#NABJElections: Candidates Answer Our Questions
Virtual Campaigns: Tips on Covering Elections During the Pandemic05/20/2020
President’s Corner: The News Needs Us05/22/2020
All candidates (in alphabetical order) for contested races completed a short questionnaire about
- What national office have you previously held or ran for?
- If elected, what is your goal for the first six months? First year? End of term?
- Why should we elect you?
Milbert Brown – Academic Representative
Ran for national office as the Academic Representative. Won the seat in 2018.
- In my first six months: I will establish an instructional collaboration with Student Projects
professional editors and the advisor of the J-Shop (High School) Workshop. This relationship
would serve as a conduit for informational networking. This network would also function as an
evaluation database to better develop future student learning approaches for journalism
educators and or mentors who serve in NABJ’s student programs. I will also start a quarterly
Within a year: I plan to establish a partnership with the NABJ Journal editor, which will
encourage the publishing of media education research articles from NABJ Educators. As our
membership gets younger, many seasoned members have expressed a sense of isolation. I
would suggest that it is in our best interest that we pair our veteran members with young
members in all levels of engagement and programming, especially in NABJ educational
initiatives and workshops.
By the end of my term: My goal is to lobby for the adjustment of the constitution through
proposed amendments to provide Academic members with a stronger voice within NABJ.
Educators should never be excluded from voting on amendments that directly affect their
viability as members.
- The primary reasons why you should vote for me include: I led the rescue of the Academic
Representative Board of Directors’ seat during the constitutional amendment vote at the 2019
- NABJ Convention. As a result of my intense lobbying efforts for an educational voice to remain
on the board, the amendment was defeated by only two votes, and the board seat was not
eliminated. Other media organizations have begun to diversify their focus, increasing their
online webinars, and teaching presence. The media industry is continuously changing, and it will
be helpful to have an educational scholar like myself that can identify new educational trends
and pedagogies in media research. At this critical juncture in NABJ’s history, it is of paramount
importance that “the right” Academic Representative be elected to lead educators through the
structural teaching ambiguities which are now part of this new coronavirus landscape. I am the
right person to serve as the Academic Representative because of my experience in education
and journalism, and my experience as a board member. I have served as a certified high school
journalism teacher and as an assistant professor of journalism. Also, as a semi-retired veteran
journalist, I have served as a professional mentor on the NABJ Student Projects nine times.
Jarrad Henderson – Academic Representative
- This is my first time running for a national office position.
- I will make an immediate impact as your Academic Representative in three ways. First, by
working with our NABJ educators to present relevant programming at our regional and national
conventions. In these unprecedented times we must share best practices and find creative
solutions that keep our students prepared to enter an evolving job market.
Second, I want to maximize the potential of this position by being a bridge for opportunities that
our students and educators can take advantage of. Far often, we are not aware of resources
which exist to help our students succeed. I will work with our Task Force leaders and educators
to ensure our associate members are aware of and are applying for grants, scholarships and
internships that we otherwise might not be aware of.
Lastly, I will be the servant-leader to amplify our voices within NABJ's leadership team. I am a
product of good mentorship and seek only to provide even greater opportunities which I have
been afforded through this organization. By the end of my term, NABJ members will know the
power and flexibility of this position. I look forward to working with our educators, NABJ
President Dorothy Tucker and our Board of Directors.
3. I am fortunate to have grown up through this organization. I’m thankful for my introduction to
NABJ in 2008. I was that wide eyed student searching for mentorship and training. A neophyte
professional trying to add to a portfolio that would hopefully convince someone I was worthy of
an opportunity. My first internship came from working with the NABJ Student Projects. My first
job opportunity came from the relationships built through NABJ. My leadership experience in the
newsroom was cultivated by my experience as Vice-Chair and Chair of the NABJ Visual Task
Force. I’ve become a leader of teams and a respected professional due to my relationship with
NABJ. It is because of these experiences that I am forever committed to this organization’s
progress. I want to help our members grow. I am committed to bringing a fresh perspective to
our leadership team and will continue to be a servant of all as we push forward with President
Tucker’s vision for NABJ. I’m the same committed student turned professional who spent years
giving back to our organization which I love dearly. Vote for me because I’m proof that NABJ
Russell Motley – Academic Representative
- I have not yet held national office; however, I have strong leadership skills. I am the founding
president of the NABJ chapter in Tulsa, Okla. and Jacksonville, Fla. I am currently the president
of the revamped NABJ-South Florida, which hosted NABJ’s 2019 convention in Miami.
- I want the future of journalism to be Black, not only in front of the cameras but behind the
keyboards and in the boardrooms. We need more Black producers, directors, digital marketers
as well as news managers and executives. Our representation in every corner of a media
empire must represent us.
