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While the purpose of this blog is primarily to highlight the content I produce, I do occasionally like to highlight some of the other relevant journalism work I do. The recent National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ Region 2 conference that I organized is an example.

Since becoming regional director in the Fall of 2009, I’ve been committed to strengthening NAHJ within the region (New England to New Jersey). During that time, I have organized a major charity auction, overseen the creation of two professional chapters – NAHJ New England and NAHJ New York City – and organized two regional conferences. This is an unprecedented amount of activity for the region.

I have been extremely proud of the way that I, along with those who have been instrumental in assisting me in organizing and pulling off these events, have been able to continue the momentum. The most recent regional conference was a perfect example.

Held at New York University, “What’s New. What’s Next.” provided participants insight into media innovation and evolution through hands-on multimedia training and topical workshops. The conference was organized by myself and Yvonne Latty, the director of NAHJ’s graduate journalism program.

The two-day event featured an opening reception and book signing with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, breakfast session with MediaStorm, a luncheon sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a town hall with multiple NAHJ board members, a networking reception and 18 workshops/panel discussions.

In addition to planning, co-organizing and running the event, I was a panelist on a session on social media titled “Networking Your Networks: Social media for freelancers.” I also hosted a town hall for the NAHJ members and attendees.

The event was a huge success. We had over 100 attendees from throughout Region 2, but also from as far away as Florida and North Carolina. We also raised several thousand dollars for NAHJ, which comes at a time when the organization is in serious financial need.

Every time, I organize these events, I have moments where I think, “What am I doing?” Being on the NAHJ board is a volunteer position, and these events are so labor intensive, which comes on top of a freelance career and raising a toddler. But when I see how much enthusiam and excitement they generate about journalism and the sense of community they create for NAHJ members, it is incredibly rewarding.

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