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NABJ Announces Inaugural Class of Leadership Academy Mentoring Program

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is proud to announce the inaugural class of its Leadership Academy’s Mentoring Program powered by Toyota. 

The program offers 10 aspiring TV newsroom leaders exclusive opportunities for group and one-on-one training and mentorship with television station general managers (GMs) and other experts of color from across the country. Training and mentoring sessions began in October. 

With only 23 of the 1,100 GMs who oversee operations at commercial television stations being Black, GMs from among the NABJ membership begin working together in 2020 to offer their insights, expertise and experience to future leaders through establishing the NABJ Leadership Academy Mentoring Program. Their goal is to increase the pool of Black candidates interested in applying for C-suite positions. 

According to NABJ President Dorothy Tucker, the NABJ Leadership Academy’s Mentoring Program further moves the needle toward fulfilling NABJ’s mission. 

 “As we approach our 46th anniversary, we continue to focus on growing the disappointingly low number of Black leaders in today’s newsrooms,” said Tucker. It is the mission of NABJ to break down the walls of inequity in newsrooms through programs like this one. I am elated to congratulate the inaugural cohort of the Leadership Academy’s Mentoring Program and I look forward to seeing the excellence and innovation that comes out of this cohort.”

Over the next 10 months, members of the cohort will also participate in workshops designed to enhance their executive brand, communications, and soft skills, while also learning to expand their networks, social media imprint, and thought-leadership presence. Past NABJ President Kathy Times will facilitate these branding modules with the mentees.

As they complete the program, mentees will also have an opportunity to be awarded the Toyota Limitless Possibilities Scholarship based on the fundamental principles of the scholarship’s vision: diversity and inclusion, innovation, and mobility. Mentees will present a capstone project during a panel at the NABJ 2022 Convention in Las Vegas. The GMs will jointly select up to five mentees, who meet or exceed Toyota’s principles, to receive individual scholarships from a fund of $10,000.

In addition to mentoring industry professionals, the GMs are also working to take the mentoring program to journalism and communications students at historically Black colleges and universities.

“Diversity at all levels of local media companies is key to serving local communities and key to good business,” said Ric Harris, President and General Manager of NBC10, Telemundo62, COZI TV, TeleXitos, and NBCLX Philly in Philadelphia. “My fellow general managers and I are committed to identifying and growing the next generation of leaders and the NABJ Leadership Academy Mentoring Program is an excellent platform for doing just that.”

The NABJ Leadership Academy was initially launched in 2010 to further NABJ’s mission and the vision of its 44 Founders to increase the number of Black managers in newsrooms. During NABJ conventions and other programming throughout the year, panels and specialized training have been offered to help develop the next generation of news leaders.

The inaugural mentoring program class members are listed below.

Alyssa Wilson

Digital Content Creator

FOX 29, Philadelphia, PA

Stephen Wright

News Operations Manager/Sports EP

KXAS NBC5/KXTX Telemundo 39, Dallas-Ft Worth, TX

Erika N. Mac Donald

Sr Writer & Producer

Engaging New Media, Hempstead, NY

Galean Stewart

Assistant News Director

WPTV News, West Palm Bch, FL

Keith Bryant

Journalist & Meteorologist

KNSD (NBC 7), San Diego, CA

Alicia Bettes

Nightside Executive Producer

News 12, Long Island, NY

Donnell Jackson

Executive Producer

KTVT, Dallas-Ft Worth, TX

Andrea Berry

Executive Producer

WCAU NBC10, Philadelphia, PA

Monica Kirkland

Daria Shelton

Digital & Content Marketing Professional

Atlanta, GA
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