Upcoming Events

Past Events

Transition to Digital Journalism Workshop in Costa Rica

costa rica

Date: May 11-15, 2016
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica

GCJD is heading to Costa Rica to work with the Association of Journalists of Costa Rica. The center is bringing a team of expert trainers to help journalists more efficiently transition to delivering news digitally. The weeklong training will focus on visual storytelling, digital video, data journalism and social media.

#StartByBelieving: Sexual Assault Awareness Month

beirut flag

Date: April 2016
Location: Huntsville, Texas

GCJD and our Campus & Community Partners will kick off #StartByBelieving in April; a civic engagement project to help combat sexual assault. The effort will be aimed at educating citizens and law enforcement to respond in a more productive way so that reporting of the crimes increases. #StartByBelieving will feature a variety of events throughout April.

World Press Freedom Day 2016

wpfd 2016

Date: April 27, 2016
Location: Huntsville, Texas

GCJD will commemorate World Press Freedom Day a bit earlier than the rest of the world to accommodate the academic schedule. Every year, World Press Freedom Day is a day to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession. This year, GCJD will take a close look at press freedom in the USA.

Taking Control of the Narrative - Tribal Journalists


Date: April 11-15, 2016
Location: Huntsville, Texas

GCJD is partnering with the Global Press Institute to train female journalists from the Pine Ridge Reservation. A week of intensive training will take place on SHSU’s Huntsville campus. The Journalists-in-training for GPI’s Tribal Nations news desk will also have an opportunity to do field exercises and will be interviewing leaders in the Huntsville community.

Zika and the Disease Detectives: Working to Unravel Zika Mysteries


Date: March 29, 2016
Location: The Woodlands, Texas

In the past 18 months, little known infectious diseases, including Ebola, Dengue fever, Chikungunya and most recently Zika have infected Americans, and generated much national, and local interest. Many government agencies, state and local health departments, and private healthcare providers have had to quickly undertake emergency risk communication, while others have had to consider how they would respond should a case arise in their state or facility.

HS Journalism Teacher Workshop - Audio Storytelling

Date: February 12, 2016
Location: Huntsville, Texas

GCJD is hosting a workshop on Audio Storytelling for high school journalism teachers. Podcasts are growing in popularity, and with the majority of people owning smart phones, they are more accessible than ever. But creating an interesting and engaging podcast- and then launching it digitally can be harder than you think. This highly interactive workshop will take attendees from story ideation through actually launching their own podcast feed.

Election Coverage and Reform

beirut flag

Date: December 10-13, 2015
Location: Beirut, Lebanon

GCJD will travel to Beirut in December to work with student journalists on how to effectively cover elections and to work with social reform NGOs on messaging their cause to international media outlets.

Hands Across Sam: #OneSamFam

immigration nation

Date: December 3, 2015
Location: Huntsville, Texas

In light of all the racial tensions on campuses across the U.S., SHSU students will gather at 12:25pm in the LSC Mall for Hands Across Sam to promote racial unity.

Pulitzer Prize Winner Sonia Nazario to Speak at SHSU

Sonia Nazario

Date: November 17, 2015
Location: Huntsville, Texas

GCJD is bringing Pulitzer Prize Winner and award-winning journalist, Sonia Nazario to SHSU. Nazario won world recognition for her coverage on this country’s most intractable problems — hunger, drug addiction, and immigration. Nazario's visit will be part of GCJD's semester long discussion on immigration.


immigration nation

Dates: October 22 - November 17, 2015
Location: Huntsville, Texas

The GCJD Academic Community Engagement Class will host a series of events to raise awareness about immigration issues. The events will lead up to GCJD guest speaker, Sonia Nazario, an author and Pulitzer Prize Winner.

Data Journalism Conference

data journalism

Date: October 14, 2015
Location: Beijing, China

GCJD is joining forces with Tsinghua University in Beijing to train journalists to effectively use Data Journalism for storytelling. GCJD will bring an international team of trainers to China in October to help journalists refine their skills and understand how to use the tools that are available to them.

CMIT Training


Date: October 8, 2015
Location: Huntsville, Texas

The Correctional Management Institute of Texas (CMIT), Sonoma State University, and the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy, have teamed up to develop a unique leadership development program for senior leadership in the correction management field. GCJD Executive Director, Kelli Arena, will oversee another training as part of this program in October.

