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NABJ Dedicates June 1 to Uplifting Black Men and Examining How They are Portrayed in the Media

Thursday, May 23, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kanya Stewart
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Third Year of Black Male Media Project Includes Events in the U.S. and Abroad
 
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 23, 2019) – While black men have made countless contributions to American society, how they are portrayed in the media often fails to tell their stories. From mug shots to biased descriptions, positive reflections of black men in the media continue to be an issue of concern across American newsrooms. 
 
To help combat the issue, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) will host its third annual national Black Male Media Project (BMMP) day on June 1, with local events happening simultaneously in cities across the country.

 

Approximately 20 NABJ affiliate chapters will host coast-to-coast workshops, panels and events focused on examining newsroom diversity and accountability; providing solutions to improve black male representation; professional development, mentorship and networking opportunities; as well as inspiring black men by addressing the issues that concern them most.

 “The overarching goal of BMMP is to counteract negative images of black men often portrayed in the media,” said Sarah Glover, NABJ President and creator of BMMP. “We encourage all newsrooms across the country to make this a priority because how black men are portrayed in the news can have a direct impact on issues such as racial profiling, discriminatory hiring practices, violence and more. Black men are intellectuals, professionals, innovators, spiritual leaders, activists, fathers, brothers and sons just like any other man and should be treated and portrayed that way.”

 President Glover will participate in a special BMMP opportunity as she travels to Colombia to reunite with Afro-Colombian journalists she’s stayed in touch with after they traveled to the joint NABJ-NAHJ Convention in Washington, D.C., in 2016. The journalists journeyed to meet President Glover and the NABJ Board members to establish a pulse with NABJ. In addition to meeting with Afro-Columbian journalists, President Glover will be visiting Bogota, Cali and Medellin, and will be working with local black men on June 1 to conduct a BMMP event in Cali, where the highest concentration of Afro-Colombians reside.

 

NABJ is asking its members, supporters and followers to use the hashtag #InspireBlackMen on social media to bring awareness to the BMMP on June 1, while also sharing positive images of black men resulting from local efforts.

 
“We are pushing for an accurate portrayal of the contributions of black males and dedicate this day to offering our resources and talents to educating the public and media professionals, as well as encouraging black men about the important roles they play in our society,” said Ken Lemon, co-chair of BMMP and NABJ Board member.

  

Among the local programs occurring in conjunction with BMMP is the #MoreThanMugshots panel discussion hosted by the Baltimore Association of Black Journalists in Maryland. The program takes a direct look at the responsibility of news organizations to accurately reflect the roles black males play in society and what efforts can be made to change the narrative about black men.
 
The discussion will be led by local anchor Stan Stovall (WBAL-TV 11) and includes other media professionals such as John-John Williams IV (The Baltimore Sun), Andre Hepkins (WBAL-TV 11) and Karl Nelson (Intern Media). Author and community activist Kondwani Fidel, Adam Jackson of the grassroots think-tank Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, and arts activist and former professional football player Aaron Maybin will also join the discussion.

  

A listing of some of the programs happening around the country is available below. For more information about local events, contact the chapters by clicking on their city and state below or email InspireBlackMen@gmail.com. For media inquiries, contact press@nabj.org.
 
 
BMMP Event Listings
 
Atlanta, Georgia– The Atlanta Association of Black Journalists will host “Gate Keepers,” a program that examines the role black males can play in changing the narrative by serving in decision-making capacities in the newsroom. Panelists will share how they got their jobs and provide information to encourage others to follow in their footsteps.
 
Baton Rouge, Louisiana– The Baton Rouge Area Association of Black Journalists will partner with the organization Fathers On A Mission and Southern University to provide a professional development project focusing on black males who are juniors and seniors in high school. The effort joins forces with Career Services on the campus to prepare young men for college and help them find employment.
 
Birmingham, Alabama– The Birmingham Association of Black Journalists is partnering with 100 Black Men of Birmingham to mentor young men of color. In addition, the chapter will prepare an expert's guide of knowledgeable black male speakers and leaders to be distributed to newsrooms in the Birmingham area.
 
Charlotte, North Carolina– The Charlotte Association of Black Journalists will offer mentoring opportunities to young aspiring journalists and offer newsroom networking opportunities. The chapter will join forces with attendees and alumni of the Charlotte Youth Broadcasting Camp and host group discussions that will include an evaluation of the images of black men used in the media and the language used in association with stories that include black men.
 
Cincinnati, Ohio– The Greater Cincinnati Association of Black Journalists will host a program titled #InspireBlackMen and will focus on uplifting young black males from the ages of 8-18. The event will include panel discussions about the best approaches to changing the narrative of black men in the media. Free haircuts and lessons on how to tie a tie will be offered.
 
Dallas, Texas– The Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Black Journalists will focus its efforts on promoting black businesses and will host a program at the AACTION Barber and Styling School, where grooming tips for black males will be a part of the activities. There will also be a salute to black male journalists and a photo shoot to promote positive images of black males.
 
Detroit, Michigan– The Detroit Association of Black Journalists will host a program focusing on mental health. The program will include panel discussions and small group breakouts to encourage dialogue about the perceptions of black males and their mental health in the media. Health officials will be in attendance to help explore issues such as how black men deal with trauma and how those issues are reported on.
 
Hampton, Virginia– The Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals have invited local law enforcement representatives to participate in a panel discussion examining the perceptions of black males. Community leaders and youth will participate in the conversation. The event will be streamed live on Facebook.
 
Houston, Texas– The Houston Association of Black Journalists will focus on mentorship in a wide range of professions from black male journalists and medical professionals to entrepreneurs and fitness instructors. Young black men will have a chance to interact with professionals and community leaders and participate in an open discussion about the role their environments play in their lives. Participants will get instruction on topics including etiquette, resume writing, public speaking, mental health and financial literacy.
 
Memphis, Tennessee– The Memphis Association of Black Journalists will host an outreach project focusing on health and wellness, employment and professional development, education and voting. The program includes health screenings, a “felon friendly” job fair, opportunities for GED enrollment, information on criminal record expungements and voter registration.
 
Miami, Florida– The NABJ-South Florida Chapter will host a panel discussion on reinforcing positive images of black men in the news and on social media. The chapter will also present Community Service Awards to Udonis Haslem (Miami Heat), Paul Wilson (500 Role Models of Excellence Project), Gale Nelson (Big Brothers Big Sisters) and many more.
 
Los Angeles, California– The NABJ-Los Angeles Chapter will take a unique look at the portrayal of images of black men in the news and in Hollywood during a panel discussion that will include journalists and entertainers. Industry insiders will initiate a frank dialogue about how misconceptions begin, their impact, and what must happen to change them.
 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania– The Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists will host “Empowering Black Men in the Media Through Innovation,” a half-day deep dive that includes an examination of impactful stories about black men, combating stereotypes and social media imagery and advocacy.
 
Phoenix, Arizona– The Arizona Association of Black Journalists will focus on community outreach and offer free haircuts and inspirational opportunities to help counteract the negative image of black males. Local businesses will display their products and showcase black men as business leaders. Charity Bailey, co-host of "Right This Minute," will lead a panel discussion with some of the state’s most prominent members of the media.
 
Raleigh, North Carolina– The Triangle Association of Black Journalists will focus on making connections to inspire young black males in the community. The panel discussion will be held on the campus of North Carolina Central University at its new news studio. It will be streamed live.

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