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White House press secretary talks representation, journalists at NABJ/NAHJ

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Photo taken during NABJ, NAHJ conference in Las Vegas, August 2022

Jordan D. Brown and Kiara Smith with SGJC Student News Network

Karine Jean-Pierre, the 35th White House Press Secretary, joined the National Association of Black and Hispanic Journalist Convention in Las Vegas on Saturday to give remarks to attendees.

The first black and openly LGBTQ+ White House press secretary joined NABJ president Dorothy Tucker and NAHJ president Nora López for a sit-down Q&A session Saturday morning.

At one of the largest conferences for journalists of color, Jean-Pierre spoke on the importance of diversity and representation in the journalism field, the White House administration and all workforces.

“It is important to have representation,” Jean-Pierre said. “It is important to have people to look like me and people to look like all of you.”

Jean-Pierre also briefed on the importance of journalism to democracy and its recently strained relationship with the public.

She emphasized the White House administration’s efforts not to attack journalists or put them in “harm’s way.”

“That is not how we should be treating the media or anyone,” Jean-Pierre said. “So that is number one. You will not be attacking the media, we will not be calling your people to attack the media or to mistreat them.”

Jean-Pierre spoke about the recent concerns in Russia with WNBA Phoenix Mercury player, Brittney Griner, her detainment, and President Joe Biden’s outreach.

“When it comes to Brittney Griner, we're going to take extraordinary measures as we have, as I've said, to make sure she comes home,” Jean-Pierre said. “We have a substantial offer on the table and we're going to continue to have that conversation between the government.”

Several journalists attending the conference asked Jean-Pierre about the Biden administration’s plans for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, bans against assault weapons in effort to prevent mass shootings, immigration issues and more.