GCJD Hosted Free Training for Local Journalists

local journ training

Date: September 30, 2015
Location: Huntsville, Texas

Local journalists from half a dozen news organizations joined GCJD for a half day workshop aimed at helping journalists better cover law enforcement. Bryan Carlisle, the assistant police chief from Shenandoah, Texas and Patricia Villafranca, special agent with the FBI in Houston shared their knowledge with reporters about how to navigate information gathering and story telling when covering the police beat.

Lebanese Oil & Gas Journalists to Visit

lebanese visitors

Date: September 20-26, 2015
Location: Huntsville, Texas

A group of journalists from Lebanon will be making the trek to Huntsville. As part of an ongoing project with the Samir Kassir Foundation, journalists will spend a week getting a first hand look at the U-S oil and gas sector. Journalists will meet with a variety of experts to discuss the sector and will tour several sites.

Polish Journalists to Visit

poland visitors

Date: September 13-19, 2015
Location: Huntsville, Texas

A group of journalists and academics from Poland will come to Huntsville in September for a week long program. The group will participate in in-depth discussions about U-S journalism trends and topics that U-S journalists are covering.

LEMIT Training


Date: July 13-14, 2015
Location: San Antonio, Texas

GCJD will continue to provide crisis communications and other training to law enforcement officials for the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT). GCJD executive director Kelli Arena covered law enforcement during her years at CNN and will oversee a LEMIT training session in San Antonio, Texas. GCJD aims to educate law enforcement on how to develop a healthy, transparent relationship with the press.

Law Enforcement Leadership Conference

law leadership

Date: June 23, 2015
Location: Huntsville, Texas

GCJD will be participating in a training conference for law enforcement leaders led by the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT). Stephen Green, a reporter for the Conroe Courier, will be representing GCJD at this conference. GCJD will continue to work with law enforcement to improve their relationship with the press and to get credible and accurate information to the public as quickly as possible.

Nonprofit Journalism Conference

nonprofit thumb

Date: June 16, 2015
Location: Stendal, Germany

GCJD explored the nonprofit model with pioneers in the field at a conference in Germany. The center partnered with Magdeburg-Stendal University to work with professional journalists, students and media professionals interested in, or participating in nonprofit journalism.

Data and Privacy Panel Discussion

Michael Christopher Brown

Date: May 7, 2015
Location: Beirut, Lebanon

GCJD partnered with Skeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom in May to host a panel discussion, “Freedom and Privacy: The Impossible Equation?” in Beirut, Lebanon as part of the Samir Kassir Foundation’s (SKF) 10 year anniversary.

World Press Freedom Day 2015

Michael Christopher Brown

Date: April 29-30, 2015
Location: SHSU Campus

For the third year in a row, GCJD students will host a demonstration to raise awareness about the importance of press freedoms, in conjunction with World Press Freedom Day (celebrated internationally on May 3, 2015). 

Son Of a Convicted Terrorist, Zak Ebrahim is Coming to SHSU

Zak Ebrahim

Date: April 7, 2015
Location: SHSU Campus

The Global Center welcomes guest speaker Zak Ebrahim, the son of a convicted terrorist. No stranger to violence and extremism, Ebrahim travels the world to preach a message of peace. Ebrahim’s father is in prison for the murder of the Jewish Defense League. While serving time in prison, he was also planning attacks on dozens of New York City’s landmarks including the World Trade Center. Come and hear his dramatic story and learn how he broke away from the terrorist ideology.


know your enemy thumb

Date: April 6-7, 2015
Location: SHSU Campus

To help educate their peers and members of the community, GCJD students created a series of info-graphics providing a snapshot of five terrorist groups that have declared the United States an enemy. In conjunction with a social and campus media campaign dubbed #knowyourenemy, students arranged the visit of Zak Ebrahim.

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health

Date: March 23-27, 2015
Location: SHSU Campus

The Global Center will host a variety of events on the SHSU campus to raise awareness about mental health related issues.


Women in Media Workshop

Cristi HegranesDate: March 6, 2015
Location: SHSU Campus

GCJD Presents Cristi Hegranes, founder & director of Global Press Institue, to SHSU faculty and students to discuss the importance of diversity in news gathering.

GCJD Collaborates with SHSU Center for International Education on Conference

Photo Essay ContestDate: March 5-6, 2015
Location: SHSU Woodlands Campus

GCJD will collaborate with the Center for International Education at the 2nd Annual Universality of Global Education Issues Conference March 5-6 at The Woodlands Center Campus.

