Special Honors Honorees
Journalist of the YearWhite House Corresponden, PBS NewsHour
Yamiche Alcindor , Journalist of the Year
Yamiche Alcindor is the White House correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, a role she began in January 2018. She often tells stories about the intersection of race and politics as well as fatal police encounters.
Alcindor is also a contributor for NBC News and MSNBC often appearing on a number of shows including Morning Joe, Andrea Mitchell Reports, The Rachel Maddow Show, and Meet the Press with Chuck Todd.
Previously, Alcindor worked as a national political reporter for The New York Times where she covered the presidential campaigns of Mr. Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders as well as Congress. She also wrote about the impact of President Donald Trump’s policies on working-class people and people of color.
Before joining The Times, she was a national breaking news reporter for USA Today and traveled across the country to cover stories including the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. and the police-related protests in Ferguson, Mo. and Baltimore, Md. Alcindor’s overall goal is to be a civil rights journalist and she was inspired by the late PBS NewsHour anchor Gwen Ifill.
In 2020, Alcindor was named the recipient of RTDNA’s John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award, IWMF’s Gwen Ifill Award and the White House Correspondents’ Association’s Aldo Beckman Award for Overall Excellence in White House Coverage. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and was named the organization’s 2020 “Journalist of the Year.” Alcindor has also been honored with the Ifill Next Generation Award by Simmons University and NextGen Leader Award by the Georgetown Entertainment & Media Alliance. In 2017, she won an award in a tribute to Ifill during Syracuse University’s Toner Prize ceremony. NABJ also named Alcindor its “Emerging Journalist of the Year” in 2013.
Alcindor earned a master’s degree in broadcast news and documentary filmmaking from New York University and a bachelor’s in English, government and African American studies from Georgetown University. A native of Miami, Fla., Yamiche is married to a fellow journalist and is the daughter of Haitian immigrants who met while attending Boston College.
Chuck Stone Lifetime Achievement AwardSenior Vice President/Editor-in-Chief, ESPN The Undefeated
Kevin Merida , Chuck Stone Lifetime Achievement Award
In March 2020, Merida began reporting directly to ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro — a part of the expansion of The Undefeated brand across The Walt Disney Company platforms. Through this expansion under Merida’s leadership, The Undefeated has widened its lens to include coverage of sports, fashion, music, the arts and technology, with a goal of sharing that content with a larger audience.
From December 2017 through March 2020, Merida had additional responsibility for ESPN’s news enterprise and investigative coverage; as well as presiding over the ESPN Editorial Board – a company-wide, cross-disciplinary team of leaders who guide and inform the company’s editorial standards of conduct, and ensures that ESPN content reflects the company’s editorial guidelines. He is also responsible for the company’s development of a storytelling innovation lab designed to create new narrative forms that resonate on all screens and platforms.
Prior to ESPN, Merida served as The Washington Post’s managing editor for news, features and The Post’s Universal News Desk since February 2013. In that role, he helped lead The Post’s digital transformation that has resulted in one of the largest increases in audience growth of any media outlet in the country over the last two years. Merida oversaw key sections – National, Foreign, Metro, Business, Sports, Investigations, Outlook, Style, Travel, Food, Local Living and Weekend/Going Out Guide and The Washington Post Magazine. Merida is the first African American to hold a managing editor position at The Post. During his tenure, The Post won three Pulitzer Prizes.
The Washington Post hired Merida in 1993 as a Congressional correspondent and national political writer. He covered the Republican Congressional revolution led by Speaker Newt Gingrich and the 1996 presidential campaign.
At the Post, Merida’s newsroom responsibilities progressively grew and became more varied: Style section feature writer (1997-2001), The Post magazine columnist (2001-2004), associate editor (2001-2008), and national editor (2009-2013).
