LAS VEGAS – The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ hosted a special conversation with Karine Jean-Pierre on Saturday at Caesars Palace during the groups’ joint convention and career fair.
Jean-Pierre is the assistant to the president and White House press secretary. Her historic appointment by President Joe R. Biden makes her the first Black and first openly gay LGBTQ+ person to hold the position.
“It is a time now to speak up and write about what we’re seeing out there,’ said Jean-Pierre. “The Biden-Harris administration knows you guys are the ones who lift up the work that we say so that our communities know what the administration is doing to uplift our communities”.
During the hour-long event, Jean-Pierre will gave remarks to journalists and participated in a Q&A with NABJ President Dorothy Tucker and NAHJ President Nora López.
Jean-Pierre also highlighted her uniqueness in being “a first in this role” because of President of Joe Biden. The decision the Biden’s in choosing her to speak for the White House and represent the administration’s policy is a part of an effort across federal government agencies “to look like the country”, she says.
The White House Press Secretary also spoke to imprisonment of WNBA Brittany Griner who was recently sentenced by a Russian Court for procession of drugs.
“She should have never gone through the trial we saw her go through. We want to see her come home. This a commitment we have from the administration. We will take extraordinary measures to do this!”
In a question from a journalist in the audience, she also addressed some of her critics in the media who attack her job performance.
“You just have to continue (for me) walk with my head up, walk with pride, know that I am here for a reason, I am living my purpose, and I am here because I am supposed to be here, and no one can take that away from me”
Before being named White House press secretary, Jean-Pierre served as principal deputy press secretary and the senior advisor to President-elect Joe Biden and chief of staff to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Prior to these roles, she served as chief public affairs officer for MoveOn.org and an NBC and MSNBC political analyst.