GCJD is Hosting a Photo Essay Contest

Photo Essay ContestDate: February 2015
Location: SHSU Campus

Take a digital photo that "tells a story" abut an important social issue, way of life, or news development. One entry per student. Give it to a title and send it to gcjd@shsu.edu. First Prize will be a GoPro camera!!!

Award-Winning Photojournalist Zoriah Miller to Conduct Workshops & Lecture

Zak Ebrahim

Date: February 23-24, 2015
Location: SHSU Campus

Zoriah is an award-winning photojournalist whose work has been featured in some of the world’s most prestigious galleries, museums and publications.  Zoriah's clients include National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, BBC News, The United Nations, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, NPR, The Wall  Street Journal, Fortune and many others.

GCJD is Hosting Journalism Teacher Workshop

Photo Essay ContestDate: February 23, 2015
Location: Huntsville High School

GCJD is collaborating with Region VI Education Center to invite high school journalism teachers from around the region to attend a workshop exploring journalism and technology. The workshop will be led by SHSU Mass Communications Professor Dr. Marcus Funk and award-winning photojournalist Zoriah Miller. For more information, contact gcjd@shsu.edu.

GCJD to Work With Media and Military and Law Enforcement in Beirut

GCJD LogoDate: January 2015
Location: Beirut, Lebanon

GCJD will once again team up with the Samir Kassir Foundation in Beirut, Lebanon; this time to bring together a team of experts to address the on-going issues of mistrust and outright aggression between the Lebanese media, law enforcement, and the military.

GCJD Hosts World Affairs Council at The Woodlands Center

WAC logo

Date: December 18, 2014
Location: SHSU Campus

GCJD hosted the World Affairs Council at The Woodlands Center.

Read more>>

GCJD Talks About Race Relations


Date: Dec. 2-4, 2014
Location: SHSU Campus

GCJD students hosted a series of events to raise awareness about racial relations on the SHSU campus.

Read more>>

GCJD Participates in Read-to-Succeed Author's Forum

Ready Player One Logo

Date: Nov. 13, 2014
Location: SHSU Campus

GCJD participated in the Read-to-Succeed Author's Forum.

Read more>>

GCJD Students Join Fight Aainst Modern Day Slavery

End It Movement

Date: October 8 & 13-14, 2014
Location: SHSU Campus

GCJD students will stand up for the 27 million men, women and children trapped in slavery around the world today. They can be found in brothels, factories, homes and out in broad daylight right here in the USA. Joining a broader "End It Movement"  across the world, students will host a series of campus events:

OCTOBER 8:Experience the reality of the lives of slaves through a dramatic live performance. LSC MALL

OCTOBER 13-14: View powerful images, and learn more about how close to home modern-day slavery really is. LSC ATRIUM

GCJD Speaker Event>>

GCJD Guest Speaker Series: Shyima Hall- Hidden Girl: The True Story of a Modern Day Slave

Shyima Hall Book Cover PhotoDate: October 14, 2014, 5pm
Location: SHSU Campus, Gaertner Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

When Shyima Hall was eight years old her poverty-stricken Egyptian parents, overwhelmed with close to a dozen children, sold her into slavery. The price? Less than thirty dollars a month. Join GCJD to hear Shyima's whole story, from slavery to becoming a US citizen.

GCJD to Travel to Philippines to Train Journalists


Date: September 16-17 & 19-20, 2014
Location: Philippines

GCJD will team up with Rappler News Agency to present a workshop for journalists in the Philippines to assist them with pushing for more accountability and transparency from their government, based on the inadequate official response and information sharing in the wake of super-storm Yolanda/Haiyan. While there, Kelli Arena will also deliver a speech at the PH+Social Good Summit on how journalists are often walking the fine line between activism and journalism and how that fits into our evolving global societies.

GCJD Partners with the Samir Kassir Foundation to Help Journalists Responsibly Cover the Emerging Energy Sector in the Levant Region


Date: Summer 2014
Location: Beirut, Lebanon

The Global Center for Journalism and Democracy and partners will design and implement tailored training programs for journalists working in 10 different media outlets covering the sector.

