November 1 meeting minutes

Meeting date: 7 -9 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 1

Location: Emerson College

1. Reports

  • Financial update – Zuri Berry
    – Our account is stable and we have money in the bank.
  • Chapter filings – Zuri Berry
    – We need to file our chapter audit with NABJ by Jan. 1.
  • 2017 Region 1 conference: Philadelphia – Zuri Berry
    – This year’s regional conference will take place April 29-30 in Philly. Expect a great program.
  • Meet and greets with: Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Boston NAACP president Michael Curry – Gary Washburn
    – We’ve had some great meetings with city leaders and plan to do more. This is an opportunity for us to get to know them, understand their agenda and priorities and introduce them to BABJ. The next meeting will be with NAACP president Michael Curry sometime this month.

2. Chapter calendar

  • Holiday event
    – Mark your calendars! We’ll celebrate the holidays at 8 p.m. on Thursday Dec. 15 at a location to be determined. Options include Darryl’s Corner Bar and Kitchen.
  • Student project/student resume workshop
    – We plan to bring back our successful student resume workshop next year in addition to a workshop focused on helping students prepare for and land a job interview. One workshop is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 26 or Saturday, Jan. 28 tentatively at BU. The other workshop will be Wednesday, March 1.
    – We will reach out to our friends at AAJA New England to partner on the resume workshop as we did last year.
  • Harvard student women’s group
    – There is a Harvard professional women’s group that is interested in having black female journalists speak with their members at one of their monthly meetings. If you are interested reach out to Gary Washburn to get connected.
  • Scholarship program
    – Gary Washburn is looking into creating a BABJ scholarship program for students.
  • Upcoming chapter deadlines
    – Paperwork with the state is due annually Nov. 1 and has been filed.
    – Chapter audit for NABJ due: Jan. 1

3. BABJ elections

  • Schedule
    – It’s time to pass on the torch. BABJ was restarted by the current executive board a few years ago. And it’s past due for us to put new leadership in place. So, we will hold elections next year (yay, democracy!).
    – Here’s the plan:

    • The executive board will review the chapter bylaws to make any necessary tweaks/edits from when the chapter was restarted. The board will do this by the end of this year.
    • At our February chapter meeting, the executive board will present the bylaws to the chapter for discussion. At that point we will set a date for the election. The board will also send out descriptions of each position.
    • We will then hold elections (likely in April).

    – Some things to think about:

    • Should we restructure BABJ? Does the current model work? What positions do we actually need?
    • How should we conduct elections? In person? Online? Michelle Johnson has volunteered to help set up an online voting system.

4. Adjournment & Announcements

  • Questions, concerns and feedback
    – What do students want from BABJ?
    Emerson students said they want help with structuring and organizing their chapter. There was discussion about the official status of the Emerson NABJ chapter. There have been talks about creating a regional or citywide student chapter of NABJ with all the local colleges & universities. It sounds like there is a lot of interest in doing this. So, we need to reach out to Region 1 Director Johann Calhoun, who has been working on this, to find out about the process for doing that.

    – Idea: We should do a day conference for Boston. Or perhaps a New England Day conference where we partner with the Southern New England Association of Black Journalists (SNEABJ). Crystal Haynes suggested we charge for this event (even just $10) so that it could be a fundraiser.

    – Idea: A BABJ awards ceremony to acknowledge the achievements of chapter members. This could also be a fundraiser. We could make this a fancy affair and sell tickets or maybe get some companies to buy tables.

    – Michelle Johnson shared with the group the long history of BABJ. She has pulled up a lot of old documents and memorabilia going back decades that she is looking to store somewhere. We should discuss further how we want to preserve the chapter’s history.

    – Michelle Johnson is also one of a handful of official Google trainers in the country. She has offered to do a Google tools workshop for the chapter. This could be its own chapter event or part of a day conference if we decide to do that. We would need to contact SPJ to set up the training.

    – Astead Herndon asked if there are ways BABJ can support and mentor fellow journalists, particularly those who are early in their careers. This led to a discussion about how we can better welcome people who are new Boston and support fellow members. The takeaway here was that everyone — not just students — needs mentoring and professional support at different stages of their career. Some ideas:

    • Create a BABJ committee for mentoring and onboarding to come up with ideas, such as creating a “Getting Started in Boston” guide. (Paula Bouknight and A. Sherrod Blakely could be great resources for this as they already do a lot of this on their own.)
    • Hold regular social events so the chapter can hangout. (Perhaps monthly drinks/food)

5. Next steps and To Dos:

  • Set up holiday party at Darryl’s Corner (Dec. 15)
  • Develop ideas for scholarship program (Gary Washburn)
  • Circle back to students to discuss student chapter structure (Zuri Berry)
  • Finalize dates for student workshops (reach out to AAJA to partner)
  • Review bylaws and bring changes to chapter to vote in February (executive board)
  • Day conference (partner with SNEABJ)
  • Create mentoring and onboarding committee
  • Set up Google training session (connect with SPJ)
  • Create Twitter list of BABJ members (Zeninjor Enwemeka)

Jan. 8 meeting minutes

Meeting date: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday Jan. 8
Location: Winship Room, The Boston Globe

Meeting called to order at 7:32 p.m.

