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#NABJ18 Opening Ceremony Kicks Off Annual Convention with Awards and Celebrities

Thursday, August 2, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jovan Riley
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#NABJ18 Opening Ceremony Kicks Off Annual Convention with Awards and Celebrities

DETROIT, MI (AUGUST 2, 2018) - Hundreds of journalists and media professionals filled the Columbus Ballroom of the Detroit Marriott hotel to put in motion the 2018 National Association of Black Journalists Convention and Career Fair.

Conference-goers have dozens of sessions to choose from, covering a broad range of topics. On Thursday, August 2, a well-attended session focused on the use of VR, technology and augmented reality within news.  NABJ Vice President-Digital and nationally-known journalist Roland S. Martin headed up a stellar panel, which also included a Q&A with DNC chairman Tom Perez. “Journalists cannot exist in the 21st century without mastering the use of technology,” said Martin. “Consumers today are getting their news in a totally different way.”

Known as the largest career fair for journalists in the nation, NABJ18 began with an opening ceremony sponsored by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and emceed by Detroit’s very own Felecia Henderson (The Detroit News) and Andrew Humphrey (WDIV-Local 4). Convention-goers were greeted by the sound of Spectrum, a musical group all the way from the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Henderson and Humphrey, both past presidents of the Detroit Chapter-NABJ, welcomed the crowd and asked that everyone stand as the living founders of NABJ entered the room. They were honored with cheers as Spectrum played the wildly popular Kool & the Gang hit “Celebrate.”

Honorary convention co-chairs and Detroiters Jemele Hill (“The Undefeated”) and Rochelle Riley (Detroit Free Press) addressed the crowd with their excitement about the convention’s return to the Motor City after 26 years.

“This is the baddest city in America,” Riley said. “You’ll get a chance to see why the people that live here stay here. We are going to knock your socks off.”

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and Detroit Police Chief James Craig were also in attendance. Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones presented NABJ President Sarah Glover with a testimonial resolution from the council.

Newly appointed NABJ Executive Director Drew Berry informed convention-goers that Detroit was in line to smash a few attendance records. He said that in the last 13 years, only two conventions (Washington DC and New Orleans) had numbers as high as the current Detroit registration numbers; about 3,200. Knowing that there would still be on-site registration, Berry said: “We may eclipse that.”

The following awards were presented during the ceremony:

NABJ Student Journalist of the Year: Doni Holloway, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

NABJ Student Chapter of the Year: North Carolina A&T State University

NABJ Professional Chapter of the Year: NABJ Chicago

Convention-goers were encouraged to take some time to explore Detroit in addition to its downtown and midtown. NABJ Passports were handed to attendees as they made their way to the Disney-sponsored Welcome Reception. The passports included several premiere destinations across Detroit such as the Charles H. Wright Museum, the Motown Museum, Bert’s Warehouse and many more. If attendees visit five places and receive Passport stamps, they’ll be entered into a raffle for $1,000. A winner will be announced during the NABJ Salute to Excellence Gala on Saturday, August 4.

NABJ Region II Director Vickie Thomas (WWJ) and Detroit Chapter-NABJ President Vince McCraw also expressed their excitement about the convention’s return to Detroit. “We asked you to meet us in the D and you all came out in full force,” Thomas said.


About NABJ

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation, and provides educational, career development and support to black journalists worldwide.

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