National Association of Black Journalists

2012 NABJ Convention & Career Fair Preview 

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The National Association of Black Journalists welcomes you to join us from June 20th - 24th as we gather in New Orleans for the 37th Annual Convention and Career Fair!


We can't wait to see you in just 9 days... Check out our line-up!

Travel From Louis Armstrong New Orleans

International Airport



A cab ride costs $33.00 from the airport to the Central Business District (CBD) for one or two persons and $14.00 (per passenger) for three or more passengers. Pick-up is on the lower level, outside the baggage claim area. There may be an additional charge for extra baggage. Taxis are required to offer a credit card payment option.


Airport Shuttle

Shuttle service is available from the airport to the hotels in the CBD for $20.00 (per person, one-way) or $38.00 (per person, round-trip). Three bags per person. Call 1-866-596-2699 or (504) 522-3500 for more details or to make a reservation. Advance reservations are required 48 hours prior to travel for all ADA accessible transfers. Please call in advance of your travel date for the specially-equipped shuttle to be reserved. For group reservations of 50 or more people please dial 1-866-596-2699. Ticket booths are located on the lower level in the baggage claim area. .



Tuesday, June 19  

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

NABJ Town Hall Meeting 

Location: Dillard University, Georges Auditorium, 2601 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans 

Powered by Orleans Place Matters 

Hosted by New Orleans Association of Black Journalists


Reforming Education in Post-Katrina Louisiana 

One of the legacies of Hurricane Katrina is the nearly total transformation of New Orleans' beleaguered public education system. Voucher programs are expanding, with the most recent state school reform legislation enabling more students across Louisiana to attend private schools at taxpayer expense. Opponents contend that under this system, there's an absence of widespread access to special needs education, less accountability for individual institutions and a greater likelihood that children of less-involved parents may fall through the cracks. A panel of experts engages a discussion of the controversial topic with local residents.


Wednesday, June 20


8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Chapter Day: Professional Chapter Leadership Development

Chapter Day offers leaders of NABJ's professional and student chapters to take part in a day of training focused leadership development. Participants will learn about fundraising and effective governing. The session is produced by the NABJ Council of Presidents Task Force.


8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Learning Labs

Sessions will allow attendees hands-on access and detailed information on various tools and resources available to media professionals.


Sign up for Learning Labs by clicking here.


This year's topics include:


  • Career Transition: Change, Creativity and Resilience 
  • 4th Annual NABJ Entrepreneurial Learning Lab: Inspiring Success in a Digital World
  • ONACamp @ NABJ Learning Labs
  • Starting Your Own Company: Visual Entrepreneurship
  • Branding U: The Student Edition 
  • Jumpstart Your PR Transformation
  • Putting Your Journalism Skills to Work in Hollywood


5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 

Putting Your Journalism Skills to Work in Hollywood  
Powered by BET, The Africa Channel

A panel of entertainment experts will provide insights on how to transfer journalism skills into a successful entertainment career. Panelists will share personal stories on the opportunities and challenges that come along with writing and producing content for Hollywood and how that impacts the African-American audience. This session also will examine how African-American buying power influences what is produced for the big and small screens and what ends up on the chopping block.



T.J. Holmes, Host, Don't Sleep, BET

Lolis Eric Elie, Writer, Treme, HBO

Tim McNeal, Vice President, Talent Development & Diversity, ABC Television Group & Disney

Tiffany Smith-Anoa'i, Vice President, Diversity & Communications, CBS

Gil L. Robertson, Co-Founder & President, African American Film Critics Association

Cheryl Pearson-McNeil, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs & Government Relations, The Nielsen Company 














8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. 

Welcome Reception & Concert 
Powered by BET, The Africa Channel


NABJ welcomes all of its members to the Crescent  City with a kickoff reception and concert at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. Join us for an elegant evening of New Orleans eats, sounds, networking, and connecting with new colleagues and old friends.  



TJ Holmes, BET


Musical Performance:

Melanie Fiona, R & B Artist





                        Fiona, Holmes


10:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. 

NABJ After Dark: Amateur Night



Here's your chance to step up to the mic, share your talent with NABJ and shine. Whether you have a song or a spoken-word piece to offer, bring it on. You will be the opening act for NABJ After Dark and precede headliner Fresh Johnson, on-air host from New Orleans' Power 102.9.












Thursday, June 21

bootcamp6:30 a.m. - 7:30 a.m.
Healthy NABJ: Morning Workout 

Powered by the United States Marine Corps


ATTENTION! Do you have what it takes to cut it in bootcamp? Start your day out the right way with a morning workout lead by the U.S. Marine Corps. It promises to be a workout to remember!