As national editor, Merida supervised the Post’s coverage of Congress, the presidency, national politics, national security, health/science and the environment, the federal government structure and more. He oversaw news coverage of key national events such as the killing of Osama bin Laden; the BP oil spill; the shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, and in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn.; and the battle over health care.
Merida has co-authored two books: a biography of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas – “Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas” – with Michael Fletcher in 2007; and “Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs” with Deborah Willis, an extension of his role as a feature writer covering the 2008 presidential campaign.
In 2006, Merida served as coordinating editor for the award-winning series “Being a Black Man,” which explored the lives of black men in America through in-depth reporting of their unique, but shared experiences. The yearlong series by The Post was anthologized in a 2007 book Merida edited – “Being a Black Man: At the Corner of Progress and Peril.”
Merida graduated from Boston University with a journalism degree in 1979. He attended the Maynard Institute’s storied Summer Program for Minority Journalists at the University of California at Berkeley before starting his career as a general assignment reporter for The Milwaukee Journal. From 1983-1993, he worked for The Dallas Morning News in different roles – projects reporter, local political writer, national correspondent, White House correspondent (during George H.W. Bush’s presidency), and assistant managing editor for national and foreign news.
Born in Wichita, Kansas, Merida was raised in the Washington, D.C. metro area. His 10th grade class in 1973 was the first to go through busing in Maryland’s Prince George’s County school district – an experience he captured 25 years later in a personal essay, “Where That Bus Ride Took Me,” published by The Post.
Merida is one of the most sought-after thought-leaders in modern journalism – a pioneer in the emerging genre of impactful storytelling through an array of new media forms and platforms. He is a board member for the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education; a member of the board of trustees for the Kaiser Family Foundation and Boston University, his alma mater – among several institutional oversight committees for professional and community groups he serves on.
Merida, who resides in the Washington, D.C. area, is married to author and columnist Donna Britt.
Legacy AwardChief Education Correspondent, NBC News
Rehema Ellis , Legacy Award
Her reports appear on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Today, and MSNBC. She is also a digital journalist. Ellis shoots, blogs, writes for NBC on-line and she tweets.
Ellis was part of the NBC Emmy award-winning coverage of the plane crash in the Hudson River called, Miracle on the Hudson. She also won an Emmy for her reporting on the 2008 Presidential Election of Barack Obama and his historic inauguration.
Ellis has been part of other headliner stories including the attacks on the World Trade Center. She was the first person to identify the attack on the air as “Nine-Eleven”. She’s reported on Hurricane Katrina, the death of Michael of Jackson and the Haiti earthquake.
As a correspondent for NBC, Ellis traveled to Zaire to report on the mass killings that left an estimated one million people dead in Rwanda. A few years later she spent a month in Greece covering the summer Olympics.
Ellis began her broadcast career at KDKA Radio and TV in Pittsburgh. Later, she worked in Boston at WHDH-TV as a reporter and weekend anchor.
She has distinguished herself as a lead correspondent and received numerous awards including local and national Emmys, Edward R. Murrow Awards, Associated Press awards and awards from the National Association of Black Journalists. She’s also a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Journalism.
Born in North Carolina, and raised in Boston, she graduated from Simmons College in Boston and Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York.
Ellis currently lives in New York City with her young son.
Rachel V. Scott
Michael J. Feeney Emerging Journalist of the YearWhite House Correspondent, D.C. Correspondent
Rachel V. Scott , Michael J. Feeney Emerging Journalist of the Year
In 2020, Scott provided extensive on the ground coverage of the nationwide protests over police brutality and the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on communities of color. Scott’s reporting appeared in ABC News’ primetime specials “Juneteenth: A Celebration of Overcoming” and “George Floyd’s: A Celebration of Life.”
Scott has been an important part of the news division’s reporting on the Trump administration, covering the impeachment trial of President Trump extensively and interviewing Vice President Mike Pence on the day of the final impeachment vote.
Scott has also covered the 2018 midterms, Hurricane Irma and the aftermath of Alabama’s deadly tornadoes in 2019.
