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NABJ Mourns the Loss of Getahn Ward, NABJ Member and Tennessean Reporter

Monday, December 18, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Veronique Dodson
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Photo credit: Tennessean


NABJ Mourns the Loss of Getahn Ward, NABJ Member and Tennessean Reporter

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 16, 2017) -- The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) mourns the loss of Getahn Ward, a longtime member of NABJ, Nashville chapter leader, business reporter at the Tennessean and adjunct faculty member at Tennessee State University.

Ward, 45, died overnight at home. His mother was visiting him from Liberia at the time of his death, according to the Tennessean.

Ward presently served as parliamentarian of NABJ Nashville and was known for his boisterous support of the chapter's student scholarship efforts.

"Getahn's passing comes as a tremendous shock, and our chapter is deeply heartbroken. He was a driving force for mentorship, service, and progress in the Nashville community and a longtime pillar in our chapter," said Nashville President Hayley Mason.

Beyond his work as an accomplished business writer for the Tennessean newspaper, Getahn spent countless hours every year building relationships with educators and students to grow the chapter's scholarship efforts for student journalists across the state, Mason recalled.

"He was a teacher and mentor at heart and was always committed to serving others. Getahn leaves behind an indelible legacy and an incredible void in our hearts," she said.

Fellow journalism educator Syb Brown PhD described Ward as "the heart" of the Nashville chapter.

NABJ President Sarah Glover recalled the last time she saw and spoke with Ward. He offered positive words of support of her leadership at the New Orleans convention and encouraged her to continue to press NABJ forward.

"Getahn was a bright light. His smile was infectious and his caring nature for others will be missed. Getahn's stories were excellent on the business beat and his perspective was sorely needed. Getahn's legacy is one of service to the mission of NABJ, a reminder to take care of one another and that one person can have a great impact on their local community. NABJ extends heartfelt sympathies to everyone he touched," said Glover.

In addition to his service with NABJ, Ward served as a deacon at Born Again Church and was one of the Newseum's 1,400 Chips Quinn Scholars. Ward moved to the United States from Liberia in 1991 and became a United States citizen by 2014.

"Getahn had a warm personality. You never passed him without a hello and a kind word. He always smiled and he had a thirst for all things NABJ. I am deeply saddened. His enthusiasm will be greatly missed," shared Region III Director Ken Lemon.

Ward was called "the hardest-working reporter in Nashville" by Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and known for his generous spirit. The Tennessean is compiling tributes and noted that Ward was a devoted mentor. This year, he drove the son of a single mother to school each morning because the child had no other way to get to school.

"Not only was Getahn known for solid reporting, but also his ability to uplift folks in all walks of life," said Marlon A. Walker, NABJ's vice president of print. "Members like Getahn are the backbone of our NABJ family. My thoughts are with his loved ones."

Service arrangements are pending and will be posted on when available.


About The National Association of Black Journalists
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. For additional information, please visit

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