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.

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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 calhoun.nabj@gmail.com or (267) 602-6527.

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