CC Photo courtesy of rabiem22|Flickr

Pushing for Transparency: Journalism Workshop in Poland


Dates: June 29-July 4, 2014
Location: Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, Poland

GCJD will take a group of expert trainers to the Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, Poland to work with both student and professional journalists on how to track EU funds as they trickle down to local communities, with a special focus on their responsibility to keep officials accountable. Read more>>

GCJD Continues Mission in Tunis


Date: May 26-30, 2014
Location: Tunis, Tunisia

GCJD will travel to Tunisia to work with political parties on their communications strategies. It's part of GCJD's mission to promote transparent relationships between the press and the entities it covers. Cody Lewis, an SHSU public relations major will be traveling with the center. GCJD will be partnering with NDI in Tunis. This is the third collaboration between NDI and GCJD. Read more>>

World Press Freedom Day


Date: Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Location: SHSU Campus, Huntsville, TX

For the second year in a row, the students in the Global Center Workshop Class will host an on-campus event to raise awareness about World Press Freedom Day, and the issues faced by journalists in repressive societies around the world. Read more>>

GCJD Tackles Wrongful Conviction


Date: April 12, 2014
Location: Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall in Huntsville, Texas

GJCD joins forces with SHSU's School of Music to present the 52nd Annual SHSU Contemporary Music Festival. This year's theme is "Social Justice and Music". The event will be held in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center at Sam Houston State University Join us for an informative, entertaining and unique experience. Read more>>

"The Innocents"photo courtesy of Dr. John Lane, Director of Percussion Studies.

GCJDPromotes Freedom of Expression in the Middle East and North Africa

GCJD will be Back in Lebanon to Work with Journalists who Cover the Arts and Culture Beat   title=

Date: March 24-30, 2014
Location: Beirut, Lebanon

Journalists who properly cover this beat have their finger on the pulse of society. They are the first to identify unrest, government repression, and the will of the people. GCJD will join its partners to help journalists understand the important role they play when covering arts and culture.

Read the full report from the Samir Kassir Foundation.

Read more from GCJD>>

Photo of Lebanese singer, Majida El Roumi, courtesy of Wikipedia.

Whistle-blower, Jay "Jaybird" Dobyns Talks About His Battle with the Government

Jay Dobyns

Date: March 4, 2014 at 5:30pm
Location: GPAC Dance Theatre, Huntsville, TX

He says his government betrayed him. The same government he risked his life for working as an undercover agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. After infiltrating the notorious Hells Angels, the mission and his identity were exposed putting not only him, but his wife and children at risk. Dobyns says the ATF ignored his pleas for protection. His only hope? To turn whistleblower. His only ally? The press. Join us on March 4th to hear it from the man himself, Jay Dobyns. Read more>>

GCJD Teams Up with CMIT for Senior Level Leadership Development Program


Date: February 27, 2014
Location: SHSU Campus, Huntsville, TX

The Correctional Management Institute of Texas (CMIT), Sonoma State University, and the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy, have teamed up to develop a unique leadership development program for senior leadership in the correction management field.

The program is sculpted to capture and present significant insight and knowledge into the understanding, recognition, and impact of senior level decision making with an emphasis on applying Strategic/Critical based thinking skills with a core focus on the fundamental platform principles associated with Senior Leadership.

SHSU Global Center to Kick Off 2014 with the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas


Date: January 28, 2014
Location: Huntsville, Texas

GCJD will continue to provide crisis communications and other training to law enforcement officials for the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT). GCJD executive director Kelli Arena covered law enforcement during her years at CNN and will oversee multiple LEMIT training sessions in various Texas cities throughout the year. GCJD aims to educate law enforcement on how to develop a healthy, transparent relationship with the press. 

Journalist and Political Party Training


Date: November 11-15, 2013
Location: Tunisia

GCJD will partner with NDI to work with Journalists to help them understand the role they play in ensuring fair and credible elections. The center will also work with various political parties to help them understand relationships with an independent media. Read more>>

AUDEM Conference

FBI National Academy Training Program.

Date: October 13-15, 2013
Location: Sarajevo, Bosnia

GCJD will present at the Alliance of Universities for Democracy annual conference.

GCJD Speaker Series- "That's entertainment! The reshaping of news."

FBI National Academy Training Program.

Date and Time: October 22, 2013, 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Location: Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall in Huntsville, Texas

GCJD hosts Journalist and Author Kitty Pilgrim as she discusses the evolution of news. Kitty will also be handing out free copies of her novel, The Explorer's Code.


