NABJ Region 1 conference registration open

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) will host the 2016 Region I Conference on April 29 and 30 at the School of Global Journalism & Communication on the campus of Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.

>>>Click here to register< <<

Titled One Year After Freddie Gray: Navigating Social Justice in Journalism, the conference is expected to be one of the largest and most significant regional conferences in memory. The conference will consist of a major town hall, workshops, and nationally-known speakers during the one-year anniversary of Gray’s disturbing and untimely death.

Gray’s death was the flashpoint for protests out of concern over police brutality in predominantly African-American neighborhoods. His death also brought to the forefront issues on government and community relations and a call to increase diversity in the media.

Built and crafted as a learning laboratory, the conference will focus on three crucial areas: community engagement, digital training and media coaching. It will also include a town hall discussion titled #TogetherBaltimore that will focus on the future of the city following last year’s unrest, and discuss strategies as to how the media can do a better job in its coverage there and in similar cities across the country.

This year’s conference will build upon the skills of journalists, public relations professionals and community leaders who live in the following NABJ Region I states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C. and West Virginia. The conference will allow seasoned journalists, seen on our television screens and read in the various forms of print and new media, to enhance their skills and acquire new ones.

Networking opportunities include a welcome social on Friday, April 29, and an awards reception immediately following the conference on Saturday, April 30. There will be an attendance challenge where a cash award will be presented at the Saturday reception to the professional and student chapters with the largest number of members registered. The funds will go toward each respective chapter’s scholarship fund.

Baltimore is a great conference city with its popular Inner Harbor and African-American historical sites. The city is within reasonable travel distance from major cities along the U.S. East Coast.

If and when you have any questions about the sponsorship benefits and conference program, please contact Johann Calhoun at or (267) 602-6527.



February 6 Meeting Minutes

BABJ Meeting minutes
Feb. 6, 2015

Gary Washburn
Zeninjor Enwemeka
Michelle Johnson
Torrance Latham

We have some upcoming events that we are planning:
AAJA approached BABJ to do joint event with Mayor Marty Walsh on March 3, 2015 at Koy Boston. It will be a casual off-the-record event.

We are also planning a meeting on March 5, 2015 at Channel 4 that will include a panel discussion.
– March is women’s history month so the plan is to have a panel of local women journalists talk about their experiences.
– Suggestion: We should have also include younger journalists on the panel, in addition to veterans
– We should discuss the lack of young black women journalists in Boston.

Ideas for future events:
Gary Washburn wants to do an event focused on teaching journalism students basic professional development skills. (How to present themselves professionally, use social media properly and transition into the workplace well.)
– Michelle Johnson said she’s had discussions with folks at BU about doing something similar for students. She suggest doing outreach to other schools. They are looking at doing something in April.
– Next: Step Michelle will follow up to see how far the planning is for the BU event and how we may be able to collaborate.

Other issues/ideas for the group:
Gary wants to know if our organization should serve as a watchdog on issues of race and gender in this city. Does the group feel this way? Is this something we should look at as an organization when issues of discrimination or disparities come up in the local media industry?
– Suggestion: Do an audit of the number of black journalists there are locally.

How can we share jobs with black journalists so we can get more diverse applicants? And particularly, how can we get more young black job applicants?
– Suggestions: create a jobs newsletter, be active on different listservs, more outreach to other groups

How can we address some of the instability in the media industry? The media business is challenging and many people are dealing with job troubles.
– Suggestion: Have a mental health professional or expert come talk to people about dealing with job stress, work-life balance, and taking care of your health. Discussion on how to stay ahead at work and keep your sanity in the workplace.

Michelle is part of a network of certified Google trainers and suggests doing a Google workshop for our members.
– It will be a hands-on workshop on Google tools
– It could be part of a BABJ meeting. In the future maybe we should combine meetings with events.

We should organize a pre-NABJ convention gathering this year
– It will be a social meetup before the convention
– Can discuss what to expect from NABJ for first-timers & students