In attendance:
Zuri Berry
Zeninjor Enwemeka
Rony Camille
Meghan Irons
Akilah Johnson
Anne Curry (on the phone)
Don West
Glenda Buell
Kelly Chunn
Chantee Ians (on the phone)
James Edwards
Corey J. Allen
Erica Morrison (on the phone)

I. Exchange of information for group committees
We have a Google doc form to collect everyone’s contact information and convention committee preference. Here’s the link:
-We will distribute all the contact information between each respective committee group.

II. Reports
• Word from national – Zuri Berry
• 5K update – Gary Washburn

-The National chapter not ready for us to reach out to sponsors. They will be ready in about a week or two, and will have the people in place they want to reach out to.
-Gary Washburn submitted a proposal on the 5K to the city and is waiting to hear back. The next step for this event is to file a map of the event.

III. Black history month event update – Zuri Berry and Chantee Lans
-We have secured The Boston’s Globe’s media lab for the Black History Month event with SNEABJ. We also have Globe catering available. The event will be Saturday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.m.
-We are still determining the final two panelists and planning to reach out to Callie Crossley. So far we have: Sarah Ann Shaw, Todd Wallace, Carole Simpson (moderator)
-We should have a cohesive theme for the event. Ideas: Pioneering black journalists share their stories. Subtext: Are black journalists still relevant in New England?
-We should reach out to someone from a local black publication to be on the panel. Suggestions: Blackstonian – Jamarhl Crawford; Basic Black TV show: Valerie Linson or Kim McLarin; Ron Hutson formerly of Globe & covered busing issue; Bay State Banner: Yawu Miller
-Marketing ideas:  use personal channels; go to each university/college journalism department to distribute; Reach out to black fraternities and sororities; black MBAs; churches – black ministry alliance; local unity chapters; pirate radio station.

IV. Membership drive information
-We have created membership forms to gather an official membership list and collect dues.
-We will distribute the forms and post it online.

V. Discussion and outline for upcoming BABJ elections
-BABJ elections are coming March 12, 2014. All positions will be open including: president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and student representative
-If you are interested in the position, let us know.
-More details on the position will be distributed to the group.

VI. Adjournment & Announcements
-Don West discussed his photo exhibit, Portraits of Purpose as well as his upcoming book launch. A portion of the exhibit is on display at the Dudley library until the end of January.
-There will be an event at the library on February 22 for Black History month. It will be a community forum- Roxbury: Telling out story.
-Would be a good opportunity for BABJ to sponsor and gain exposure and membership outreach. More info can be found at
-Our next BABJ meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12, 2014; Location TBA
-Reminder: The Digital Journalism Task Force’s “New Year, New You” webinar will be Saturday Jan. 11. You can sign up online here:
-SNEABJ is aiming to reschedule their ESPN meeting/field trip for Saturday, January 25th but is still confirming date.

Next steps:
-Finalize participants and theme for Black History Month event
-Gather & distribute contact information for convention committees
-Follow up on sponsoring Dudley library community event

Meeting adjourned at 8:32 p.m.


December meeting minutes

Meeting date: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday Dec. 11
Location: Winship Room, The Boston Globe

Meeting called to order 7:31 p.m.

I. Report on Winter gala with NBMBAA Boston chapter – Zuri Berry
-We would not make money off this, our participation would just be a partnership. So we will not partner with them on this position.
-We will continue dialogue and relationship with NBMBAA

II. Finalize committee groups for convention
• 5K run: Gary Washburn, Derrick Z. Jackson, Cory Allen
-The 5K run will be along the Charles River. Gary Washburn says the application for the 5K run is in the process of being filed with the city.
• Community event: Ann Clanton, Cory Allen, Sarah Ann Shaw, Meghan Irons, Akilah Johnson
• Venues (opening reception, chapter party, alternatives): Ebony Reed, Zuri Berry, Glenda Buell, Michelle Johnson, Rony Camille
• Programming and partnerships: Zeninjor Enwemeka, Martine Powers, Zuri Berry, Anica Butler, Akilah Johnson
– we will finalize committee groups and make sure each group is connected with each other

III. Black history month event update – Zuri Berry and Chantee Lans
• Location: TBA, but will likely be at The Boston Globe media lab
• Panelists: Sarah Ann Shaw and Todd Wallace are confirmed
-SNEABJ is putting together a panel event of local trailblazers in journalism. Event is on Feb.
-They are looking for a couple more panelists. If you have suggestions, please email Chantee Lans.
-Michelle Johnson will contact Carole Simpson to moderate the event
-This will be a public event

IV. Report on sponsorships and fundraising – Kelley Chunn
-Kelley Chunn will contact Bob Butler before moving forward on sponsorships & fundraising

V. Discussion and outline for upcoming BABJ elections
• Call for nominations, including: president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and student representative
• Election date: March 12, 2014 (tentative)
-We should do a membership drive to establish who are the members and get that set before we do an election
-There was a suggestion to push back the election date until our membership is in order
-Membership drive can take place in January, and then we can move to a call for nominations and elections
-New suggested election date will be in March

