Riverside-based publisher of the Black Voice News, Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds, was recently sworn in as the first African-American president of the California News Publishers Association (CNPA). The 131-year-old organization, headquartered in Sacramento, represents more than 400 newspapers across the state.

The CNPA installed Brown-Hinds at its annual conference earlier this month. More than one hundred California media professionals—from major big city dailies and small campus weeklies to historical Black, Latino and Asian outlets—attended the gathering. This year’s discussions touched on issues facing minorities in the upcoming 2020 Census. It also tackled sticky, longstanding media industry problems and pulled apart laws that could impact news operations across the state in the future.

“We have always valued the work CNPA has done on behalf of the industry,” Brown-Hinds told her colleagues in her inaugural speech as president. “The work that the Black Voice News has done over the years is impactful work in the community that changed lives, policy. I knew it was important for me to do this as well.”

Taking the helm of the CNPA is history-making not only because Brown-Hinds is the first African American and ethnic minority to lead the influential statewide organization. Her personal and family history of advocacy and community service brings a certain grassroots heft that has the potential to benefit the organization as it takes on major legislative issues facing the media across the state in 2019. She is also a professor at the University of California Riverside, and board member of the James Irvine Foundation.

“[Paulette] is a fearless leader. She’s not afraid to confront complex issues. She never stops working and is a shining example of diplomacy,” said Ron Hasse, immediate predecessor.