NABJ Announces Three Chapters as Finalists for NABJ Professional Chapter of the Year
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Posted by: Tiane Johnson
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 18, 2013) — The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) announced
today the finalists for NABJ's Professional Chapter of the Year Award: The
Atlanta Association of Black Journalists (AABJ), the Detroit Chapter of the
National Association of Black Journalists (DC-NABJ) and the New York Association
of Black Journalists (NYABJ). The winner will be revealed at NABJ's 38th
Annual Convention and Career Fair in Orlando, FL.
Each chapter has excelled in serving
NABJ, their cities, their communities and their members, with unique programs
which have sparked conversation and ignited action. Their accomplishments are
clear demonstrations of strong and bold leadership, which help set an example
for other chapters, and raise the bar on what is done locally.
The NABJ Chapter of the Year Award is based on the accomplishments during the eligibility period. The criteria include,
but are not limited to, the number of new members who joined the chapter and
NABJ, and the chapter's community activities and programs.
Atlanta Association of Black
In her second year as President,
Tenisha Bell continued at the helm of AABJ. She was ecstatic to learn her
chapter was a finalist for the honor, having recently taken home the top prize.
"Our committee members are awesome!
And people embrace AABJ, love AABJ as if it were their own child, their second
job; and they work hard for AABJ. And we just got together and did
wonderful programming,” Bell said.
Bell says the professional
development programming AABJ offered encouraged more membership turnout and
increased membership enrollment. As of April 2013, AABJ has at least 220
financial members, which is an increase of at least 100 people from a year ago.
Bell said AABJ has thrived by using
technology to handle chapter business. "We’ve made it easier for people.
We’ve got an account on everything in social media so you can’t say you
don’t know what is happening with AABJ. So social media has helped us
spread the word.”
Bell, who is Executive Producer of CNN Newsroom with Suzanne Malveaux, said
AABJ is paying for five of its student members to attend a CNN Student workshop
"Even last year with Mega Bus, we
gave away 30 free tickets or seats, round trip from Atlanta to New Orleans for
She added, "Engaging our students
also put us over the top. And we do a pretty good job with our student
chapter, like giving them perks.”
AABJ kicked off 2013 by having
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed at its January meeting. AABJ also offers members
a quarterly newsletter called Byline
and its monthly public affairs program. Bell also said the chapter made
an increased effort to perform community service and attend community events.
Visit AABJ's website here
Detroit Chapter of The National
Association of Black Journalists (DC-ABJ)
Being a chapter of the year finalist
caps off a bustling year for the Detroit Chapter, which celebrated its 30th year as
an affiliate of NABJ. Chapter president Vickie Thomas, the City Beat Reporter
for WWJ Newsradio 950, said she wanted DC-ABJ’s 30th
anniversary to be memorable and its 30-30-30 campaign was created and executed.
"I really wanted to do it up in a
big way. So, I thought laying out 30 events to raise 30 thousand dollars
for our 30th anniversary was an awesome campaign and we met all of our
goals. That’s in addition to our monthly meetings. It was
unbelievable and everybody stepped up.”
One of DC-NABJ’s highlights was the
roast of Pulitzer Prize winner and local radio show host Angelo Henderson.
The chapter also ended its year with
the Chrysler Walking Spree Challenge fundraiser, requiring membership to log
five million steps on pedometers.
"We went way over that with 6
million steps,” Thomas said. "And we secured $5,000 for our scholarship fund.
And now we’re looking forward to being a part of Chrysler’s expansion of
the program because they are really big on health and fitness—so we’re
challenging the Chicago Chapter.”
Being NABJ’s 2010 Chapter of the
Year didn’t ward off challenges for DC-ABJ in subsequent years, but the
30-30-30 helped the chapter become even stronger, especially financially.
"Because we didn’t have a whole lot
of money in our treasury when we won Chapter of the Year a couple of years ago,
but now we have quadrupled the treasury. We’re looking forward to being
able to help some students as well as our members.” Thomas says their "Show the
Love” campaign the last four years has helped them raised money to help members
who were laid off, saw their status reduced to part-time, and or had medical or
DC-NABJ’s most prominent endeavor
was its members-only event with former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick a month before
his federal corruptions trial started. "It was packed. It was a
great event. It got a lot of media attention. We had live streams.
We have live reports from there. So, we’ve stepped up our game in the
community as well. So people know who we are, they know the board
members. They know what we stand for. And it’s a great thing."
Visit DC-NABJ's website here
New York Association of Black
The chapter representing the
nation’s largest media market also had a strong year of membership growth and
2010’s NABJ Emerging Journalist of
the Year Michael Feeney, a reporter with New York Daily News, credits
their networking events as one of the reasons NYABJ’s paid memberships has
grown to more than 140 members. This includes its hugely successful Late
Summer Mixer, at Neely's Barbecue Parlor in Manhattan. The mixers have
become such a draw that RSVP is required.
NYABJ remained on the political
forefront of the 2012 election season by teaming up with Young Professionals
United for Change for a Vice Presidential debate watch party, with remarks from
Roland Martin and Keli Goof. Feeney said Actress Lynn Whitfield also
attended; and the chapter also hosted a Presidential Election panel,
"Campaigns through the Lens of the Media" on the night before the
NYABJ’s signature annual Scholarship
& Awards Banquet increased in notoriety and recognition in 2012. "We
honored the work of more than 40 journalists. The event also garnered
widespread media attention because Beyoncé was among the award winners. She
thanked NYABJ in a video posted online.” Beyoncé was honored for Essence
article "Eat, Play, Love,” about how a nine-month break changed her life.
NYABJ also kept true to its purpose
of honoring pioneers in journalism and grooming the next generation. "We
also honored WNBC anchor Sue Simmons in a special awards ceremony,” Feeney
added. He also praised NYABJ’s FIRST TAKE, a free eight-week high school
journalism workshop that meets once a week at Brooklyn's Long Island University
campus. It trains some 20 students in reporting and producing stories in
multimedia formats under the tutelage of NYC’s top journalists. "We know that
workshop is giving city kids something positive to do and it's helping to mold
the next wave of journalists. We're so proud of this program and the kids amaze
us every year.”
Visit NYABJ's website here
NABJ's 38th Annual Convention and
Career Fair will take place July 31 – August 4, 2013 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center. For additional information on registration
and special events, please visit NABJ’s Convention Webpage.
advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest
organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career
development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide.
For more information, please visit www.nabj.org.