Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet, RNC Chair Reince Priebus, and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Among Convention Headliners
WASHINGTON, DC (June 12, 2014) - The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) will hold its 39th Annual Convention and Career Fair, July 30- Aug. 3, in Boston. During the convention, attendees can expect to hear from national leaders from the worlds of media, politics, and culture.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval L. Patrick will welcome NABJ to Boston
Gov. Deval L. Patrick is the 71st governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is one of two African-Americans to have been elected governor in United States history. He was reelected to office in 2010 and under his tenure Massachusetts has attained national leadership in student achievement, in health care coverage, in economic competitiveness, in entrepreneurial activity, in energy efficiency and in veterans’ services. Gov. Patrick will officially open the association’s 39th Convention and Career Fair on Thursday July 31.
He has been front and center when it comes to a number of issues important to African-Americans across the nation from healthcare reform to education reform. Patrick also has an inspiring personal story having gone from the South Side of Chicago to Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He had successful stints in the private sector and in public service having served as the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Justice, the federal government's top civil rights post.
"NABJ is pleased that Gov. Patrick will welcome us to his great state,” said NABJ President Bob Butler. “In his speech after the tragic Boston Marathon Bombings he addressed part of the reason the state of Massachusetts and the city of Boston are so special. “The governor said, 'Massachusetts invented America. And America is not organized the way countries are usually organized. We are not organized around a common language or religion or even culture. We are organized around a handful of civic ideals. And we have defined those ideals, through time and through struggle, as equality, opportunity, freedom and fair play.' NABJ is proud to host its convention at the nation's birthplace," Butler said.
Republican and Democratic Party Chairs Featured as Plenary Speakers
With midterm elections scheduled this fall, considered an early indicator of the 2016 presidential contest, ongoing questions about voting rights in several states, and the frequent discussion of identity politics, NABJ convention planners felt it is important to hear from the leaders of the nation's leading political parties.
Reince Priebus was elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee in January 2011 and reelected in January last year. His work leading his party's platform, support of GOP candidates, and daily operations has won him many fans who credit his passion and management skills with many of the Republican Party's recent successes. An attorney by training, Priebus had been a volunteer at the national level and chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, where he assisted with successful statewide campaigns for national and local offices.
Priebus will give remarks and be interviewed on Thursday, July 31, during the association's opening plenary. The interview will be conducted by CNN's Michaela Pereira and Kelly Wright of FOX News.
"I appreciate President Butler's invitation to address NABJ membership and look forward to discussing our ongoing efforts to engage black voters, expand the dialogue in communities across the country and inform the very journalists who help shape the views of a very important constituency, Priebus said."
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) is the current chair of the Democratic National Committee, elected in May 2011. As her party's leader, she works to promote the Democratic Party's ideals and values, to support President Barack Obama's goals and objectives and to campaign for Democratic candidates across the nation at the local, state and national levels.
"I'm thrilled to be joining some of the nation's best reporters in Boston this summer ahead of the fall elections," Wasserman Schultz said.
"The 2014 midterms are critical to the country's future, and Democrats are working in cities, counties, and states across America to create opportunity for all, and not just a few. I look forward to continuing that discussion with those who will tell that story to voters this year and beyond."
Wasserman Schultz address convention attendees on Friday, August 1. The discussion will be moderated by ABC News/Good Morning America correspondent Mara Schiavocampo and Wesley Lowery, who covers Congress and National Politics for the Washington Post.
"As is often expected, African-American voters are a key demographic in the upcoming election cycle, but some civil rights groups have sounded the alarm about threats to one person, one vote. It is important that our members hear and can report about from all angles about the black vote especially ahead of crucial elections nationwide which could tip the balance of power from Washington to beyond," added Butler.
First African American Editor of The New York Times Dean Baquet Comes to NABJ
NABJ is pleased to announce that Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, will appear at convention. Named to the paper's top post in May after serving as its managing editor, Baquet is the first African-American to oversee the Times' newsroom. Baquet also served as editor and managing editor of The Los Angeles Times. In a prior stint at The New York Times, he was both an editor and a reporter. He has also worked for The Times-Picayune in New Orleans and for The Chicago Tribune, where he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 1988.
"A Conversation with Dean Baquet", is scheduled for Thursday afternoon and the interview will be conducted by CNN's Stephanie Elam.
"The conversation we expect to have with Dean Baquet regarding his extraordinary appointment, his noteworthy career, and the changes expected in the media industry going forward will be eye-opening and thought provoking for all our members," Butler said.
In the coming weeks, the lineup of NABJ's Convention & Career Fair will be finalized and more special guests will be announced.
To register for NABJ's 39th Convention and Career Fair, go to our website, www.nabj.org. There you will also find information about sponsorship opportunities. Follow us on Twitter for updates, @NABJ #NABJ14.
Members of the working press who wish to cover this forum will need to obtain press credentials. To obtain credentials please apply for a media credential, here.
An 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.