9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Opening Ceremony 

Powered By HuffPost/ BlackVoices

Hosted by Arthel Neville, FOX News, and Alicia Quarles, E! News


Newsmaker Plenary: Trayvon Martin: A Crime Story in the Digital Age 
 The death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin launched a 21st century discussion of both race, equity and justice in America, particularly in light of Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law. News reports brought diverse viewpoints to light as social media and technology sparked the public's interest and helped drive coverage. This session will explore the ongoing social and cultural implications of this case and the role played by the media. The Martin family, journalists, and legal experts as they discuss one the notable stories of the year.




 Trayvon Martin Family, Crump,  Shrapton, Norris


Moderator: Michele Norris, Host, NPR


Sybrina Fulton, Mother of Trayvon Martin 
Tracy Martin, Father of Trayvon Martin 
Jahvaris Martin, Brother of Trayvon Martin 
Ben Crump, Parks & Crump Attorneys at Law, Trayvon Martin Family Attorney 
Rev. Al SharptonMSNBC Commentator, President, National Action Network
Corey Dade, National Correspondent, NPR 
Trymaine Lee, Senior Reporter, Huffington Post 
Joy-Ann Reid, Managing Editor, 
Daralene Jones, General Assignment Reporter, WFTV - Orlando



9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.

NABJ Authors Showcase Bookstore
Powered by News Corporation, HarpersCollins Publishers

 The NABJ Authors Showcase & Bookstore showcases the newest books by journalists which are creating the most buzz, and offers aspiring authors expert advice on how to write, publish, market, and sell that manuscript. 


Check out our full schedule here.


11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 

GMC Television Network Presents
Powered by GMC TV Network and ASPiRE 


Williams, Dunbar

Williams, Dunbar
GMC Networks, America's favorite channel for uplifting music and family entertainment, invites you to join GMC Networks Executive Paul Butler, and actors Vanessa Williams and Rockmond Dunbar as we present our upcoming slate of heartwarming movies, gospel plays and roof-raising music specials and artists for the 2012/2013 season. Our talent and executives will be on hand to answer questions during this special NABJ program. Plus, be the very first anywhere to get a special sneak peek at Earvin 'Magic' Johnson's new television network ASPiRE set to launch in June! NABJ gets it first! Don't miss it!


 Paul Butler, General Manager, ASPiRE 

Actors Vanessa Williams and Rockmond Dunbar


1:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. 

Newsmaker Plenary: The Health of a Nation: The Affordable Care Act on Trial
The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on President Obama's health care law will have far-reaching implications, from the November general election to, ultimately, access to quality health care for all Americans, especially African Americans. Nearly 5.5 million African Americans are uninsured and the fate of the health care law will have economic and social consequences. Join our panel of health experts and journalists for insightful analysis of this developing news story.



Melissa Harris Perry, Host, MSNBC  



Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood 
Kathleen Stoll, Deputy Executive Director, 

Families USA 
Marc Morial, President, National Urban League 
Dr. Karen DeSalvo, New Orleans Health Commissioner  


Health Morial, Richards, Perry

5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.  

Convention Chairman's Reception

Powered by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation

Join Convention Chairman Rod Hicks and his special guests, singer/songwriter Marsha Ambrosius and Philadelphia musician Jeff Bradshaw, who have collaborated on a tribute to New Orleans. Help paint Philly's next larger-than-life mural, dedicated to the hip-hop band The Roots.





6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 

Special Screening: Won't Back Down


In this powerful story inspired by true events of parenthood, friendship, hope and courage, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis portray determined mothers who will stop at nothing to transform their children's failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy and a system mired in traditional thinking, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children.


Wont back down

 Davis, Perez, Perry


Q&A Panel: 

Dr. Steve Perry, Founder, Capital Preparatory Magnet School, CNN Education Contributor
Viola Davis, Actress 
Rosie Perez, Actress





7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. 

Arts and Entertainment Task Force Reception
Join NABJ's Arts & Entertainment Task Force as they celebrate our organizations arts and entertainment journalists and award the 2012  A& E Task Force Legacy Award to Kevin Frazier, CBS' Insider.











8:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m

NABJ Presents

Powered By Disney Parks   

Join NABJ and Disney Parks for an evening of fun and surprises, featuring the musical talents of recording artist Ruben Studdard.





10:15 p.m. - 3:00 a.m.

New Orleans Chapter Party
Our host, the New Orleans Association of Black Journalists invites you out to enjoy a night in New Orleans! 
Location: Jackson Brewery Bistro Bar, 620 Decatur Street, #1A, New Orleans, La. 


