October meeting minutes

Here are the minutes from the association’s Oct. 9 meeting:

7:42 p.m. Began meeting

-Patricia Nicolas
-Alecea Rush
-Sarah Ann Shaw
-Anthony Lanier
-Zuri Berry
-Zeninjor Enwemeka
-Ronnie Camille
-Glenda Buell
-Skye Dent
-Paula Bouknight
-Michelle Johnson
-Kelley Chunn
-Brionna Jimerson
-Akilah Johnson (on the phone)
-Gary Washburn (on the phone)
-We were also joined by Chantee Ians and Cierra Putnam of the newly formed Southern New England Association of Black Journalists (SNEABJ)

I. Report on the Region 1 convention in New York – Zeninjor Enwemeka

-Gave overview of Region 1 conference

-A lot of people are looking forward to the national convention in Boston

-Met president of newly formed Southern New England Association of Black Journalists. They are looking to work with us and partner on events. They are submitting their formal documents to the national organization this week and BABJ will be writing them a letter of support.

-There was a great session from Google at the convention. They will be a good contact for us for the national convention.

II. Report on the incorporation and nonprofit status of the organization – Zuri Berry

-As part of reviving the chapter’s nonprofit status we have been working to compile various documents that require names, addresses and signatures from former chapter presidents as well as their board members.

-We are currently waiting to receive signed documents from former chapter president Greg Lee to go along with signed documents from former president Sarah-Ann Shaw to complete the necessary paperwork that we need to be revived by the state.

– After signed documents are received, we will file annual reports for the last 10 fiscal years and file an article of revival with the state of Massachusetts so we can proceed to raise money.

III. Report on the new BABJ website, bostonblackjournalists.org – Zuri Berry

-We have a new website, which we will be updating and adding more content to.

-Zuri is looking into commissioning a new logo for the organization. If you know anyone that does that type of design work please reach out to Zuri (zuri.berry@gmail.com).

IV. Report on NABJ board meeting reception in Boston – Gary Washburn

-The NABJ board is coming to Boston next week on Oct. 18 & 19. They will tour Boston and have a reception at the Sheraton Hotel in the Back Bay on that Friday evening. Gary will touch base with NABJ president Bob Butler on the timing and send out information on that.

-The reception will be an opportunity to get potential sponsors together and bring together people from Boston who would be interested in being part of the convention and working with NABJ.

-Michelle Johnson said Tom Fiedler, the dean of Boston University’s College of Communication, is interested in attending the reception. BU is looking to be a big sponsor for the national convention. (So, we should make sure we have someone looking out for Tom Fiedler to “schmooze” him).

-If you know any key people or organizations that would be good partners, please extend an invitation to them for this reception.

-Akilah suggests putting together an invitation (even an Evite) for the reception. She will draft out an invitation that we can send out to people. Both Akilah and Gary will coordinate with Bob Butler on the details so we can send out the invitations ASAP. Look out for more information on that soon.

V. Discussion of the BABJ budget, which needs to be completed and filed by the end of the calendar year – Open

-Zuri gave an overview of what our budget needs might be and presented a rough draft

-We need to put together a formal budget to file with the national chapter each year

-We are going through the process of filing annual reports and an Article of Revival with the state, so that we can regain access to the organization’s account (held at Bank of America).

VI. Discussion of responsibilities ahead of the national organization’s board meeting in Boston including:

• Identifying a list of local corporations that could be potential sponsors for the NABJ convention

-Kelley Chunn has sent Bob Butler a list of potential sponsors

-Region 1 director Sherlon Christie has also put together a list of potential sponsors

-The national chapter will communicate with national broadcast organizations to be sponsors, so we do not need to reach out to their local affiliates.

-We should compile all of our lists of potential sponsors that we have brainstormed into one cohesive document (Zeninjor will put this together as a Google document).

-Trisha (Patricia) said she has prior PR experience and can help us reach out to sponsors

-If you have any ideas for potential sponsors please send them to Zeninjor (zeninjor.enwemeka@gmail.com) so she can add put everything together

• Finding a chapter member with experience in fundraising and pitching sponsorships

• Completing necessary preparation for reception

-We will put together formal electronic invitation together as Akilah suggested (see above).

VII. Discussion of plan for the 2014 national convention in Boston – Open

-The national convention is July 30- Aug. 3. Our chapter will be responsible for putting together the opening reception. The first thing we need to do is identify and lock down a location.

-Michelle Johnson suggests the Microsoft NERD center. It is free, but not walking distance so we will need to look into getting buses or shuttles to get people there.

-Michelle Johnson, who helped organized the ONA convention in Boston, was volunteered to help oversee our planning for the opening reception.

-The group felt we need to put together a committee to handle this.

-We also need to talk with national organization about what they will pay for or cover.

-We will need to look into what entertainment we can bring in for the reception. Suggestions included: Esperanza Spalding (a Berklee graduate) or other local talent, though we may want to stick with big names.

-Our chapter is also responsible for hosting the chapter party at the convention (it will likely be on that Thursday).

-We need to identify locations for the 5K run. Suggestions include: Franklin Park, the Esplanade

-Kelly Chunn said we should try to do something in the community, “connect uptown and downtown” – would like to work on a committee to plan this.

-We want to make sure that we have a community oriented event where people can get out in the community and volunteer.

VIII. Brainstorming the next chapter event to help induce volunteerism for 2014 – Open

-We need to fundraise our own money as a chapter so that we can fund various initiatives.

-A few meeting members mentioned that there was a black professionals holiday party (hosted by Black MBAs) that BABJ used to partner with – we should look to reconnect with them and get involved with again.

IX. Proposal to set standard monthly meeting date (second Tuesday of the month)

-We should have meeting options for people who can’t physically be at the meetings

-To that end we will look to get a conference call number for people to call in for meetings

-All meetings moving forward will be the second Wednesday of every month at 7:30 p.m.

-Next meeting with be November 13th at 7:30 p.m. in the Winship Room of The Boston Globe
We had special guests Chantee Lans (president) & Cierra Putnam (VP of broadcast) from the newly formed Southern New England Association of Black Journalists attended the meeting. Their organization covers Rhode Island, parts of Connecticut and Western Mass.

-Their organization meets the first Saturday of every month. Their next meeting is 2 p.m. Nov. 2 at PBS Studios in Providence, Rhode Island. Any BABJ member who can attend is welcome to do so. They will also have a January meeting at ESPN in Bristol, Conn. More details on the organization and meetings can be found at http://sneabj.weebly.com/.
8:58 p.m. – Called meeting to a close

Next steps:

1. Prepare for NABJ board meeting in Boston next week – Oct. 18&19
-Identify potential sponsors and convention partners to invite to Friday reception
-Put together formal invitation to send out

2. Finalize paper work with the state to regain official non-profit status and be able to access organization’s bank account

3. Organize opening reception for national convention
-Put together a committee to coordinate this
-Identify possible location and map out logistics

4. Follow up on other convention tasks (community activity, 5K, chapter party) – Brainstorm ideas

5. Create centralized document for potential sponsors for the national convention & other events

6. Update website with important information for the organization
-Get a logo made

7. Contact and connect with the black MBAs about holiday party event