America's first journalism group for Latinos will celebrate its 40th year in existence during its annual banquet June 1 at downtown's Biltmore Millennium Hotel.

Unfortunately, this might also be its last year.

The director of CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California (where this writer is a board member) announced via email recently:

I just received notice from USC that it will NO LONGER be able to provide office space for CCNMA effective Aug. 1, 2012.

The notice, ironically, happened not long after USC's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, citing its support of Latino Journalists of California, among other factors, won the Equity & Diversty Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).

CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California was established after Los Angeles Times and KMEX journalist Ruben Salazar was killed by sheriff's deputies in 1970 following his coverage of an East L.A. Mexican American protest known as the Chicano Moratorium.

The group now gives out about a half-dozen scholarships each year to aspiring journalists, trains high schoolers at two-week journalism workshops in San Diego and San Jose, and provides a networking matrix for professionals.

Like other journalism groups, Latino Journalists of California has been running on deficits recently.

The loss of office space could be a fatal blow, Moran told Latino Journalists of California board members recently.

Or it could be an opportunity for crosstown rival UCLA to step in and save the day.

[@dennisjromero / / @LAWeeklyNews]

LA Weekly