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News & Press: NABJ News

NABJ Announces Three Chapters as Finalists for NABJ Professional Chapter of the Year

Thursday, April 18, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tiane Johnson
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 18, 2013) — The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) announced today the finalists for NABJ's Professional Chapter of the Year Award: The Atlanta Association of Black Journalists (AABJ), the Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (DC-NABJ) and the New York Association of Black Journalists (NYABJ).  The winner will be revealed at NABJ's 38th Annual Convention and Career Fair in Orlando, FL.


Each chapter has excelled in serving NABJ, their cities, their communities and their members, with unique programs which have sparked conversation and ignited action. Their accomplishments are clear demonstrations of strong and bold leadership, which help set an example for other chapters, and raise the bar on what is done locally.


The NABJ Chapter of the Year Award is based on the accomplishments during the eligibility period. The criteria include, but are not limited to, the number of new members who joined the chapter and NABJ, and the chapter's community activities and programs.


Atlanta Association of Black Journalists (AABJ)


In her second year as President, Tenisha Bell continued at the helm of AABJ.  She was ecstatic to learn her chapter was a finalist for the honor, having recently taken home the top prize.


"Our committee members are awesome! And people embrace AABJ, love AABJ as if it were their own child, their second job; and they work hard for AABJ.  And we just got together and did wonderful programming,” Bell said.


Bell says the professional development programming AABJ offered encouraged more membership turnout and increased membership enrollment.  As of April 2013, AABJ has at least 220 financial members, which is an increase of at least 100 people from a year ago.


Bell said AABJ has thrived by using technology to handle chapter business. "We’ve made it easier for people.  We’ve got an account on everything in social media so you can’t say you don’t know what is happening with AABJ.  So social media has helped us spread the word.”

Bell, who is Executive Producer of CNN Newsroom with Suzanne Malveaux, said AABJ is paying for five of its student members to attend a CNN Student workshop this month.


"Even last year with Mega Bus, we gave away 30 free tickets or seats, round trip from Atlanta to New Orleans for the convention.”


She added, "Engaging our students also put us over the top.  And we do a pretty good job with our student chapter, like giving them perks.”


AABJ kicked off 2013 by having Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed at its January meeting.  AABJ also offers members a quarterly newsletter called Byline and its monthly public affairs program.  Bell also said the chapter made an increased effort to perform community service and attend community events.


Visit AABJ's website here

Detroit Chapter of The National Association of Black Journalists (DC-ABJ)


Being a chapter of the year finalist caps off a bustling year for the Detroit Chapter, which celebrated its 30th year as an affiliate of NABJ. Chapter president Vickie Thomas, the City Beat Reporter for WWJ Newsradio 950, said she wanted DC-ABJ’s 30th anniversary to be memorable and its 30-30-30 campaign was created and executed.


"I really wanted to do it up in a big way.  So, I thought laying out 30 events to raise 30 thousand dollars for our 30th anniversary was an awesome campaign and we met all of our goals.  That’s in addition to our monthly meetings.  It was unbelievable and everybody stepped up.”


One of DC-NABJ’s highlights was the roast of Pulitzer Prize winner and local radio show host Angelo Henderson.


The chapter also ended its year with the Chrysler Walking Spree Challenge fundraiser, requiring membership to log five million steps on pedometers.


"We went way over that with 6 million steps,” Thomas said. "And we secured $5,000 for our scholarship fund.  And now we’re looking forward to being a part of Chrysler’s expansion of the program because they are really big on health and fitness—so we’re challenging the Chicago Chapter.”


Being NABJ’s 2010 Chapter of the Year didn’t ward off challenges for DC-ABJ in subsequent years, but the 30-30-30 helped the chapter become even stronger, especially financially.


"Because we didn’t have a whole lot of money in our treasury when we won Chapter of the Year a couple of years ago, but now we have quadrupled the treasury.  We’re looking forward to being able to help some students as well as our members.” Thomas says their "Show the Love” campaign the last four years has helped them raised money to help members who were laid off, saw their status reduced to part-time, and or had medical or personal challenges.


DC-NABJ’s most prominent endeavor was its members-only event with former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick a month before his federal corruptions trial started.  "It was packed.  It was a great event.  It got a lot of media attention.  We had live streams. We have live reports from there.  So, we’ve stepped up our game in the community as well.  So people know who we are, they know the board members.  They know what we stand for.  And it’s a great thing."


Visit DC-NABJ's website here


New York Association of Black Journalists (NYABJ)


The chapter representing the nation’s largest media market also had a strong year of membership growth and program development.


2010’s NABJ Emerging Journalist of the Year Michael Feeney, a reporter with New York Daily News, credits their networking events as one of the reasons NYABJ’s paid memberships has grown to more than 140 members.  This includes its hugely successful Late Summer Mixer, at Neely's Barbecue Parlor in Manhattan.  The mixers have become such a draw that RSVP is required.


NYABJ remained on the political forefront of the 2012 election season by teaming up with Young Professionals United for Change for a Vice Presidential debate watch party, with remarks from Roland Martin and Keli Goof.  Feeney said Actress Lynn Whitfield also attended; and the chapter also hosted a Presidential Election panel, "Campaigns through the Lens of the Media" on the night before the elections.


NYABJ’s signature annual Scholarship & Awards Banquet increased in notoriety and recognition in 2012.  "We honored the work of more than 40 journalists. The event also garnered widespread media attention because Beyoncé was among the award winners. She thanked NYABJ in a video posted online.” Beyoncé was honored for Essence article "Eat, Play, Love,” about how a nine-month break changed her life.


NYABJ also kept true to its purpose of honoring pioneers in journalism and grooming the next generation.  "We also honored WNBC anchor Sue Simmons in a special awards ceremony,” Feeney added.  He also praised NYABJ’s FIRST TAKE, a free eight-week high school journalism workshop that meets once a week at Brooklyn's Long Island University campus.  It trains some 20 students in reporting and producing stories in multimedia formats under the tutelage of NYC’s top journalists. "We know that workshop is giving city kids something positive to do and it's helping to mold the next wave of journalists. We're so proud of this program and the kids amaze us every year.”


Visit NYABJ's website here


NABJ's 38th Annual Convention and Career Fair will take place July 31 – August 4, 2013 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center. For additional information on registration and special events, please visit NABJ’s Convention Webpage.


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 more information, please visit

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