bios to current chapter members. NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists will not provide membership lists to any candidate for campaign purposes.
  • Candidates may reach out to members directly through other means at their discretion, but should act responsibly and be respectful of voting members.
  • While campaigning, candidates should urge all members in good standing to vote, and encourage lapsed members to renew their membership and vote.

 

**Uncontested chapter presidencies
In the event that a chapter presidency is uncontested, the existing president is assumed to keep their position. If that chapter president needs to step down, they can appoint the chapter vice president to serve in their place, to be ratified by national board vote. In the absence of a vice president, the president may appoint someone else from the chapter, to be ratified by national board vote.

**Chapter co-presidents
Nominees for the chapter presidency may jointly request serving as co-presidents for the chapter, provided that the mandatory offices of vice president and treasurer are also filled. In the event that the offices of vice president or treasurer are vacant, one of the nominees may adjust their nomination to assume that vacancy or the national board will elect a single chapter president from the nominees, leaving the other to decide to serve in one of the vacant positions or another capacity.