UNITY Continues Advancing Entrepreneurship Among Diverse Journalists

McLean, VA, April 26, 2013 --(PR.com)-- A $200,000 grant from the Ford Foundation will enable UNITY to continue opportunities for entrepreneurial journalists of color, gay journalists and other underserved populations through the New U: News Entrepreneurs Working through UNITY project. The two-year grant will allow UNITY to expand the business training, mentoring, tutorials, boot camps and resources – including start-up funds – that UNITY has delivered for the past three years to support the launch of media related businesses with a social impact.

The New U project will be administered by UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, Inc., (formerly UNITY: Journalists of Color), an alliance of Asian, Hispanic, Native American and LGBT journalists.

The New U project will provide training at the conventions of UNITY alliance partners and other journalism associations this summer. Training will include modules designed to build and/or improve skills on business plan writing, marketing, presentation, market research and analysis, networking, budgeting, and branding. This year’s program will offer several low-fee based programs to grow the number of participating journalists, and include a competition for two $20,000 start-up seed grants to be awarded to the best ideas for innovative projects selected by a panel of judges and an online vote by other journalists this fall.

New U was first funded by the Ford foundation in 2010 to help increase the number of diverse, innovative idea-makers by providing them a platform on which to advance ideas. It is a project driven by committed volunteer mentors, speakers and motivated, competitive participants. New U acts as a conduit for access to development capital and a network of like-minded people, creating the opportunity for entrepreneurial journalists to succeed in new ways.

“The partnership that UNITY and The Ford Foundation have established through the New U project is one that we can all be proud of,” said Tom Arviso, UNITY President. “It allows a fair opportunities for fledgling entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas and models, then present them to the rest of us. It’s amazing and fun to see what these brilliant minds can come up with. New U offers great training and instruction from seasoned professionals and rewards those individuals who are willing to think seriously and work hard.”

New U directors are Doug Mitchell, founder/creator and project manager of NPR’s “next generation radio,” and Alli Joseph, a producer, journalist and entrepreneur. “Doug and I are pleased we’re able to serve a greater number of journalists who see a different future for themselves in charge of their own entrepreneurial destiny,” said Joseph. Added Mitchell, “We’ve found some great people who are eager to get the tools and understanding needed to build their own companies. We are fortunate that Ford has seen this trend and consistently funded this program to help our Fellows grow.”

Information and dates for New U will be distributed through UNITY and alliance partner websites, newsletters and other member communication outlets in April of 2013. To learn more about New U, please visit: www.unityjournalists.org/category/newu/

About UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, Inc.
UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, Inc. is a strategic alliance advocating fair and accurate news coverage about diversity — especially race, ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation – and aggressively challenging the industry to staff its organizations at all levels to reflect the nation’s diversity. For more information about UNITY, visit www.unityjournalists.org, email info@unityjournalists.org or call (703) 854-3585.

About the Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than half a century it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement.

Media Contact: Walt Swanston, Interim Executive Director., UNITY: 703-854-3585; executive@unityjournalists.org
UNITY: Journalists for Diversity
Ruchi Pandey