State Leaders & Ethnic Media Prepare for First Statewide Symposium, Expo, and Awards

150 media representatives will meet with top state leaders

(Sacramento) – On Thursday, August 31, top leaders and decision makers from across state agencies will meet with 150 ethnic media representatives to talk about building more public awareness about some of California’s most pressing problems at the first ever California Ethnic Media Symposium, Expo and Awards. 

The event will kick off with a luncheon with remarks from US Census director Robert Santos on the demographics behind the enduring power of ethnic media as well as Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D, and will announce the Communications Champions Awards for showcasing government departments, community-based organizations, and communications firms who have created innovative materials, messaging, videos, and other communication tools to effectively reach communities throughout California.

During the symposium attendees will hear from Government Operations Secretary Amy Tong and Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin who will speak on how they are approaching building infrastructure with an equity lens.

Michelle Baass, Director of the Department of Health Care Services, Susan DeMarois, Director of the Department of Aging, Becky Monroe, deputy director of Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs at the Civil Rights Department, and Marcela Ruiz, director of the Office of Equity for California Department of Social Services will share their priorities, vision, and challenges on reaching and engaging California’s diverse communities to help save lives.

Lastly, attendees will join the exchange will be leaders from community-based organizations working to build stronger ties with ethnic media on campaigns such as Stop the Hate and health care access disparities.

“Ethnic media needs a presence at the table when statewide communication campaigns are planned and implemented. For the first time we’re coming together to meet and brainstorm with decision makers about how to build more inclusive communications,” says California Black Media Executive Director Regina Brown Wilson and event co-host with Ethnic Media Services (EMS).

“This event aims to build a direct channel of communications with the state to bridge a vital information gap between government and an increasingly diverse public,” says Sandy Close, EMS Director. “The response from both sectors is inspiring. Ethnic media representatives are coming from as far away as El Centro in Imperial County and Hoopa in Humboldt — representing both long-time veterans and emerging outlets serving newcomer audiences.”

“We’re excited to participate in this ground-breaking event, building on what we learned from our communication campaigns for the Census and the pandemic,” says Maricela Rodriguez.

“We welcome this opportunity,” says Secretary Amy Tong.

The California Ethnic Media Symposium, Expo & Awards is a must-attend event for anyone interested in the diverse and vibrant ethnic media landscape of California.  Taking place on Thursday Aug. 31, 2023, at 11 am, this in-person event will be held at the Kimpton-Sawyer Hotel at 500 J St. in downtown Sacramento. For more details, visit:

CONTACT: Jessica Martin, EMS 415-743-0474


Ethnic Media Services: Ethnic Media Services works to enhance the capacity of ethnic news outlets to inform and engage diverse audiences on broader public issues with the goal of building a more inclusive participatory democracy. Learn more at:

California Black Media: California Black Media is a convener and trusted advocate for more than 30 independent Black-owned-and-operated news publishers, multimedia platforms and broadcasters across California. At the core of our mission is a commitment to “plead our own cause,” a phrase inspired by the words and wisdom of activist, educator, and pioneering journalist Ida B. Wells. Learn more at:


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