Sponsored by a $70,000 Ford Foundation grant, the 12-member contingent of writers and photographers will develop and file conference stories and will produce a publication featuring in-depth pieces on the meeting, reportedly the largest of its kind.
"We believe this important project will contribute to increased understanding of women's issues and diversity for our readers," said Dinah Eng, president of Unity 99 and the Asian American Journalists Association.
Also comprising Unity 99 are the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, National Association of Black Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association.
The umbrella group was formed to expand diversity within the American news media and promote multicultural collaboration.
Eng said the journalists assigned to Beijing will have the opportunity to file stories from their own perspectives for distribution to mainstream and ethnic and community media outlets.
They also will cover the Non-Governmental Organizations Forum on Women (NGO), which will precede the UN conference in Beijing. More than 33,000 people are expected to attend the two events.
The following members are in the Unity delegation.
AAJA: Paul Kuroda, freelance photographer and winner of the 1990 Newspaper Photographer of the Year Award; Diane Yen-Mei Wong and Helen Zia, both freelance writers.
NABJ: Dorothy B. Gilliam, Washington Post columnist and NABJ president; Sacramento Bee staff photographer Kim Johnson; and Jessica Lee, senior Washington correspondent, USA Today.
NAJA: NAJA executive director and freelance writer Ruth Denny; Winona LaDuke of the Indigenous Women's Network; and Mary A. Pember, photography editor, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader.
NAHJ: Diane Alverio, freelance writer; Mandalit Del Barco, reporter for National Public Radio; and Beatriz Terrazas, Dallas Morning News staff photographer.
By: Editorial Staff UNITY 99, A coalition of four minority journalism associations, is sending a reporting group to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing Sept. 4-15.