As a third grader, I took my first tour of The Mercury News in San Jose. I remember wondering what stories would be told in this newsroom. Would they ever write about a family who looked like mine? I recall asking my parents the day after that tour if we could get a subscription to the newspaper. That is how my love affair began with journalism.
I have spent more than 20 years of my career working to uplift the missing and marginalized voices in my work. I have never forgotten that my greatest personal mission is to be a storyteller for those I support and work for. Whether it is helping to amplify voices or building a community that welcomes everyone to the table, this is the work I am committed to doing.
I am honored and thrilled to serve as the Executive Director of EWA. Over the course of these first 30 days on the job, I have observed the behind-the-scenes hard work of our staff and the passion of our board of directors to inform, support, and inspire our members in the important work they are doing. I am excited for the membership to be recharged and connected during our 76th National Seminar in Atlanta, June 1-4.
Moving EWA Forward
In a fast-evolving media and education landscape, EWA has had to pivot over the last few years. From the departure of Caroline Hendrie — who led EWA through a period of strong growth, to a pandemic that forced all newsrooms to operate differently, and a changing political administration that impacted how communities and our audiences viewed the work of journalists, we faced all the hurdles together. Through it all, EWA and its members have shown how resilient we are by covering the challenges in our communities from K–12 to postsecondary education, and managing double-duty as many newsrooms shrank.
My vision for EWA is to grow our programming and center our operations on the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion. The EWA staff and our board are committed to strengthening our membership with enhanced benefits, and collaborative partnerships with current and future stakeholders. Whether you are “New to the Beat,” mid-career, or have transitioned out of journalism and are now an active community member, EWA is your home for community, education, inspiration, and innovation.
The core of our work will be to continue to provide the services that recognize and uplift our journalist members’ exceptional accomplishments and partner with both our journalist and community members in your ongoing professional development. We’ll also be rolling out some new tech tools for our members in the coming year and reviving our Source Search database — a tool for journalists and our community members. Additionally, we will explore expanding our programming to incorporate support in mental health, leadership, and research to deepen your work.
My vision and commitment to EWA will always be to center our strength on providing quality programming and building an inclusive and welcoming environment for all our members, partners, and supporters.
Throughout my career, which includes eight years as executive director of the Asian American Journalism Association, I have focused on innovating and producing new programming. I look at this work through the lens of, “How can a journalism association be more than just an association?” I am excited to partner with EWA’s membership to answer this question.
Shortly after the National Seminar, we will be holding a number of EWA Town Halls to allow us to get feedback from the membership as we begin the dialogue about how the national office can support your professional development.
Please join us in Atlanta, where you will be inspired by the programming and the opportunities to network with your colleagues. I welcome you to connect with me on your ideas and feedback and hope you will continue to engage in our seminars, webinars, and online tools.