Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

April 14, 2023 - April 15, 2023

2023 Region III Conference

April 14-15

“Above Water: Navigating Your Journalism Career”

Jackson State University

Mississippi e-Center Campus

1230 Raymond Road, Jackson, MS, 39204

Jackson, MS



View/Bookmark the Digital Program Book Here.

From the water crisis to what it takes for HBCUs to thrive, NABJ Region III members will gather in the City with Soul to collaborate on how to use our voices to help our communities tread above water. Registration is available onsite!

Attendees will:

    • Be empowered with knowledge on what’s trending in our industry

    • Receive extensive training

    • Participate in networking and mentorship opportunities

    • Celebrate a renewed focus on mental health

Join us for a historic gathering, as we convene the first in-person Region III Conference since the COVID-19 pandemic!

Circle PNG, Download Circles Transparent Background - Free Transparent PNG Logos REGISTRATION & HOTEL INFORMATION

Registration Rates  

(Total includes a $3.00 administrative fee)

Early Bird by April 10, 2023 (before Midnight ET)

  • Professional Member (Professional/Emerging Professional/Alumni/Academic/Media Related Members) – $50

  • Student Member – $35

  • Nonmember – $75

Onsite Registration is available in-person on April 14-15, 2023
*No Cash Accepted • Debit or Credit Cards Only

  • Professional Member (Professional/Emerging Professional/Alumni/Academic/Media Related Members) – $75

  • Student Member – $50

  • Nonmember – $100

  • Student Nonmember – $75

Contact Information:


Discounted Hotel for Attendees  

Circle PNG, Download Circles Transparent Background - Free Transparent PNG Logos SCHEDULE

View/Bookmark the Digital Program Book Here.

Friday, April 14

8 AM – 6 PM

  • Registration/Check-In | e-Center, Upper Level Entrance

Noon – 4 PM

Opening Career Luncheon & Career Fair | e-Center, Convention Hall  

    • Emcee : Eva D. Coleman, NABJ Region III Director & Lifestyle & Culture Editor, I Messenger Media LLC (I Messenger/Texas Metro News/Garland Journal)

    • Remarks: William J. (Bill) Bynum, Founder/CEO, Hope Enterprise Corporation, Hope Credit Union and the Hope Policy Institute

    • Guest Speaker: Dorothy Tucker, NABJ President & Investigative Reporter, WBBM-TV

Career Luncheon Presenters 

    • Hope Credit Union

    • Gray Television

    • Report for America

    • WAPT-TV

Career Fair Exhibitors | e-Center Homeland Security

  • Hope Credit Union

  • Gray Television

  • Report for America

  • Mississippi Public Broadcasting

  • Mississippi Today

  • Visit Jackson



6 – 8 PM

Town Hall Meeting: Jackson Water Crisis (Open to the Public) | e-Center Convention Hall

Join city leaders and officials for a candid discussion on the continuation of the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi and what’s being done to fix it.

  • Howard Ballou, News Anchor, WLBT-TV (Moderator)

  • Ted Henifin, EPA Appointed Interim Third-Party Manager, JXN Water (Panelist)

  • Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Mayor, Jackson, MS (Panelist)

  • Dr. Karen Weaver, Former Mayor, Flint, MI (Panelist)

9 PM – 12 AM

The City With Soul Networking Wind Down

  • Special Guest: Urban Trivia

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum – Nancy and Ray Neilsen Hall of History, 222 North Street Jackson, MS 39201

Game Night will never be the same! Join us for the Urban Trivia LIVE experience with the game creators who will entertain and test our knowledge of Black culture.

Saturday, April 15

8 AM – Noon

Registration/Check-In | e-Center, Upper Level Entrance

8 AM – 9 AM

Healthy NABJ Mindfulness Meditation | e-Center, California Room

Leah Heals presents an all-around wellness experience designed for relaxation, re-centering, and the inner and outer restoration of you.

