Dear NABJ Members,
We hope that you, your family and colleagues stay safe as we all navigate through the
We know you have questions so below are some answers concerning the joint NABJ-
NAHJ Convention scheduled for July 8-12, 2020 in Washington, D.C.
Are NABJ and NAHJ still planning for a convention?
YES, but what form it takes is yet to be determined. The health and well-being of our
members and partners is of utmost importance to NABJ and NAHJ.That is why we are
revealing alternatives below that are under consideration.
WASHINGTON (April 13, 2020) – National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ)
President Dorothy Tucker has announced that Michael Wilbon, one of the nation’s most
respected sports journalists, will serve as the NABJ honorary chair for the 2020 joint
convention with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ).
Greetings NABJ Family & Friends:
I truly miss my NABJ family and community. I always enjoy engaging with our members
and supporters and was looking forward to our previously scheduled regional events in
St. Louis, Vegas, Pittsburgh and Nashville. I was disappointed they had to be
postponed, but decisions were made for the health and safety of all of us.
I pray every day that we’re able to get together in D.C. this summer.We continue to plan
for the NABJ-NAHJ Convention, but we aren’t living in a vacuum, which is why we are
also exploring alternative dates and a virtual conference.
If we decide to postpone our joint convention with NAHJ, it will be based on our concern
for the well-being of our members, colleagues and partners and at the directive/advice
of local, state or federal officials. (As you know, many municipalities currently prohibit
gatherings. Some of these requirements expire in May, others June and beyond.) We
are reviewing all of the possibilities and hope to have a decision by mid-May that gives
members, partners and other attendees almost two months to make alternative plans,
IF NEEDED, while minimizing significant financial implications.
These are unprecedented times and the work we do is more important than ever before.
You must continue to tell the important stories but you must also take care of yourself.
Unfortunately, a number of our members have tested positive for COVID-19. We
continue to pray for their quick recovery. We need each of you healthy. Do not hesitate
to decline an assignment that will put your life at risk. Don’t be shy about wearing
protective gear on the job and using social distancing practices.
Support for Our Members
This has not been an easy time for most of us, but it is more difficult for some. We’ve
seen a number of layoffs at media companies, and some companies are making salary
cuts. We are sensitive to our members' financial concerns, and will now allow all
members who have been impacted financially by COVID-19 to have their membership
dues extended for another six months. If you lost your job and your dues are not current
we will give you a six-month membership. The NABJ Board is also working on other
financial relief projects that will be announced in the near future. For more information,
I hope you’ve had a chance to participate in the numerous webinars we’ve held over the
last few weeks. Nearly 600 journalists combined have already accessed our series of
webinars (live, on-demand or via other platforms) on how COVID-19 has impacted
journalism, communications, and education. Our live Twitter coverage and subsequent
conversations on social media exposed the content of our webinars to more than a
As we navigate this pandemic together, you can playback all of our past webinars on
our YouTube playlist here. Also, look out for an upcoming webinar on the impact of the
pandemic on industry jobs and how to avoid a layoff or deal with one.
I struggle to find a silver lining in the midst of this crisis but there are a few. I am using
new news apps that make the job easier and learning creative ways to conduct
interviews with FaceTime, Skype or Zoom. I’ve cleaned out a few closets, printed out
some photos and am spending quality time with my family. Since my daughter can’t go
out with her friends, hubby and I benefit from her homemade margaritas. I enjoy many
more Zoom gatherings with my sons, friends and relatives and look forward to hearing
from my NABJ family. I hope to hear from you and don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m home.