Scott began her career at ABC News as a production associate for ABC News Live in 2016. While working full-time as a producer for GMA Digital, Scott took on an additional role as a Weekend General Assignment Reporter for ABC’s New Haven, CT affiliate WTNH-TV.
A native of Southern California, Scott is a graduate of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California.
Ida B. Wells Award
Kimberly Godwin , Ida B. Wells Award
Godwin has served as a top CBS News editorial leader in multiple key positions since joining the network in 2007, most recently serving as vice president of News. She also served as CBS News’ executive director for Development and Diversity and a senior broadcast producer of the “CBS Evening News.” With dozens of years in newsrooms across the country, Godwin is a proven executive and respected newsroom leader.
In 2019, in addition to her executive responsibilities, Godwin was charged with overseeing the launch of the re-imagined “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell.” While executive in charge of the broadcast, Godwin managed all editorial and production aspects for the “CBS Evening News” and oversaw coverage for major breaking news stories including Hurricane Dorian, the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, and O’Donnell’s exclusive reporting trip to the Texas-Mexico border.
In her role as executive director for Development and Diversity, Godwin had significantly enhanced CBS News’ profile at conferences around the country and cultivated a strong pipeline of potential employees. She also has developed a lecture series featuring top CBS News journalists sharing their reporting experiences with colleagues.
An accomplished newsroom leader and executive, Godwin has helped shape the network’s flagship evening broadcast and the network’s coverage of major national and international events. Godwin was named a senior producer on the broadcast in 2007 and played a key role in developing the “CBS Evening News”‘ day-to-day and long-term coverage of major news events. She was a key part of the team covering the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, the Boston Marathon bombings, the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections, Hurricane Matthew, the Orlando Pulse nightclub tragedy, the eclipse, and the mass shooting in Las Vegas.
Before joining CBS News in 2007, Godwin spent more than 20 years as a manager and newsroom leader at some of the top local stations in the United States. She was the acting news director and assistant news director at WCBS-TV in New York City (2005-2007); vice president and news director at KNBC-TV in Los Angeles (2001-2003); vice president of News Operations for NBC Television Stations (2001); and vice president and news director at KXAS-TV in Dallas/Fort Worth (1998-2001). Godwin was also news director at WOIO/WUAB in Cleveland (1996-1998) and assistant news director at WCAU-TV in Philadelphia (1994-1996), and before that, senior news producer at WCAU-TV (1991-1993); executive producer at WNBC-TV in New York City (1993-1994); and producer at WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh (1991).
Godwin began her career as an executive producer, producer, investigative reporter and news writer at television and radio stations in West Palm Beach and Tallahassee, Florida.
In addition to being a veteran of network and local news, Godwin has spent time as a journalism educator. She was the interim director for journalism at the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication at Florida A&M University (2004-2005) and an adjunct faculty member (2003-2004), where she taught news writing, reporting and ethics. She is currently the Chair of the Board of Visitors of the journalism school at FAMU.
Godwin is the recipient of many distinguished awards, including six Emmys; two Edward R. Murrow awards; an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia award; and a Sigma Delta Chi award.
She is the former chair of the Board of Managers of the North Brooklyn YMCA and member of the Board of Managers of the YMCA of New York City. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Godwin graduated from Florida A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. She is married and lives in New York City and in the Poconos, Pennsylvania.
Percy Qoboza Foreign Journalist AwardAl Jazeera Arabic Journalist
Mahmoud Hussein , Percy Qoboza Foreign Journalist Award
Hussein, travelled to Cairo to visit his family on the 19th December 2016. Upon his arrival in Cairo’s airport, he was questioned by security officials for over 15 hours. He was later allowed to leave the airport and head home. However, on the 23rd December, he, along with two of his brothers, was arrested at home by the authorities.