  • Presented by Leah Frazier of Leah Heals

9 AM – 10 AM

Get Social Breakfast | e-Center, Outside of the California Room

Hands-on demonstrations of a variety of social media platforms with brief breakouts on social media career opportunities in newsrooms and beyond. 

9 AM – Noon  

Career Fair Exhibitors | e-Center Homeland Security 

  • Hope Credit Union

  • Gray Television

  • Report for America

  • Mississippi Public Broadcasting

  • Mississippi Today

  • Visit Jackson



10:30 AM – Noon

Session Breakouts I

The Transition from College to Career |e-Center, California Room

This session features recent college graduates and early-career journalism professionals. They will share obstacles faced when looking for a job, tips on how to find the job that’s right for you, and how to navigate adulting and the industry right out of college.

  • Tyrik Wynn, News Anchor, iHeartMEDIA (Moderator)

  • Sydney Gray, Weekend Morning Anchor/Reporter, WMC-TV Action News 5 (Panelist)

  • Cecil Hannibal, Anchor/Reporter, WAPT-TV (Panelist)

  • Jeremy Jones, Multimedia Journalist, WKRG News 5 (Panelist)

  • Larz Roberts, Director, S. Gale Denley Student Media Center, The University of Mississippi (Panelist)

  • Kayla Thompson, Morning Anchor/Reporter, WJTV News 12 (Panelist)

Aunt Benét’s Resumé Review (with Live Edits and Help) | e-Center, Florida Room

Do you ever wonder why you submit your resume for jobs but never hear back? There’s an art and science to writing a resume that attracts employers’ attention. In this workshop, learn the dos and don’ts of creating your resume. Live edits and video demo reel critiques will be conducted as well.

  • Benét Wilson, Director, Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellowship Program (Moderator)

  • Mia Fleming, Founder, Mia Fleming Media (Panelist)

  • Russell LaCour, Freelance Reporter/Copy Editor, Oklahoma Eagle (Panelist)

  • Will Sutton, Former NABJ President & Columnist, Editorial Writer, The Times-Picayune/The Advocate/ (Panelist)

  • Stephen Wright, Assistant News Director, WMC-TV Action News 5 (Panelist)

Managing Your Manager | e-Center, Oklahoma Room

It’s easy to think in your first or second job that your manager is all-knowing and all-powerful and that your role is to simply carry out whatever assignment you’re given. This session focuses on managing relationships with managers to create a work environment that works for you in terms of being your authentic self and making your manager a partner in reaching your goals.

  • Gayle Hurd, On-Air Host/News Anchor WRAL-TV & WPTF-AM/FM/NC News Network (Moderator)

  • Valerie Fields Hill, News Editor, I Messenger Media LLC (I Messenger/Texas Metro News/Garland Journal) (Panelist)

  • Ken Lemon, NABJ VP-Broadcast & Reporter, WSOC-TV (Panelist)

  • Marlon A. Walker, Managing Editor, Local, The Marshall Project (Panelist)

Making the Numbers Work for You | Powered by Hope Credit Union |e-Center, e-Innovation Room

Errin Haines and Roland Martin have been lauded for starting their own media outlets, but how much would you need to start your own? This session will cover the long-term financial planning journalists should be doing to prepare themselves to make moves on their own terms or even start their own journalistic operation.

  • Lynda Hasberry, Lead Media Strategist, Southern Poverty Law Center, Mississippi State Office (Moderator)

  • Keoni Gray, Hope Credit Union Small Business Loan Officer II, Retail Operations (Panelist)

  • Roderick Red, CEO, RED SQUARED (Panelist)

Noon – 2 PM

Jackson State University – Outside of the Box Lunch & Campus Tour + HBCU Swag Exchange

This box lunch event will include a tour of Jackson State University’s main campus and will feature award-winning sports journalist Jean-Jacques Taylor, author of the soon to be released “Coach Prime: Deion Sanders and the Making of Men.” An HBCU Swag Exchange will be led by the University of the Virgin Islands ABJ.

