Greetings again from beautiful (but currently overcast) Denver! Despite the erratic weather (it was scorching hot yesterday), so far it has proven to be a wonderful experience.
I attended a “Geek Out!” workshop where attendees exchange tips on the latest technology. Then, I went to the Newsmaker Luncheon we have each year in the convention center ballroom, where NAHJ members were treated to a gourmet meal and an insightful, lively panel discussion on immigration reform.
Having brought plenty of flyers and business cards with me, I took advantage of the opportunity and gave a business card to Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, who spoke at the luncheon.
After the luncheon, I networked with a few more people and traded business cards, and then hit the career expo, where I handed out some résumés and spoke with a few recruiters and exhibitors about “Holdin’ Out for a Hero.”
Everyone had the same reaction when I told them that Latinos have the highest incidence of spina bifida out of all the ethnic groups: “Really? I had no idea! I didn’t know that.”
As I mentioned last time I blogged, I was going to try to visit the Lilly and Company booth. I talked to two very pleasant ladies who were intrigued by all the information I shared with them about spina bifida.
One of the organizations I am really eager to reach out to is the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). This is a labor union for people in the electronic media and entertainment industries.
My most relevant reason for contacting them (in addition to the fact that they are a national league of members of the media outlets!) is Inclusion in the Arts & Media of People with Disabilities (I AM PWD), a fast-growing campaign to support the inclusion of people with disabilities in the arts and media, free from physical or societal barriers.
Ray Bradford is a friend who I’ve seen at, I think, every single NAHJ or UNITY convention I have been to. He is the National Director of Equal Opportunities for AFTRA, and is fiercely committed to fairness, equality and parity for performers, journalists and communicators around the country.
The acronym “I AM PWD” is two-fold, as it can also be interpreted as “I am a person with a disability.” The message and work of this incredible organization is as inspiring as it is empowering– we can no longer be ignored because of a challenge that is beyond our control. This applies to all who are struggling to enter the workforce as a T.V. or journalist, voice-over artist, or actor because places of work are inaccessible to them.
So, it has been an interesting weekend to say the least. Stay tuned for another entry coming to you tonight, and then I gotta run to have some more Colorado fun!