2015 Convention Photo Highlights

2015 NABJ Student Monitor 






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A Message From NABJ President Sarah Glover

It’s been a little over a month since the 2015-17 NABJ Board of Directors took office, but we’re already laying the groundwork for a successful two years -- and people are taking notice.


I’m honored to share with you the most notable highlight since my presidency began: NABJ was approved for a $100,000 Ford Foundation grant to help us execute a strategic-planning process in the next year. Our organization has not had a strategic plan since 2012. This is a remarkable development this week and the board and staff are excited to get the process under way.

I want to personally thank our executive director Darryl R. Matthews Sr. and the NABJ staff for their hard work. Typically, the weeks immediately following the NABJ convention are when staff takes 

much needed time off. So the staff’s ability to execute the rewriting and submission of this proposal post-convention is commendable and a huge win for NABJ.



Our executive director and I have been working with NAHJ President Mekahlo Medina and NAHJ Executive Director Alberto Mendoza to begin planning next year’s convention. Our joint convention will be THE convention to attend in 2016. Please mark your calendars and request time off now to attend. The convention takes place August 3-7, 2016, in Washington, D.C. The convention week coincides with the start of the Summer Olympics in Rio. After we 

returned from the Minneapolis convention, I asked Executive Director Matthews to work with our convention management company and to go back to the hotel again and ask if another date was possible. There are no alternative working dates for our convention next year so we embrace the existing date and will work to be sure we establish a successful joint convention plan with NAHJ. We will reach out to our partners and members and keep them informed often throughout the planning process. I look forward to sharing more news about the convention with you in the coming weeks.


I have ambitious goals for NABJ and there’s a lot I’d like to accomplish, both in the first 90 days and over the next two years. This board’s progress in its first 30 days is a strong indicator of the path we are on.

More here.


Secret meeting at D.C. hotel births NABJ

By Jordyn Holman
Special from the NABJ Monitor

NABJ's first meeting came to order in an undisclosed room at the Sheraton Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. It was a hushed affair on Friday, Dec. 12, 1975, where entry was allowed to only working black journalists.

The room — within a hotel that some founders say had a solid reputation of welcoming African Americans as guests — was packed with reporters and television producers from around the country. Some had received letters in the mail saying that black journalists were going to make one more attempt to form a nationwide coalition and they should get to D.C.


Others were covering Jesse Jackson and a conference for other black politicians being held at the same hotel. That conference gave some journalists a cover so no one would know what was happening, while others journalists wandered into the meeting not knowing what they were getting themselves into.

One of them was Allison Davis, a 22-year-old TV producer at a station in Boston. She was heading to a party when she learned about the secret meeting from a friend. Recognizing several faces in the room, including broadcast reporters Max Robinson and Maureen Bunyan, Davis decided to stay.

“It was all new to me. There was energy. There was excitement. There was chaos,” said Davis, who was named NABJ parliamentarian at that meeting after she redirected the conversation. “I just remember it as the start of something that

was going to be fresh, enlightening, powerful and never thought it would be for 40 years.”

With the room packed with close to 100 journalists, the conversation was all over the place. The organization that would become NABJ was forming at a time when several other associations for black professionals, such as lawyers and accountants, were popping up.

The swath of professionals went back and forth on which side of the industry — print or broadcast — would represent the face of the organization.

Some journalists, many whose names would not make it to the founders list, contemplated if they were compromising their jobs by even sitting in that room.

“We started to put it together, but we knew we were wandering into a problem,” said founding executive director Paul Brock. 

More here.



NABJ Convention Ceremony Highlights Four Decades of Service

By Aniya Spears, Melisa Robles Olivar, Sydney Kuykindall, Marissa Abara and Ernest Marshall
Special from the JSHOP Reporter

Excitement and anticipation filled the air as members of the world’s largest and oldest organization for journalists of color gathered to celebrate four decades of service at its welcoming ceremony.

The National Association of Black Journalists’ bash at the Minneapolis Convention Center downtown, opened its doors as hundreds of attendees were greeted in a procession including NABJ board members and several of the organization’s living founders. Big screens displayed social media posts and local events. Music blared in the background, while blue strobe lights danced around the room.


"It was the kickoff to NABJ’s 40th Convention and Career Fair. Members, students, founders and others associated with the organization attended the ceremony. There were performances, skits and other memorable moments.

The NABJ convention honors African American people and issues that matter to the public. This convention also honors the work of media organizations and individuals who work with various kinds of journalism including; broadcast, print and online.

“The organization was founded at a time when it was difficult for Black journalists to obtain employment, and when coverage of our community was unfair and filled with stereotypes. This was common in mainstream media organizations,” NABJ President Bob Butler said. “So, because these issues still exist, we are here together this week to honor this association and the 44 men and women who founded it.”

Sam Ford, a founder and lifetime NABJ member from Washington, D.C, said, “This year I’m looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and meeting other journalists. Since I started my career in Minneapolis, it is really great to be back. Our first convention was more of a meeting, but it has grown quite a bit since.”

During the NABJ Salute to Excellence event, awards will be handed out, such as NABJ Journalist of the year, Emerging Journalist and Lifetime Achievement honorees. Each year NABJ donates about $100,000 in scholarships to eligible members.

Meanwhile, during the opening reception program, the names and pictures of the 44 founders were displayed on a video screen. Then, four selected students, including two JSHOP members, Will Rivers and Lexy Whyte, read sections from the NABJ Constitution and placed medallions around the necks of the 12 founders who were present. 

More here.







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