VI. Adjournment & Announcements
• Reminder: SNEABJ meeting at ESPN (ESPN Plaza, Bristol, CT 06010) 2 p.m. Saturday Jan. 4, 2014
• Next BABJ meeting set for 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8, 2014; Location TBA
-ESPN event: SNEABJ is looking to get a bus to provide transportation for everyone to Bristol, Conn.
-Kelley Chunn: Don West has an exhibit that could be part of the convention programming – can reach out to visual task force on that
-Gary Washburn is working on getting the chapter party together. He is working on getting a Boston-based act for the event. Gary was also on a panel for the show “Basic Black” last month with Peniel Joseph, a professor at Tufts, who he spoke to about getting involved in the convention. He would be great on a panel.
-Kelley Chunn: District Hall, 12,000 square feet building in innovation district on waterfront may be good location for opening reception or other convention event. Habitat for Humanity also has a nice building near the waterfront.
-We should also look to partner with the MBTA and possibly with the duck boat operators.
-Also we will have a get together on December 20th at Darryl’s Corner


November meeting minutes

November 2013 BABJ meeting minutes

Meeting date: 8 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 13
Location: Winship Room, The Boston Globe

Meeting called to order 8 p.m.

In attendance:
Zuri Berry
Zeninjor Enwemeka
Paula Bouknight
Kelley Chunn
Corey Allen
Erica Morrison
Briona Jumerson
Carole Copeland Thomas
Rony Camille
Glenda Buell
Pan Cross
Chantee Lans (by phone)
Ann Clanton (by phone)
Martine Powers

I. Report on the association’s incorporation, nonprofit status and bank account – Zuri Berry and Glenda Buell
-Our paperwork with the state is now in order, so we can raise money (yay!).
-Our bank account is also in order
-We now have three people who can sign any checks for the association: Zuri, Glenda, and Zeninjor
– We now also have a deposit card for the organization
-Zuri has invoice of expenses for $376.34, which covers the logo, annual report for last 10 years, application for revival with the state, certificate of good standing, website domain purchase and web hosting.

II. Update on the association’s website – Zuri Berry
-Check us out on (will post meeting minutes, meeting agendas and dates, and more content)
-We got a logo made! (See the attached the file).

III. Report and discussion on partnerships being explored ahead of 2014 NABJ convention
• December event and possible partnership with Black MBAs – Zuri Berry
-Winter gala event on December 13 at the Westin in Boston
-Where we would help sell tickets and become a sponsor for the event. This is something for us to explore and consider. Zuri and Gary Morton are hashing out details on this.
• Black History month event with SNEABJ – Chantee Lans (conference call)
-Tentatively scheduled for February 1, 2014 (possibly at the Globe)
-Idea is for BABJ to partner with SNEABJ and have organizations meet to bring together local trailblazers for an event.
-SNEABJ is looking for panelists for the event. If you have ideas for panelists, please email Chantee Lans of SNEABJ:
• Report on conference call with Boston Visitor’s Bureau – Gary Washburn

IV. Report on centralized document for sponsors
• Assign a member to spearhead this task as project leader
-We need someone to compile list of sponsors and oversee who contacts who – Kelley Chunn volunteered to take the lead on this.
-We have a fact sheet handout for potential sponsors
• To-do for project leader: Outline the proposal, followup, and closing process for potential sponsors (will provide more information later)
• Assign designated members as contact liaisons
• To-do for project leader: Set deadlines for the proposal process

IV. Discussion of BABJ’s exact responsibilities ahead of 2014 NABJ convention
• Form committees for community event, 5K race, chapter party, programming
• Review workshop proposal webinar
-5K event: Find location and map out logistics for run (Gary Washburn, Derrick Z. Jackson and Cory Allen)
-Community event: Plan community service project for convention (Ann Clanton, Cory Allen, Sarah Ann Shaw)
Suggestions so far: City year, Boston Cares, project in Dorchester
-Chapter party: Need to find location and figure out logistics for event (Ebony Reed
Suggestions so far: Children’s Museum; District innovation area, Microsoft NERD center, African American meeting house
-Programming: You can submit a workshop proposal now – the deadline is Sunday, Dec. 1
More details on proposals:
Digital task force webinar on proposals:

V. Discussion and outline for upcoming BABJ elections
• Call for nominations
• Set a date
-We need to have a chapter election. Possibly dates: Jan. 13, 2014, Feb. 12, 2014 or later so that the organization has a chance to flesh out responsibilities. We’ll discuss this further at next chapter meeting.

VI. Adjournment
• SNEABJ meeting at ESPN (ESPN Plaza, Bristol, CT 06010) 2 p.m. Saturday Jan. 4, 2014
-Will have a tour of ESPN; can bring kids if you want (just contact Chantee Lans if you want to do that:
• Next BABJ meeting set for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11, 2013; Location TBA

Next steps:
-Formally set committee members
-Follow up on Winter gala event

Meeting adjourned at 8:51 p.m.

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, – 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 (

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 ( 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
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