NABJLA Announced as Finalist for NABJ Chapter of the Year
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 30, 2019) – The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has announced its 2019 Professional and Student Chapters of the Year finalists.
Each year, the NABJ Chapter of the Year Award is presented to a professional and student affiliate chapter for their accomplishments during the eligibility period. The criteria include but is not limited to the number of new members who have joined the chapter and NABJ, the chapter's community activities and programs, and the number and size of scholarships awarded by the chapter.
This year, NABJ is proud to announce several finalists in each category. The winners will be announced during NABJ's National Convention & Career Fair Opening Ceremony on the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 7, at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa in Aventura, Florida. Registration for the Convention can be purchased at NABJConvention.com.
"NABJ thrives from the activities and commitment of its professional and student chapters. NABJ chapters are the backbone of the association and the reason why we are a force to be reckoned with,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover. “This year’s finalists have contributed in major ways to ensuring that NABJ has been on the pulse of issues of race and discrimination in the media, as well as focused on membership engagement, career development and community activism nationwide.”
Professional Chapter of the Year Finalists
Atlanta Association of Black Journalists (AABJ) – Hosting the NABJ Region III Conference in 2018, AABJ members worked tirelessly to raise $80,000 in scholarship money and in-kind contributions. AABJ Board members helped plan NABJ's first-ever regional partnership with CNN, which developed a producers’ workshop. In 2018, AABJ also completed the documentary "Black & Reporting: The Struggle Behind the Lens," which is an ongoing fundraiser for its Xernona Clayton Scholarship Fund.
"Our Board of Directors, advisors, committee chairs and volunteers have worked tirelessly to produce quality programs, retain and attract new members as well as continue mentoring young journalists…. As president, I am grateful to be a part of a membership that genuinely embraces and loves the work of AABJ. Whenever called, AABJ shows up and shows out. We are a group of hard-working journalists who authentically care about one another," said AABJ President Carol Gannt.
National Association of Black Journalists Los Angeles (NABJLA) – From brand reestablishment to notable events for members and area professionals, 2018 for NABJLA was all about revitalizing its chapter and tackling topics and issues of importance for black journalists, media professionals and entertainers. For instance, in 2018, NABJLA partnered with the Los Angeles Chapter of the Black Public Relations Society for an event focused on the experiences of black press and publicists in Hollywood. Last year, the group also hosted a two-part discussion on how journalists can maintain their well-being while experiencing trauma from covering police violence and a hostile political environment.
Rochester Association of Black Journalists (RABJ) – In 2018, RABJ hosted numerous panel discussions on the role of the media with the American Association of University Women and the United Way's African American Leadership Development Program. It also held a highly-celebrated Black Media Brunch. The chapter successfully created a partnership with the popular Little Theatre and the Dryden Theatre to present "The Black Cinema Series." The group was also actively involved in promoting the importance of voting within the local community throughout 2018. RABJ also served as a major voice in the outcry against an attack on the Frederick Douglass statue standing at the intersection of Alexander & Tracy Streets in the city of Rochester. The vandalism occurred after a yearlong community dedication to the 200th Anniversary of Douglass, of which RABJ was an active participant.
“We, the members of RABJ, are profoundly honored, to be among the finalists for the 2019 NABJ Chapter of the Year. We have a very talented and diverse membership, who work hard to advocate, educate and participate in several positive community activities. We stand on the shoulders and promote the memory of Frederick Douglass, our mentor, who published the North Star Newspaper in Rochester, New York,” said RABJ President Richard J. McCollough.
San Diego Association of Black Journalists (SDABJ) – In 2018, SDABJ focused on the development of the next generation of black journalists. It has granted nearly $65,000 in scholarships. The chapter also provided high school and college students with a chance to learn from the best at its "Pro for a Day" Boot Camp. The group also worked to address issues with black representation in area newsrooms. Last year, the chapter also presented a panel on how to manage stress as a journalist and deal with the issue of microaggression.
"In 2003, SDABJ was the youngest chapter ever to be honored with NABJ's Chapter of the Year recognition. To think we are being considered once again for this great honor, 16 years later, reinforces the notion, we are doing something right," said SDABJ President Donna M. Stewart.