From 23 December 2016 to 20 March 2017, Mahmoud was held in solitary confinement, and his family have expressed concerns that he was being mistreated and suffered from significant weight loss.
Mahmoud continue to be under arbitrary detention without charges or trail for over 1000 days. Since the arrest of Mahmoud Hussein, the Egyptian judiciary has continued to detain him without any charges by extending his detention every 45 days breaching his fundamental rights.
While in prison Mahmoud sustained an injury, which resulted in a fracture in his left elbow and the prison authorities have consistently refused to provide him with much needed medical treatment, and have refused attorney’s request to refer him to a private medical care, despite Al Jazeera committing to cover all medical expenses.
On 23 May 2019, a court in Egypt rejected the appeal by the prosecutor to continues detention and ordered the release of Mahmoud Hussein from prison. However, the authorities have opened up a new investigation against him with unspecified charges and returned him to prison.
Student Journalist of the YearSenior journalism Student at Howard University
Arthur Cribbs , Student Journalist of the Year
The Trace | www.thetrace.org
Best Practices AwardNonprofit newsroom
The Trace | www.thetrace.org , Best Practices Award
Every year in our country, a firearm is used in nearly 500,000 crimes, resulting in the deaths and injuries of more than 110,000 people. Shootings devastate families and communities and drain billions of dollars from local, state, and federal governments. Meanwhile, the problem of gun violence has been compounded by another: the shortage of knowledge about the issue.
We believe that when an issue is shrouded by a knowledge gap, journalism can be a big part of the solution. As a nonprofit newsroom, The Trace is able to dedicate itself to in-depth reporting that doesn’t let up after the latest high-profile shooting leaves the front pages.
Journalist of DistinctionAnchor, NewsChannel 13 Live
Elaine Houston , Journalist of Distinction
In 2017, Elaine was also in Washington, DC to cover the hundreds of thousands of women who rallied in the nation’s capital for the Women’s March on Washington in opposition to the proposals of President Donald Trump. She won the Employee of the Month for her work in Washington D.C. In 2015 Elaine traveled to the White House where then-President Barack Obama posthumously presented WW1 soldier Sgt. Henry Johnson the Medal of Honor. Elaine has traveled to Oklahoma to cover tornado damage and to Massachusetts in 2004 and Sen. John Kerry’s bid for the White House. In 1999 Elaine traveled to Cuba and covered the protracted conflict over little Elian Gonzalez, as well as a day in the life of Havana’s Cuban citizens.
In 2017, Elaine was presented with the Community of Excellence Award by the College of St. Rose for work in the community. That same year, she was given an award by the New York State Broadcasters Association Award for a story in in her series, Today’s Women. In 2017, Elaine sponsored WOMEN; Turning the Corner, a women’s leadership and empowerment summit at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Albany. The sold-out event featured entrepreneurial workshops, guest speakers and a roundtable discussion providing tools for women to succeed.
In 2016, she was presented the YOU GO GIRL award from HerLIFE Magazine for her stories on women impacting their community through her series Today’s Women on WNYT-13. She focuses on everything from the growing number of women who find themselves homeless, to the number of women changing their communities and the lives of other women through entrepreneurial enterprises, leadership roles, and non-profit organizations.
That same year she also received the MOM Prom award from the ZONTA club of Schenectady also for her inspiring stories on women. Elaine is so passionate about covering issues that are gender-specific to women, as well as telling stories that give women a voice that she started her own website for women in 2014 www.SHEspeaks2me.com.