Within the first six months, we will compile a comprehensive list of every NABJ student member
interested in working in media. We will know what they want to do, why they want to do it, and
how we can best serve them. We will connect those aspiring members of the media to veteran
members of the media nationwide. Our mentorship will give them access to opportunities that
otherwise would not be available to them.
Within a year, we will strategically create HBCU clusters to address the specific needs and
challenges of chapters at Black Universities and Colleges. These cluster groups will drive more
attention and resources to struggling chapters at HBCUs to ensure they are receiving the same
quality experience in their chapters as PWIs and HSIs.
By the end of my term, we will have a Student Chapter Conference that may be offered during
the regional conventions. This conference will be designed to empower the next generation of
journalists and teach them advocacy. The foundation of the future of Black journalism will be
built within the walls of the NABJ Student Chapter Conference.
3. We have a bold vision for the future of Black journalism in this country and around the world.
This election is less about me as an individual but more about the future of Black journalism. My
team of educators and I will build a foundation for the future. We’ll reach out to major companies
such as Google to tap in on the latest technology so that our student members are trained and
prepared for the workplace. I also want to ensure that our communication educators are just as
Ernest Owens – Treasurer
- I have previously ran for NABJ Parliamentarian (2018) and Secretary (2019), and will apply
the expertise I had in running for those offices in this one.
- In the first six months, I will be immediately assessing NABJ’s financial impact caused by
COVID-19. This will be done by consulting with previous NABJ treasurers for best practices,
along with having serious conversations with the staff and finance committee.
Within a year, I plan to support major fiscal changes that will help preserve NABJ’s bottom line
and protect our reserves. This will most likely look like budgeting cuts, staff reduction, and a
total overhaul of how the organization currently spends money post COVID-19. This will also be
a time of great transparency, organizational planning, and tough decisions. My leadership will
be essentially defined by how fiscally strategic NABJ survives this devastating pandemic. I don’t
take these tasks lightly, for they hold the future of this organization lies in the balance.
By the end of my term, I hope to have launched a reprioritization of our spending habits, curb
our financial dependency on large-scale events, diversify our financial portfolio and promote
critical financial literacy for our chapters. NABJ will face a major pendulum swing in our finances
caused by this pandemic and it's important to get our members and stakeholders prepared in
the best possible way right now.
- I am ready to be treasurer on day one and I have the most relevant and necessary
experience in this race to address the current business of the organization. I’ve financially
revamped a chapter that, like NABJ, fiscally dependent on a single event to raise a bulk of its
revenue. As a vice president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, I have helped
create new and diverse ways for the organization to fundraise, invest, and reprioritize how we
view money. As a Black media business owner, entrepreneur, and fundraiser, I will implement
my sound judgment and expertise to help NABJ navigate success through these tough times.
I’m the kind of leader who doesn’t run from adversity, but tackles it head-on. NABJ needs strong
entrepreneurial board leaders now more than ever. I’m ready on day one.
Walter Smith-Randolph – Treasurer
- I have not run for a national office before. However, I have held several leadership roles for
national committees, task forces and have also led at the local level. I’m currently Vice
President of the Cincinnati chapter and co-chair of the Young Journalists Task Force. I have
also served as co-chair of programming for the national convention.
If elected, my goal for the first six months is to co-lead re-evaluations of the organization’s
fiscal goals and performance — providing deliverables to sponsors and investors. In my first six
months, I would also like to devise a strategy to diversify NABJ’s revenue streams.
- Within my first year in office, I would like to create and publish interim financial information in
between annual reports/NABJ business meetings; develop a financial toolkit for chapter leaders
and help devise a plan for financial education and empowerment for members.
At the end of my term in office, I would like to meet goals of greater fiscal transparency,
increase economic development at national and chapter levels while also organizing and
publicizing financial management tools for members.
- I believe I should be elected because I'm a demonstrated leader, an effective collaborator
and a proven strategist. My track record shows I'm a servant leader who always has the
membership in mind. While leading the Millennial Media Summit, I had to work with a limited
budget to put on successful summits. While leading the Young Journalists Task Force, I had to
come up with new ways to raise money while keeping one of our largest membership groups
engaged. I believe I can do the same on the national level. I'm not running to simply be on the
board, I'm running to give back and to make sure NABJ's future is secure.
Candidates Forum Replay (Click Title to Watch)
- Get to Know the NABJ Treasurer Candidates
- Get to Know the NABJ Academic Rep Candidates
- Chapters interested in hosting candidate forums should email
- Monday, July 6, 11:59 p.m. ET: Deadline for NABJ membership to be current in order to vote
- Monday, July 13, 9 a.m. ET: Voting opens
- Friday, Aug. 7, 5 p.m. ET: Voting closes
- Evening of Friday, Aug. 7: Winners announced