Watch the video >>

Law Enforcement and Media in Texas

Date: October 1, 2013
Location: Huntsville, Texas

GCJD will train police chiefs from around the country on how to deal with the media during a crisis.


Presentation at the FBI National Academy

FBI National Academy Training Program.

Date: May 23, 2013
Location: the FBI National Academy campus in Quantico, Virginia

GCJD Executive Director Kelli Arena taught a class at the FBI's National Academy on May 23rd. The class is part of the FBI's National Academy program. The GCJD is committed to working with a variety of government agencies around the world to help them better appreciate the role of a free press and how to build credible relationships with journalists.


Gender Equity Training Session

Woman holding voter ID card

Dates: May 14-16, 2013
Location: Alazai Hotel, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

The Global Center for Journalism and Democracy will conduct a training for journalists on the issue of gender equity in Burkina Faso. Workshops will be held on May 14-16 at the Alazai hotel in Ouagadougou. GCJD is partnering with the National Democratic Institute, which has a local office there. We expect about 50 participants from throughout the country to attend. Trainers are coming from the United States, Egypt, Slovenia as well as Burkina Faso.

About this event >>

World Press Freedom Day

World Press Freedom dove logo

Date & Time: May 2 & 3, 10:00am-2:00pm
Location: Mall Area, Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas

Come Celebrate World Press Freedom Day! May 2nd and 3rd outside the LSC from 10a-2p. Did you know that in dozens of countries around the world journalists are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered? Come learn more about the true cost of Press Freedom.

About this event >>

GCJD Speaker Series - "Target! Journalist"

Irish journalist Mary Fitzgerald

Date & Time: April 18, 2013, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: LSC Theater, Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas

More than two dozen journalists have been killed covering the conflict in Syria, labeled the most dangerous place on Earth for the press. Still, some brave reporters have ventured into the country to let the world know what is happening there. Irish journalist Mary Fitzgerald, is one of them. Hear the chilling details of her life as a foreign correspondent who has worked in the world's most dangerous places.

Watch the video >>

Training Session for Journalists in the Oil and Gas Sectors

Ocean oil rig at sunset

Dates: March 15-17, 2013
Location: Beirut

The Global Center for Journalism and Democracy is headed back to Beirut March 15-17th to conduct a training session for journalists who cover the oil and gas sectors. Reporters will work with industry experts, seasoned journalists, environmentalists and financial experts to learn how to more accurately, and thoroughly cover the sector. GCJD is again teaming up with the Samir Kassir Foundation in an effort to promote a free and vibrant press in the Middle East and North Africa.

About this event >>

Critical Incident Communication Competencies: Affirming Agency Mission in Crisis, Workshop Presentation at the 2013 American Correctional Association Winter Conference

Workshop on communicating with media outlets.

Conference Dates: January 25-30, 2013
Workshop: January 27, 2013, 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Location: George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas

Effective, accurate and timely communication with media outlets is especially important during a time of crisis or a critical incident within your agency or jurisdiction. Kelli Arena, longtime news correspondent with CNN, along with Alan Bernstein, a former re- porter and editor with the Houston Chronicle, will provide participants an opportunity to learn through an interactive workshop critical skills and knowledge that will enable them to build their communication competencies.

More at ACA.org >>

Media Coverage of International Justice: International Conference and Training Workshops

Conference Date & Time: January 18, 2013, 10:00am - 6:00pm
Training Workshops: January 19-20, 2013, 10:00am - 5:00pm
Location: Riviera Hotel in Beirut, Lebanon

The Global Center for Journalism and Democracy is honored to co-host its first international conference "Media Coverage of International Justice" to be held on Friday, January 18, 2013, at the Riviera Hotel in Beirut. The conference is organized in partnership with the SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom at the Samir Kassir Foundation, thanks to the generous support of the European Union and the Foundation for the Future.

About this conference >>

GCJD Speaker Series- "Egypt and the Post Revolution"

Shahira Amin, Activist and Journalist

Date & Time: October 29, 2012, 6:00pm
Location: James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, Sam Houston State University

Shahira Amin, an independent journalist and activist in Egypt, will share her experiences and thoughts about the dramatic changes that are currently taking place in the Middle East and North Africa.


Watch the video >>

Global Center for Journalism and Democracy
Dan Rather Communications Building, Room 201, Huntsville, TX 77340
Phone: (936) 294-4399