Friday, June 22


1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 

W.E.B DuBois Lecture- Black, White, Red and Blue: Views from the African American Electorate in the Battleground States


As the presidential campaign kicks into high gear ahead of the summer's political conventions, we'll explore the issues which are at the forefront for African-American voters. This panel of journalists and political analysts will assess the groundbreaking results of a new BET News poll of African Americans opinions on the economy, education, health care, and other key issues this election cycle.



Toure, Holmes, Ross, Belcher


Moderator: TJ Holmes, Host, BET


Breaking News Moment:

Allan C. Golston, President of the United States Program, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation



Toure, Commentator, MSNBC, Fuse 
Andra Gillespie, Professor of Political Science, Emory University 

Cornell Belcher, Pollster, Brilliant Corners   


1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 

Newsmaker Plenary-Reflections from the C-Suite: A Conversation with the Nation's Top Media Executives 

The number of African-American journalists declined for the fourth consecutive year, according to the latest newsroom census released this past spring by the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) and the Center for Advanced Social Research (CASR). Newsroom diversity is just one priority news leaders must address, as they work to innovative ways to cover news. Join a group of the nation's top media executives for a wide ranging discussion on the future of America's newsrooms.


Simpson, Griffin, Skiper, Martore



Carole Simpson, Former Anchor, ABC News, Professor and Leader-In-Residence, Emerson College


John Skipper, President, ESPN 
Phil Griffin, President, MSNBC 
Gracia C. Martore, President & CEO, Gannett
Margaret Low Smith, Sr. Vice President, NPR



6:00 pm - 7:00 p.m. 

NBC Upfront- Fall Preview
Powered by NBC
Join NBC as they present their Fall line-up. Invited guests include: Megan Good, Russell Hornsby, Giancarlo Esposito, Tempest Bledsoe, Anthony Anderson, NeNe Leaks, Eamonn Walker.


Moderator: Kelley L. Carter, Freelance, Entertainment Journalist


NBC Upfront  

 Bledsoe, Anderson, Leakes, Walker




11:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m. 

NABJSports Task Force Annual Scholarship Jam


Powered by Disney Park, Disney Sports, PGA, Turner Sports, Enterprise Holdings, Inc.
Location: House of Blues
225 Decatur Street New Orleans, La.


Come out and enjoy music and dancing for a good cause at this NABJ tradition. Proceeds from the party will benefit NABJ's Larry Whiteside Scholarship Fund, which provides college scholarships for aspiring journalists. Proceeds also support general funds for NABJ and the Sports Task Force. This event is hosted by New Orleans' own Michael Smith and Stan Verrett. DJ Limelight and a New Orleans-based deejay will spin.


Purchase tickets here.




Saturday, June 23



7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. 

5K Walk/Run
Powered by The Coca-Cola Company


Rise and shine for better health! Join NABJ as we continue our journey to a healthier community at our 7th Annual 5K Walk/Run. Enjoy the company of NABJ members and guests as we make strides to healthier living, all while taking in the invigorating culture and scenery of New Orleans' neighborhoods.


Register Here.




7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

NABJ Celebrity Golf Tournament
Powered by United Airlines, Disney, Coca Cola, FedEx, Dixon Golf, ESPN The Magazine, Tour Level Incorporated

Location: Lakewood Golf Club
4801 General DeGaulle Drive
New Orleans, La.


Hosted by Stan Verrett of ESPN and Professional Football Player Kordell Stewart

Each year, NABJ members and guests gather at a special location to enjoy camaraderie with one another and a celebrity guest. This year the NABJ Celebrity Golf Tournament will take place in the home of New Orleans' first PGA tournament and the South's premier golf destination - Lakewood Golf Club. The venue has hosted the New Orleans Open 26 times, and a recent multi-million dollar renovation has transformed it into a dramatic course with challenging fairways, tees and greens.


Sign up by clicking here.


Day of Service 



Powered By BP, The Home Depot Foundation, Rent-A-Center, and The St. Bernard's Project, United Airlines


11:00 am- 1:00 p.m.

NABJ Reads Block Party
Calling all NABJ Convention attendees - bring a book to the convention!

NABJ is partnering with the New Orleans Public Library to collect books for New Orleans teens. On Saturday, June 23, we will have an outdoor party for high school students across New Orleans. Our event will include a book drive, live entertainment, and interaction with journalists and celebrities who will discuss the importance of reading and writing.


Click here for the list of books to bring to convention.


Click here to make a monetary donation to NABJ Reads.


2:00 p.m.- 3:30 p.m. 

