Paving the way for the next generation of journalists of color . . .


WASHINGTON, DC–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–August 22, 2002–UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc., is pleased to announce that it has awarded $2,500.00 non-sustaining scholarship grants to four students majoring in journalism or mass communication at accredited colleges or universities. These awards are dedicated to the founding members of UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc. and their vision, commitment and hard work in realizing the mission and goals of UNITY.

The four UNITY Founders Scholars have demonstrated a track record of experience and excellent potential in the field of journalism, an interest in and commitment to understanding multicultural issues, and a solid academic record. Dr. Jesse R. Borges, UNITY Scholarship Director, notes that “the quality of the candidates applying for this year’s scholarship was truly outstanding. Indeed, this was by far the most competitive year in the history of the award!”

Congratulations to the following UNITY Founders Scholarship 2002 awardees!

Nzinga Moore (NABJ)

B.A., Radio & Television

San Francisco State University

San Francisco, CA

Nzinga is a Radio and Television major at San Francisco State University. She is currently studying documentary production at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia through San Francisco State’s student exchange program, and she plans to produce a documentary about aboriginal culture and its struggles with the Australian government. Last summer, she interned for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition in Washington DC. More recently, Nzinga was an Assignment Desk Intern for KTVU Television in Oakland, California and a Producer/Reporter for Youth Radio in Berkeley. Nzinga has received awards from the Golden Key International Honour Society and the Black Engineers Association.

“I’ve always thought of my work as giving a voice to issues or groups of people ignored by the mainstream. So overall, with each story I bring to light, I hope to influence other reporters on the importance of finding stories that aren’t being told – the importance of empowering communities. And with whatever media organization I own, our basic goal will be…empowering communities.”

HongDao Nguyen (AAJA)

B.S., Communication

Biola University

La Miranda, CA

HongDao is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication with an emphasis on Journalism & Political Science at Biola University in California. She is also currently a Reporting Intern at the Detroit Free Press. In the past, she has been a Reporting Intern for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus, Georgia, and the San Jose Mercury News in San Jose, California. HongDao has won numerous journalism awards and has most recently been the recipient of the Knight Ridder National Newspaper Scholarship, San Jose Mercury News Minority Scholarship, and both the AAJA National and San Francisco Chapter Scholarship.

“This business is not only about telling a story in a sexy way or beating the opposition, I think it’s based on trying to tell people’s stories who otherwise wouldn’t have any other outlet, in the most fair and accurate way possible. The best thing I could do for this industry is to become the best person and most skilled reporter in my capacity, and never forget where I came from, who I am, or what I stand for, which isn’t always the most glamorous or popular point of view.”

Luis Perez (NAHJ)

B.S., Journalism

Brooklyn College

Brooklyn, NY

Luis is a Journalism major at Brooklyn College in New York. He was the Editor in Chief of his school newspaper, the Brooklyn College Kingsman in 2001. He has also served as a Staff Writer for the Legislative Gazette, an Editorial Intern for Courier Life Publications and is currently an Editorial Intern for the New York Daily News.

“As a journalist, it’s exciting to be part of the social conscience of American society. To know that I am making, in whatever type of article I write, a rough draft of history that may alter the moral, ethical, and intellectual knowledge of countless individuals is both exhilarating and a privilege. As a Latino journalist, and a Dominican American, I believe I can present a portrait of the Latino community that, more often than not, more accurately portrays the Latino community than one attempted by my non-Latino colleagues.”

Jessica Delos Reyes (NAJA & AAJA)

B.S., Mass Communication

Bemidji State University

Bemidji, MN

Jessica is a student at Bemidji State University in Minnesota. No ordinary Mass Communication major – Jessica is pursuing a second major in psychology and was recognized as the Most Outstanding Mass Communication student at her school in 2002. Jessica has served as the Copy Editor of Bemidji State University’s Northern Student newspaper and was a writer for Native Voice, NAJA’s convention newspaper in 2001 and 2002. Prior to this, she worked as a freelance writer for the Billings Gazette from 1998 to 2000. Jessica will be starting an internship this fall with the US Olympic Committee at the Colorado Springs Training Center, where she will be responsible for covering the events of the athletes, particularly the Paralympics.

” I will not pigeonhole the subject of a story into what I know is untrue. I will not peg people with mental illness as criminals, I will not label Asian Americans with martial arts terminology, and I will not write stories of Native America that only focus on gaming or alcohol. I know there is more to the stories of these people; I have lived and worked amongst them. I represent them. Being politically correct means nothing when you lack compassion for and / or understanding of those you write about. We’re all more alike than we are different, right?”

Founders Scholarship Administration

Committee Chairman, Ernest Sotomayor, UNITY Vice President; Scholarship Director, Dr. Jesse R. Borges; Program Associate, Jason Bruce; UNITY Executive Management, Benfred Clement Smith, Executive Director.


UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc., which represents 7,000 media professionals of color, is a strategic, national alliance comprised of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), and Native American Journalists Association (NAJA). UNITY’s goals are twofold: developing programs and institutional relationships that promote year-round journalism advocacy and education, with a focus on fairness and accuracy in news coverage as well as diversity in America’s newsrooms, and planning the largest regular gathering of journalists in the nation (the UNITY 2004 Convention to be held August 4 – 8 in Washington, DC),

For additional information on the UNITY Founders Scholarship or to learn more about UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc., please call (703) 469-2100, or visit http://www.unityjournalists.org.



Jason Bruce, Program Associate

(703) 469-2100, x13