Patricia L. Tobin Media Professional AwardCommunications/Community Engagement Manager, Dallas Black Dance Theatre
Ramona Logan , Patricia L. Tobin Media Professional Award
Chelle Luper Wilson
Angelo B. Henderson Community Service AwardContributing Editor/Columnist, I-Media Corporation
Chelle Luper Wilson , Angelo B. Henderson Community Service Award
Chelle serves as the President of the Clara Luper Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit she founded to expand the legacy of her mother—civil rights activist Clara Luper, through the preservation of African American history and culture and the implementation of programs and services that nurture the next generation of citizens dedicated to academic excellence and public service. Prior to her work in the nonprofit and entrepreneurial space, Chelle’s corporate experience includes management capacities in the fields of marketing, advertising, public relations and sales for several Fortune 100 companies. Presently, Chelle is working on several new projects; including a book celebrating the lives of some lesser-known Black women who led incredibly fascinating and empowering lives, and a podcast with her husband entitled Health and History that merges both their passions and will launch later this year. As a college student, Chelle made history at the 1994 NAACP National Convention by becoming the first youth ever elected to the NAACP National Board of Directors At-Large position. As a national board member, Chelle served in several leadership capacities during a pivotal time of transition for the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Currently, Chelle serves as the International Secretary of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the oldest Greek-lettered organization established by African-American college-educated women. In this role, she also serves as Executive Secretary to the Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Housing Foundation. Chelle previously served as the Regional Director of Alpha Kappa Alpha’s South Central Region.
Chelle has a true passion for inspiring youth and helping them develop into their full potential so they are prepared to pursue their purpose. She is active with various youth charities and also maintains active membership in numerous civic and social groups including Jack and Jill of America (North Texas Chapter); The Links, Incorporated (Greater Denton County Chapter); Denton County Medical Society Alliance; Langston University Alumni Association; Mocha Moms; PTA; National Women’s Studies Association; Association of Black Women Historians; Black Women’s Studies Association; NAACP (Life Member); National Council of Negro Women; Women for Women International; African American Intellectual History Society; Association for the Study of African American Life and History; Schomburg Society; and she is also a charter member of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture.
Chelle, a native of Northeast Oklahoma City, is a proud alumna of Oklahoma City Public Schools. She is a McCabe Scholar, recipient of the National Thurgood Marshall Scholarship, and a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Langston University, receiving her B.A. in Broadcast Journalism. Chelle also has a Master’s degree in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies, with an emphasis on African and African American Women from Texas Woman’s University. She is happily married to Dr. Marc A. Wilson and the couple resides in Frisco, Texas with their three daughters Sasha (16), Sydney (15) & Saige (10) and her favorite son, William (6).
Susan Mango Curtis
Journalism Educator of the YearProfessor, Northwestern University Medill School
Susan Mango Curtis , Journalism Educator of the Year
Curtis is recognized as an Adobe Education Leader and official Northwestern campus Adobe creative representative. She has been a beta software tester for the Scroll Motion Ingage app and Adobe; Spark, Premier Rush, DPS, Dimensions, Animate, Character Animator, Photoshop iPad, Lightroom mobile, Capture mobile app.
As former president of the Society of News Design, Curtis was the driving force behind the development of the first SND Design Code of Ethics, used by visual journalist around the world and the 2019 recipient of SND Lifetime Achievement Award. She was formerly the assistant managing editor for the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal. She led a total redesign in 1991 and won numerous awards for the visual look and organization. She was also part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize gold medal for a series titled “The Question of Color.”
Curtis operates a design consulting business both in the United States and abroad and frequently lectures on design for various universities and newspaper societies. She is a founding member of National Association of Black Journalists Visual Task Force and the NABJ Journalism Educator of the Year 2020.
James McJunkins Sr.
Journalism Educator of the YearJournalism Coordinator, Clark Atlanta University
James McJunkins Sr. , Journalism Educator of the Year
NABJLA | www.nabjla.com
Professional Chapter of the Year
NABJLA | www.nabjla.com , Professional Chapter of the Year
MSU - NABJ | twitter.com/michstatenabj
Student Chapter of the Year
MSU - NABJ | twitter.com/michstatenabj , Student Chapter of the Year
Through these tasks we hope to provide our members with the skill sets they need to be successful within the field of journalism/media after college.