March meeting minutes

NESN's studio depiction of Fenway Park.Here are the minutes from Wednesday’s general body meeting at NESN.

March 2014 BABJ meeting minutes

Meeting date: 7:30 p.m. WednesdayMar. 12
Location: NESN

Meeting called to order 7:34 p.m.

Zuri Berry
Zeninjor Enwemeka
Alison Smith
Glenda Buell
Rony Camille
Larry Lawson
Erica (phone)
Melanie Morris
Delores (phone)
Tiffany Probasco (of BostonFab)
Elizabeth Young (Talent Acquisition Manager at NESN)

BABJ chapter party plan for the NABJ convention
-The date is set for Thursday, July 31.
-We are talking about taking the event off campus, possibly at Rumor nightclub
-Zuri is looking into what the funding might be for the event
-If we do it off venue it will cost more and we won’t get as much money from NABJ
-If we do it on site we will run into an issue with the unions and paying the workers there and for security

Group discussed venue options
-The Sports Task Force party is already locked down at the House of Blues
-Other event options are Space 57 at the Revere Hotel – The is a very large event venue and suggests it may be too much if we want a more intimate feel and can’t fill the space.
-Other options: Forum, Emerald Lounge, The Westin (Bar 10)

Should we have a theme for the party?
-Many didn’t seem to think we do
-One idea is to have a sports jersey night. Though there is concern about having that type of event downtown given the demographic of the organization. This theme might work best if kept in the hotel.

Edward Hegemon of Rapture Events jumped on the call to discuss venue options for the party
-His proposal included the theme Northern star a play off of Frederick Douglas. The idea is to give Boston a chance to shine. He looked at Vault ($1,000, fits 300 people), Space 57 (expensive – $10,000, fits 800 people), and Venue.
-Edward asked if tickets would be sold separately or if they will be part of a registration package.
-Zuri will chat with the executive director of NABJ about the logistics. Gary Washburn will follow up with Edward about our plans and nail down the particulars.
-Morehouse College is hosting an event this Friday at Space 57, BABJ members are invited to come. (Reception at 7 pm, Party at 10pm.)
-There was a suggestion or comment about Fenway Park as a possible venue option.
-Rony has been tracking down our members to confirm who they are and where they are. He is building a spreadsheet of who’s who.
-He has reached out via the listserv and our email list
-There are some members outside of Boston that still want to know what is going on in our chapter.
-He has gotten a handful of responses to his outreach via the listserv.
-He will use the NABJ database as well to reach out to members in the Boston area.
-The purpose of this is to bring people back into the fold of the local chapter in addition to bringing in dues and gearing up for our upcoming chapter elections. The dues will help pay for events like our sponsored Roxbury Community event last month.
-Zuri following up on getting the paypal account attached to our bank account released, so that we can use it to collect dues.

-Zuri suggest holding off on election until after the convention
-It may be best to let the current leadership and members carry out the tasks for the convention before there is any turnover.
-We would also need to go back to the state and the bank to change the names on our accounts.
-We may also get a lot more new members after the convention.
-Executive decision: We will hold off on elections until after the convention.

Sponsorships for the convention 
-Zuri spoke to Darrell Matthews and Bob Butler about this. They said if we have anyone local that we want to bring into the fold we can have that conversation, but when it’s time to close the deal we should bring it to them.
-This is for any entity that you think should have a booth, be a sponsor, etc.
-As a chapter we will get cut of the sponsorship dollars of any local entity we bring in, with the details being worked out between the chapter and the national association.
We also need to nail down the community event for the convention
-Ideas: Backpack day to give backpacks and school supplies to kids.
-Maybe we can partner with City Year, Boston Cares, Big Brother & Big Sister, Cradles to Crayon (based in Allston/Brighton, they do backpack initiatives), Homes for little wanderers (a homeless shelter for kids).
-We should think about getting someone with star power or our high profile members to be part of the volunteer event.

We need to get people out into the community during the convention
-Discover Roxbury is a great organization to partner with
-There is a Malcolm X house that people can visit
-There is a MLK house that people can see
-The African American meeting house, The National Center for African American artists, Museum of African American History
-One suggestion was to reach out to Uber and Lyft to partner for deals on transportation
-Could also check out Duck Boats

Other notes for the convention
-Martine Powers mentioned that she wanted to reach out to journalism schools and partner with them
-We should create a guide to Black Boston for the convention to point people to various locales around the city
-The MFA is also an option for an event venue. They also do community service events.
-The Paramount might also be a good event space for a party. Owned by Emerson Arts in the theater district.
-We should also connect to local institutions such as the Nieman Lab.
-Executive decision: We will move the College Day chapter event to the fall, possibly in October.
The next meeting is 7:30 p.m. Wednesday April 9 at Boston University.
Meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

Please note that there was no accompanying agenda.