NABJ, NAHJ to hold joint convention in 2016

From NABJ’s official press release:

WASHINGTON (January 13, 2015) – Today, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) announced plans to host a joint convention in 2016 in Washington, D.C.

NABJ President Bob Butler and NAHJ President Mekahlo Medina said they are proud to bring both organizations to our nation’s capital. The two organizations have worked together since this summer, after immediate past NAHJ President Hugo Balta and Butler officially announced the partnership. The joint convention will be held at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Aug. 3-7.

The convention will feature comprehensive journalism training, specialty programming, national newsmakers and the largest journalism career fair in the country.

“I am happy about the strategic alliance that we have formed with our partner, NAHJ, and we are excited that a dynamic city such as Washington will serve as our host,” Butler said. “A joint 2016 convention increases our numbers, and our impact in an election year, and the presidential election will be high on our priority list.”

Butler added, “I made it clear to Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus during his appearance at NABJ in Boston and the Democratic National Committee that we would like their respective parties’ nominees to address our members and answer questions at our convention in 2016.”

“NAHJ is privileged to be part of what will be a monumental moment in 2016,” Medina said. “Two of the country’s largest journalism organizations representing two of the country’s largest groups of color – it will be a must-attend convention for everyone.

“We are proud to partner with such a dynamic and historic journalism organization,” Medina added. “NAHJ and NABJ started the idea of bringing journalists of color together 20 years ago and we are happy to be back with them celebrating and advocating for journalists of color everywhere.”

Medina went on to say that a joint national conference builds on the local partnerships NAHJ and NABJ have had over the past three years.

“Both our local D.C. chapters are strong and have successful experiences working together to bring members programming and development,” Medina said. “They’ve laid the groundwork for what will be an amazing event in the summer of 2016.”

Both organizations anticipate increased convention attendance, possibly making this the largest such conference since the 2008 Unity: Journalists of Color meeting in Chicago.

Butler said that the joint convention will be a homecoming for NABJ.

“Our founders signed the charter to create NABJ in 1975 at the old Sheraton Park Hotel, which is now the Marriott Wardman Park,” he said.

The summer 2016 conference will be the fifth convention for NABJ in Washington, and the fourth time NAHJ has held a convention in here.