Twin Cities Black Journalists (TCBJ) – In an area that has some of the largest racial disparities in the nation, TCBJ has played a crucial role in the development of black media professionals, including providing scholarships for individuals to attend the 2018 NABJ Convention. TCBJ not only hosted panels on important topics such as police brutality and race in sports coverage, but it also worked to retain and attract journalists of color to the area. The chapter also is active in community service. In 2018, the group delivered 278 presents to the Phyllis Wheatley Community Center for Christmas. The group also hosted a Media Soul Bowl to unite black journalism and media professionals in the area.
"TCBJ is thrilled to be named a Chapter of the Year finalist! While we aren't the largest chapter, our small group of dedicated members has worked tirelessly to promote diversity and inclusion in our newsrooms," said TCBJ Chapter President Nicole Norfleet.
Student Chapter of the Year Finalists
George Washington University Association of Black Journalists (GWABJ) – The students of GWABJ have raised hundreds of dollars to fund student development opportunities, mentored high-school students in the D.C. area, and offered events to underscore the importance of NABJ and the role of black journalists. GWABJ's impact on students at the university has been described as transformative by observers. The group also hosted a discussion with the School of Media and Public Affairs about the black women who cover the White House and what they have faced covering the Trump Administration.
"This organization has opened my mind to the stark realities black journalists face in the field. Being a Student Chapter of the Year Award finalist means that our chapter is upholding the values NABJ has instilled for the past 44 years," said Chapter President Lauryn Hill.
Howard University Association of Black Journalists (HUABJ) – For 2018, HUABJ remained committed to training, community service and advocacy. HUABJ members volunteered at a local Washington, D.C. food shelter for citizens of the District in need. The chapter also hosted a speaker series that highlighted information designed to ensure student journalists were prepared for the current media landscape and beyond. Topics discussed during the series included how to launch a career in media and leveraging internships, volunteer opportunities and networking events.
"We are so grateful for NABJ's guidance and support throughout this journey, and we are excited to be represented in Miami," said HUABJ President Sydney Williams.
University of Maryland - College Park Association of Black Journalists (MABJ) – Over the academic year, the University of Maryland Association of Black Journalists worked to recruit new journalists to NABJ. From a speaker series – which brought local journalists to campus to provide wisdom to budding journalists – to workshops to assist students with perfecting resumes and cover letters, MABJ worked hard to live out the vision of NABJ’s Founders in 2018. The chapter also held a Thanksgiving Food Drive for the homeless and was named the University’s Pre-Professional Organization of the Year.
"Our chapter is extremely grateful to be a finalist for the 2019 NABJ Student Chapter of the Year Award. We worked extremely hard during the academic year to advance the mission of NABJ at our university. So, to be recognized for it is very humbling," said MABJ President Daniel Oyefusi.
University of North Texas Collegiate Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (UNT- NABJ ) – UNT-NABJ offered numerous programming and mentorship opportunities to students throughout 2018. The chapter implemented a section of the newspaper dedicated to stories for black and brown students. The group also focused on community service within the North Texas area and created mentorship projects through its Ambassador Program.
"Our chapter is indebted to the NABJ Founders for creating a space for black journalists to grow and fellowship. Thank you to the faculty and staff of the Mayborn School of Journalism for their undying support. We also thank professional NABJ members like Cornelius Foote and Dorothy Bland who have pushed us to implement new initiatives that have improved the journalism experience for black undergraduate students," said UNT-NABJ President Alexia Johnson.
Winthrop University Association of Black Journalists (WUABJ) – WUABJ focused 2018 on spotlighting important issues impacting media diversity and journalists of color, including hosting a panel discussion titled, "Is it Because I'm Black?" The chapter has established a strong presence on Winthrop University’s campus not only due to its growing membership but also as an advocate for diversity and inclusion in media. It hosted a business etiquette dinner to allow attendees to network with professionals and hear advice about achieving success after graduation. The group also worked to strengthen its relationship with the local professional chapter, the Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists, including joining in on meetings, events and hosting their mentors on campus.
"WUABJ would like to thank NABJ for this honorable nomination. We are incredibly grateful to be nominated for Student Chapter of the Year," said WUABJ President Brooke Frierson.