NLGJA convention largest in a decade

by Joe Siegel
More than 450 journalists and media professionals attended this year’s convention for NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, held September 6-9 in Palm Springs, Calif.
“This was the largest national convention for NLGJA in over a decade,” beamed Adam K. Pawlus, the group’s executive director.
Panelists this year including New York Times Assistant Managing Editor Carolyn Ryan, Vox Senior Editor of Race and Identities Michelle Garcia, USA Today Network Vice President of Community News Randy Lovely, Wall Street Journal Managing Editor Karen Pensiero, CBS News Correspondent David Begnaud, Rebellious Magazine “Rebelle-in-Chief” Karen Hawkins, and Judy and Dennis Shepard, the parents of murdered gay college student Matthew Shepard.
NLGJA’s Adam K. Pawlus

“Our convention committee works hard every year to bring fresh programming and this year the more than 30 breakout sessions covered a variety of topics including ‘dead naming,’ increasing your ‘it factor,’ and navigating social media changes,” Pawlus noted. “We had 10 student participants in the CONNECT: Student Journalism Training Project.” The work produced by the students can be found at Some of the students also had their work published in The Advocate and the digital magazine INTO. 

This year’s Career & Community Expo showcased over 20 media organizations and exhibitors. There was also a Diversity Reception, a Travel Writers Reception, a Lifetime Members Reception, and a Women’s Networking Dinner. 
NLGJA also announced its 2018-2019 national board of directors. Sharif Durhams of CNN was confirmed as president and Jen Christensen of CNN was confirmed as vice president of broadcast. Durhams and Christensen join Treasurer Ken Miguel of San Francisco’s KGO-TV and Secretary Rick Stuckey of NBC Chicago on the executive board.

Joining the board of directors is Chris Martin of Bloomberg. Kristina Torres of the University System of Georgia and Sarah Blazucki of the U.S. Department of Justice have been elected as at-large directors. Torres was previously appointed to a one-year term and Blazucki previously served as vice president of print and online. Eric Hegedus of The New York Post was reelected as an at-large director. They join directors April Hunt of Emory University, freelancer Senta Scarborough, Jeff Truesdell of People Magazine, and Eric Walter of KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia.

Next year, NLGJA’s national convention will be held August 29 – September 1, 2019 in New Orleans. This will be the first time that NLGJA has hosted a convention in the city.

“I am thrilled that we’ll be heading to New Orleans for NLGJA’s 2019 national convention,” said Pawlus. “Amazing jazz, delicious beignets and the best LGBTQ journalists all in one city? What’s not to love?”
For more information and to register for the 2019 NLGJA Convention, visit
Volume 20
Issue 6

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