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News & Press: NABJ News


Friday, December 16, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Aprill Turner
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College Park, MD (December 16, 2011) - Today, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) reached a high mark in giving as the non-profit organization announced that it disbursed $112,250 in scholarships, internships, chapter grants, and awards for the year 2011.


"NABJ's commitment to its students is a very important priority for our organization," said NABJ President Gregory Lee, Jr. "We want to ensure our aspiring journalists are given an opportunity to fulfill their dreams in becoming professional journalists. We are also investing in NABJ's future so they can at some point contribute to the traditions of NABJ."


NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the country. Its membership ranges from aspiring student journalists to seasoned media professionals and industry moguls.


"We continue to thrive as an organization because of the power of our exceptional membership," said NABJ Executive Director, Maurice Foster. "By giving back as much as possible, wherever possible, we empower the individuals who make our organization great."



The bulk of NABJ's giving for 2011 occurred under its Student Education Enrichment and Development (SEED) programs through scholarships for students. In total, NABJ issued an impressive $78,250 in scholarships for the year, a true testament to the organization's commitment to students.


Specifically, NABJ awarded 10 NABJ scholarships in the amount of $2,500 to 10 students from colleges and universities across the country. For a complete list of NABJ scholarship winners, please see the appendix.


NABJ also awards $2,500 scholarships to students through endowments in honor of individuals. The Allison E. Fisher scholarship and the Larry Whiteside scholarship are two $2,500 scholarships awarded annually in honor of those late journalists. In 2011, the Allison E. Fisher Scholarship was awarded to April Simpson, a graduate student studying overseas at the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom. The Larry Whiteside Scholarship, presented by the NABJ Sports Task Force, was awarded to Seth Lemon, an undergraduate student at Howard University in Washington, D.C.


Carole Simpson (pictured left), NABJ member and the first African American woman to anchor a major network newscast, funds an endowment scholarship of her own that awards $2,500 to one student per year. For more information, please visit


 NABJ also awards annual scholarships funded by corporations. In 2011, powered by financial contributions from CNN, NABJ issued 7 NABJ-CNN scholarships in the amount of $6,250 to students. NABJ/CNN scholars receive recurring awards for up to four years of their undergraduate study. For a complete list of NABJ-CNN scholarship winners, please see the appendix.


As part of NABJ's Convention and Career Fair, select students interested in visual arts participating in the Student Multimedia Project are issued $1,500 scholarships for outstanding performance. These scholarships are presented by the NABJ Visual Task Force (VTF), and are funded by NABJ and photo auctions held by the VTF during the convention. During the 2011 convention in Philadelphia, 3 students were issued VTF scholarships. For more information on the VTF scholarship winners, please see the appendix.


For more on NABJ Scholarships, visit NABJ's website here.



Another component of NABJ SEED programs is internship placement. In 2011, NABJ partnered with NBC Universal and provided 3 NABJ student members with paid summer internships at the NBC headquarters in New York City. Each internship recipient received $5,000, as well as incredible hands-on experience working in one of the premiere newsrooms in the country. For a complete list of NBC internship recipients, please see the appendix


NABJ also provided opportunities for students to gain work experience through paid internships at the NABJ national office in College Park, Maryland. This 

past summer, four students were selected as summer interns in various components of convention logistics. Each intern was given a $4,000 stipend, which was paid out over the course of the summer. For more information on the NABJ interns for 2011, please see theappendix.


For more on NABJ Internships, click here.


For more information on NABJ internships in the national office, please contact Program Manager Irving Washington at




In 2011,NABJ issued chapter grants awards to nine professional and student chapters.

The NABJ chapter grant is a financial award in an amount up to $500 given to NABJ student and professional chapters in good standing. The NABJ Board of Directors intends for the grants to help and encourage NABJ chapters to develop programming that will benefit their membership and to sustain the association's longstanding mission of local community outreach. In all, NABJ awarded $3,000 in chapter grants for the year. For a complete list of chapter who received grants this year, please see the appendix.


For more information on NABJ Chapter Grants, please click here.



As part of its commitment to associate members, every year NABJ honors the exceptional performance of media professionals through special awards. In 2011, NABJ partnered with Gannett Foundation to present the $5,000 Gannet Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism. This year's award winner was NABJ Member Glenn E. Rice, a reporter for the Kansas City Star. For more information on the Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism, please click here.


NABJ also presented an award honoring radio show host and political commentator Ray Taliaferro, which seeks to encourage and promote journalistic entrepreneurship within the NABJ membership. The Ray Taliaferro NABJ Entrepreneurial Spirit Award is awarded annually to one recipient as recognition for the introduction or significant innovation of a new or existing media enterprise. This year's winner of the $5,000 award was shades Magazine, an Oakland, California start-up digital magazine. For more information on the Ray Taliaferro NABJ Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, please clickhere.



In addition to the $110,000+ contributions NABJ disbursed in 2011, the organization is also partnering with the Phelps Stokes Fund, National Public Radio (NPR), and The Washington Post to roll out two brand new fellowships in 2012 aimed at increasing diversity in the newsroom: the Maurice Williams Fellowship and the Vernon Jarrett Fellowship.


The Maurice Williams Fellowship is named after the fallen young African American journalist who was slain in 1977 during the Hanafi Muslim takeover of the District Building in Washington, D.C. The recipient of this fellowship will receive a $15,000 grant from NABJ, as well as a full-year salaried position with NPR.




The Vernon Jarrett Fellowship honors the legendary and award-winning African American journalist and syndicated columnist who passed away in 2004. The recipient of this fellowship will also receive a $15,000 grant, as well as a nine-month salaried position with the Washington Post.


For more information on these upcoming fellowships, download the information booklet here.



"NABJ continually relies upon the generous support of its members, friends, and corporate contributors," said NABJ Executive Director Maurice Foster. "Together, we will continue to make a positive difference in the lives of journalists, and the journalism industry."


NABJ is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Individual and corporate grants and donations are acceptable under IRS rules for charitable giving, and are tax deductable. If you would like to donate to any of NABJ's scholarships or programs, you can visit the donation section of the NABJ website here.



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