NABJ Rebuilds

NABJ has partnered with the St. Bernard's Project for an NABJ home makeover. NABJ has adopted several families in the New Orleans area displaced after Hurricane Katrina, and work has begun on refurbishing their homes. Join us on Saturday, June 23 at the dedication ceremony at one of these homes, as we offer good wishes and welcome our adopted families into their living spaces.



1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Visual Task Force Photo Auction
The Visual Task Force is comprised of visual journalists in still photojournalism, design and informational graphics, broadcast photojournalism and visual leadership. Join the group for this annual NABJ tradition as auctioneer Fred Sweets will takes bids for unique prints that will go to the highest bidders and benefit NABJ scholarships.


NABJ Film Festival


1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 

Special Screening: Beasts of the Southern Wild

Powered by News Corporation


Beasts of the Southern Wild


In a forgotten but defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, a six-year-old girl exists on the brink of orphanhood.  Buoyed by her childish optimism and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural world is in balance with the universe until a fierce storm changes her reality.  Desperate to repair the structure of her world in order to save her ailing father and sinking home, this tiny hero must learn to survive unstoppable catastrophes of epic proportions




1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 
Special Screening: Soul Man

Powered by TV Land 

 Cedric, Nash

TV Land is giving one of the original "Kings of Comedy" his own sitcom! Laugh-out-loud comedians Cedric "The Entertainer" and Niecy Nash star in the network's newest original series, "The Soul Man". 
"The Soul Man" revolves around R&B superstar-turned-minister Reverend Boyce "The Voice" Ballentine (played by Cedric) who was living the high life in Las Vegas at the top of the music charts (see the video for his 80's hit, "Sex Wichoo" here) when he gets the calling to go from soul singer to soul saver. Relocating to St. Louis with his wife, Lolli (Nash) and his daughter, Lyric (Jazz Raycole) to take over the preaching duties in his father's church, his family is not exactly eager to give up the fabulous superstar life for a humble one. 
Join Cedric the Entertainer, Niecy Nash, producer, Stan Lathan , and TV Land President Larry W. Jones for a special screening and Q & A session. 


2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m . 
Special Screening: Spike Lee's Red Hook Summer    


Spike Lee

Spike Lee spent 19 days last summer quietly filming his latest movie set in the Red Hook Houses, piecing together a boy's adventures in Brooklyn's biggest public housing project. Hollywood reviewers slammed Red Hook Summer at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year in Park City, Utah, for painting too rosy a picture of life in the sprawling urban complex. But Red Hook residents say Lee did the right thing in his portrayal of their home, which they say is undergoing a development, which they say is in the midst of a renaissance.


Join Spike for special screening and Q & A session.


3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 
Special Screening: Middle of Nowhere 
Middle of Nowhere, crafted by budding writer-director Ava DuVernay, observes a marriage put on hold and suggests its star might be wise to move on.





Miller, Verrett

6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

2012 NABJ Salute to Excellence Awards Gala

Powered By BP, FedEx Corporation, Prudential Financial, Inc., United Airlines, Toyota Motor Sales, USA

Hosted by Michelle Miller, CBS, and Stan Verrett, ESPN   

Celebrate with us at "A Night of Decadence!" The Salute To Excellence Gala is NABJ's annual tribute to the media industry's cream of the crop for their work in journalism. This year's Salute to Excellence hosts are veteran journalists Michelle Miller of CBS News and Stan Verrett of ESPN.


We will honor our most talented and brightest stars, including: Pierre Thomas of ABC News, Journalist of the Year; DeWayne Wickham of USA Today and Gannett, Lifetime Achievement Award; Monica Pearson of WSB-TV (Atlanta), Legacy Award; Gerrick Kennedy of The Los Angeles Times, Emerging Journalist Award Winner, Janet Rolle` of CNN, Pat Tobin Media Professional Award.


10:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m. 

Orlando Kick-Off Party and Decadent Dessert Reception
Powered By Disney Parks


Join the Central Florida Association of Black Journalists as they get the party started for the 2013 Convention in Orlando, FL. Immediately following the Salute to Excellence Gala, enjoy good music, good deserts, and good times as we say goodbye to New Orleans and hello to Orlando!



Sunday, June 24

8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. 

NABJ Gospel Brunch
Powered By BP, Home Depot Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company


Hosted By Sally-Ann Roberts, WWL-TV, New Orleans

From Marvin Sapp to CeCe Winans and Kirk Franklin, the list of heavyweights who have performed at the Annual NABJ Gospel Brunch is impressive. This year's brunch buffet to live music features a feast of artists, including Earnest Pugh and Micah Stampley as we close out the 2012 Convention & Career Fair.




Pugh, Stampley