She replaces Rafael Olmeda, assistant city editor of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, who resigned last week.
Joanna Hernandez, a copy editor for the North Jersey Media Group in Northern New Jersey, was elected UNITY's vice president by the board of directors.
UNITY is the group formed by the four largest associations for African American, Hispanic, Asian American and Native American journalists.
"As president I will continue UNITY's goal to save, keep and create new jobs in journalism," Ciara, managing editor of WTKR-TV in Norfolk, Va., said in a statement. "As alliance partners we have a voice in the chorus that cannot be ignored."
This story has been changed to update the current journalism job of newly elected vice president Joanna Hernandez.
By: E&P Staff Barbara Ciara, the immediate past president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), was elected president of UNITY: Journalists of Color Inc. this weekend.