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NABJ President Sarah Glover Builds Greater Global Understanding for NABJ

Wednesday, August 7, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Stephanie Guerilus
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NABJ President Sarah Glover Builds Greater Global Understanding for NABJ

By Stephanie Guerilus

MIAMI (Aug. 7, 2019) -- Sarah Glover, the first two-term president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), met with María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the General Assembly of the United Nations on July 12. 

According to Glover, the meeting was a successful exchange of ideas between the two leaders in which the need for transparency and journalism as a function of advocacy were prominent in the conversation.

“For me, being an American journalist, when I thought of press freedom issues in the past I would think about something happening somewhere else in the world; someone being at risk if they were covering a war or conflict, you know thinking something in the Middle East or somewhere in a far place in Africa,” President Glover said. “But press freedom issues are now very real and a threat to journalists in the United States because of politics and the political nature of things that are happening around Washington and the threats that journalists are under.”

President Espinosa Garcés shared Glover’s vision for press freedom and said she believed that the media was needed to bring awareness.

“I think that in terms of combating racism hate speech, you have a very, very important role to play,” she said.

During the meeting, Glover also discussed her recent trip to Colombia where she met and mentored Afro-Colombian journalists. The trip was to ensure that U.S. journalists are having more global reporting experiences.

Glover highlighted issues facing Black men including the NABJ Black Male Media Project, which, in its third year, took place on June 1 in more than 20 cities and in Colombia. Founded by Glover in 2016 to examine the role the media plays in perpetuating negative stereotypes about Black men the project focuses on combatting those stereotypes while promoting more fair and balanced coverage of black men and boys. She said she hoped to further the global footprint of this initiative and improve the lives of Black men worldwide.

“Black men are literally in a crisis, not just in the United States but globally in terms of well-being, life expectancy and job,” Glover said.

President Fernanda Espinosa Garcés made history as the first woman from Latin America to become President of the UN General Assembly. She said one of her goals was to make sure the U.N. was valued as more than just a bureaucracy but making a real impact in the lives of people.

“I have selected a theme and to be the cross cutting theme for this year’s session of the general assembly which is to make the U.N. relevant and. That of course is to bring the U.N. closer to the people we serve but also the people we serve to the U.N.,” she said. “We wanted to change the perception that the U.N was a huge elephant, difficult to understand and also the impacts of our work on the ground are not well known. And so, we’ve made a big effort on communicating better, interacting more with youth groups, with women’s groups, academias, universities.”

Female empowerment was another theme that was touched upon. Glover shared how the #MeToo movement has led to more gains for women in the media but much work was still needed. In response, Fernanda Espinosa Garcés said gender, gender equality, female empowerment, climate change, migration and refugees are some of her top priorities.

Migration was the common denominator amongst all these factors. Education and cooperation was needed between the countries to address the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion, the two agreed.

“There are more than 260 million people, migrants, around the world and the right of people for freedom of movement is very important. The problem comes when this movement of people are forced and not a decision that we freely make. And here's when the UN it comes to play,” she said.

“Because just last year we approved the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration which is a major tool for countries to improve collaboration in working together. There is a need for partnerships between countries of origin, countries of transit, countries and destination.”

Glover pledged her support and that of the NABJ to bring these critical issues to light.

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