AAJA Fest: What is it and how did we get here?

We are excited to announce that #AAJA20 is going virtual!

Save the date for our first-ever virtual AAJA Fest, August 9-15, 2020!

Thank you foryour patience and understanding as we navigated the complexity of planning in uncertain circumstances. The onset of the pandemic and its continued threat forced us to consider: How do we keep everything we love about #AAJA20 while prioritizing safety and being fiscally responsible?

How do we bring VISIBILITY to our work, our journalists and our community when we can’t see each other in person?

We decided to start with what we know: We know we need to come together, now more than ever, and we know how to design meaningful and memorable conventions — even if we’re still learning the adaptations for a virtual experience.

That’s why #AAJA20 will be an AAJA Festa reckoning and a celebration of all that 2020 has brought our way.

As always, our annual gathering will center on:

  • LEARNING: A time to learn and hone your skills. To bring your best self to be even better. To learn new skills. To learn how you can evolve, adapt, and LEAD. 
  • CONNECTING: A space for sharing and convening. The hard conversations. Grieving and celebrating. The light-hearted conversations. Catching up with old friends and familiar faces.
  • COMMUNITY: A time to participate with family. We’re planning a series of fun contests, game nights, and of course, karaoke. We want to provide a space for your families at home to join in on the AAJA spirit.

There will be a lot of unknowns, but we’re journalists: We adapt and thrive. Our hallway conversations will be sidebar chats, we’ll give virtual high-fives rather than seeing each other IRL, and we will still belt it out at karaoke. 

How much is AAJA Fest, you ask? For the first time, and in the spirit of community and allyship, AAJA Fest will not distinguish between AAJA members and non-members. Rather we will offer “Festival Only” rates, as well as “Festival Bundle” rates to encourage AAJA membership. This bundle rate includes festival registration as well as a $15 discount to AAJA annual membership, and is available to both new and renewing members. Our early bird rates will run until Friday, July 31; rates will increase on Saturday, August 1. For more information on rates, visit www.aaja20.org.

Registration will be ready soon and we’ll be announcing it far and wide. (If you’ve already registered for #AAJA20, we’ll be sharing more details then, too.)

Please join us in planning AAJA Fest! Send us your ideas about trainings, workshops, conversations you want to have, important issues we should tackle together, and just as importantly, any games and activities to uplift our spirits in this time. Join our Social Programming Committee to help make our AAJA Fest as celebratory and fun virtually as it would be in person

We know it’s been quite a year. So save the date, invite your friends, and get ready for AAJA Festa space for AAJA Family to process the immense pains from this year, find comfort in our community, and find solutions for bringing more visibility to our communities and our journalism for the rest of 2020 and beyond.

See you in August!


Michelle Ye Hee Lee    Naomi Tacuyan Underwood       Jin Ding & Leezel Tanglao

National President          Executive Director                        Convention Programming Co-Chairs

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