I was reviewing our Silent Auction list and I couldn’t help but be so grateful for all of the donations made by local businesses and the AAJA community for our Silent Auction. Here’s a sneak peek of what you can bid on next week:
Be a cheesemaker apprentice for a day, get free samples and be treated to lunch with Beecher’s Seattle‘s Cheesemaker for a Day certificate.
Don’t have a car? Zip around town with gift certificates from Zipcar Seattle!
Dine in style with a gift certificate from Seattle’s famous Canlis Restaurant! Thanks to some KING 5 employees for donating this tasty item.
Get your tickets now for AAJA Seattle’s biggest fundraiser of the year! This year’s banquet will be held on Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. at Acquabar in Belltown. Silent auction proceeds will go toward the Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship, which has supported more than 100 college students since the mid-1980s.
Former NJC scholarship recipient Thanh Tan, a multimedia reporter for The Texas Tribune, delivered the keynote speech to this yearâ€™s scholarship recipients. If you want to be inspired, watch her outstanding speech:
Our chapter and the Seattle Association of Black Journalists presented a leadership plaque to Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen for his consistent support of diversity nationally and locally. And we cut a red velvet cake to mark the 25th anniversary of the NJC scholarship, which has helped more than 100 aspiring journalists of color from Washington state with college expenses.
The Seattle chapter had an impressive showing at the AAJA National Convention in Detroit. Three of our members â€“ Caroline Li, Sarah Wallace, and Sunny Wu â€“ were awarded Ford Foundation fellowships to attend the conference. The chapter also sponsored University of Washington student Peter Sessum with a Founders scholarship. Whitworth University graduate Kyle Kim joined the team at this yearâ€™s VOICES convention newsroom project, which was led by the able Marian Liu (now community manager at Storify.com). Athima Chansanchai represented the Seattle chapter on the convention programming committee co-chair and on the Governing Board as National Secretary.
President: Sona Patel, social media producer, seattletimes.com (term expires in 2013)
VP-Programs: Lauren Rabaino, associate web producer, seattletimes.com (term expires in 2013)
VP-Events: Caroline Li, web entrepreneur (term expires in 2012)
Treasurer: Mai Hoang, business reporter, The Yakima Herald-Republic (term expires in 2012)
Secretary: Samantha Pak, reporter, The Redmond Reporter (term expires in 2013)
National Board Representative: Sanjay Bhatt, business reporter, The Seattle Times (term expires in 2013)
The new board already has stepped up to the plate, and itâ€™s not even Jan. 1! Sona Patel helped organize Holiday Scoop 2011, an unaffiliated event, with AAJA members Sharon Chan and Candace Heckman and Online News Association member Tiffany Campbell. The event raised $2,000 for the Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship!
You may have noticed that AAJA Seattleâ€™s website has a new look and feel. The site has served mainly as a bulletin board for chapter news and job listings as well as an archive of photos, videos and stories about past chapter events. Thanks to incoming chapter VP Lauren Rabaino, as well as AAJA members Sarah Wallace, Furhana Afrid and Sunny Wu, the site now is integrated with our @aajaseattle Twitter account and designed to offer a better user experience and engagement. If youâ€™d like to contribute stories to the site, please contact Lauren, whose Twitter handle is @laurenrabaino.
As we close out 2011, you still have a few days to make a tax-deductible donation to AAJA! You can make an online donation to AAJA Nationalâ€™s Power of One campaign or its scholarships. The Seattle chapter also welcomes donations by check to its P.O. Box. The chapter will have a PayPal option in 2012.
Donâ€™t forget to renew your AAJA membership! I encourage you to renew at the Gold or Platinum level, each of which include perks and special mention on the chapter and national websites. Platinum level membership includes your registration fee for UNITY 2012 in Las Vegas!
For the past four years, I have been honored to serve the chapter during a period of turbulence for our employers and our occupation. Working together, we finished the campaign to establish a $100,000 endowment for the NJC scholarships, grew membership despite the closure of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and increased our reach through workshops, partnerships, field trips and digital media.
We are blessed in Seattle with a cadre of leaders who have an ethic of giving and paying it forward. I’d like to thank several people who supported me in ways large and small during my term: my fellow board members Nicole Tsong, Mai Hoang, Athima Chansanchai, Venice Buhain, Caroline Li, Owen Lei; AAJA Executive Director Kathy Chow; Karen Johnson of Hacks & Hackers; former AAJA chapter officers Sharon Chan and Lori Matsukawa; and the leadership of The Seattle Times, especially Publisher Frank Blethen, Executive Editor David Boardman and former Executive Editor Mike Fancher.
Being a journalist today is more challenging and entrepreneurial than ever before. Journalists must sharpen their skills, cultivate their network and have a community to stand behind them. You and your fellow members are AAJA. Together, we are charting a new course for journalism in the 21st century.
Furhana Afrid interviewed Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign.
Name: Furhana Afrid Hometown: Butte, Mont., â€œfor now until my next journalism adventure.â€ Born: Nairobi, Kenya Education: Radio and TV masterâ€™s degree from San Francisco State University Work: Exploring new career opportunities as a backpack journalist and social media producer. Formerly: News reporter/anchor with KXLF-TV in Montana, print reporter with California-based India-West, current affairs TV host in Nairobi, Kenya, and business sales assistant for Bayer East Africa. AAJA member since: 2009. Favorite book: Currently enjoying Ayaan Hirsa Aliâ€™s â€œFrom Islam to America.â€ Print or online news? Both. Best journalism moment: â€œOutpouring of support offered by people in Butte, Mont., after watching my story about scores of Kenyans who were displaced and killed after post-election violence in my home town of Nairobi, Kenya, in 2008.â€ Worst journalism moment: â€œWriting a news story about layoffs at a hospital and at the same time getting bad news I was losing my job.â€ Lingo: Speaks three South Asian languages (Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu) and East African language Swahili. Best gear: My video camera. Twitter handle: @furhanaafrid Check out: www.furhanaafrid.com/videos Must-see TV: â€œThe West Wing,â€
â€œThe Jerry Springer Showâ€ â€¦ kidding! No. 1 movie: â€œToo many. But one of my faves is â€˜Slum Dog Millionaire.â€™â€ You might not know: â€œI got my reporting feet wet in U.S. national politics while interviewing then-presidential candidate Barack Obama in Montana during the race for the White House in 2008.â€ Favorite food: â€œPakistani biryani, a slow-cooked preparation of spice-infused rice and layers of meat in a tomato and onion gravy.â€ Guilty pleasure: â€œThe darker the chocolate the better it tastes.â€ Main motivation: â€œMy hardworking parents in Kenya who started with nothing, little education, worked to the bone, educated my three sisters and I, gave us all equal opportunities to succeed in the world, and told us never to give up on our dreams.â€