Shuttles will transport from the e-Center to Jackson State University’s main campus, located at 

1400 John R. Lynch Street, Jackson, MS 39217

  • Jean-Jacques Taylor, Founder/President, JJT Media Group, Author of Coach Prime: Deion Sanders and the Making of Men (Guest Speaker)

3 – 4:30 PM

Session Breakouts II

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Its Impact on Traditional Journalism Careers |e-Center, Oklahoma Room

When ChatGPT was asked to create a promo about Artificial Intelligence and its impact on traditional journalists, its response: “Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing the field of journalism, and it’s time for traditional journalists to take notice!” With Al tools, journalists can now analyze vast amounts of data in a fraction of the time it would take to do manually. This allows them to identify trends and patterns that would otherwise go unnoticed, and to generate insightful stories that provide deeper understanding of complex issues. Chat GPT says it’s great, but is it? Will it put traditional journalists out of business? Join this session to learn more.

  • Dr. Sheryl Kennedy Haydel, Director, NABJ JSHOP & Director and Associate Professor, School of Communication and Design, Loyola University (Moderator)

  • Dr. Jerry Goodwin, Assistant Professor, Digital Media, Mass Communication and Journalism, Tulsa Community College (Panelist)

  • Aimee Rinehart, Program Manager, The Associated Press Local News AI Initiative (Virtual Panelist)

  • Stephen Wright, Assistant News Director, WMC-TV Action News 5 (Panelist)

The Black Press: Nearly 200 Years and Still on the Front Line | e-Center, Florida Room

There are more than 200 African American newspapers in the country that are still the consistent voice of the Black community. Established in 1884, The Philadelphia Tribune is the nation’s oldest continuously published newspaper reflecting the African American experience. A portion of the newspapers are generational-owned and operated and are to be recognized for their ability to tell the story of African Americans in print, online, newsstands, and dedicated subscribers. This session explores Black Press history, legacy, advocacy and longevity.

  • Lynn Jones-Turpin, Associate Editor/Host/Producer, Jacksonville Free Press (Moderator)

  • Jackie Hampton, Publisher, The Mississippi Link (Panelist)

  • Cheryl Smith, Publisher, I Messenger Media LLC – I Messenger/Texas Metro News/Garland Journal (Panelist)

  • Barnett Wright, Executive Editor, Birmingham Times (Panelist)

How’s Your Water? Environmental Racism and Trauma-Informed Reporting | e-Center, California Room

First Flint, now Jackson. Are these the only places where questionable water quality affects communities of color and poor people? This session covers how to make sure we’re doing our part to spotlight environmental racism in our communities and how to cover a community in crisis without adding to their pain or furthering stereotypes.

  • Kayleigh Skinner, Managing Editor, Mississippi Today (Moderator)

  • Dr. Kortni Alston, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Art and Design, Gardner-Webb University/Advisory Board Member of the Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowship (Panelist)

  • Dr. Sharon Honoré, Associate Professor and UVIABJ Adviser, University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix, USVI (Panelist)

  • Troy Johnson, Anchor/Reporter, WAPT-TV (Panelist)

Show Me the Money! | Powered by Hope Credit Union | e-Center, e-Innovation Room

  • This session will provide business tips for freelancers and independent journalists, focusing on LLCs, self-employment taxes and business deductions.

  • Alexis J. Armstrong, Entertainment and Business Development Lawyer, Frascogna Law Group (Moderator)

  • Holly A. Cooper, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Hope Enterprise Corporation (Panelist)

  • Jhai Keeton, Project Manager, Mississippi Development Authority (Panelist)

  • Ryan Moore, Small Business Analyst, Hope Credit Union (Panelist)

7 – 9 PM

NABJ Region III Conference Ma’at Awards | e-Center, Convention Hall

Ma’at is an ancient word that refers to concepts of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. Join us as we salute members from throughout the region who embody these concepts in their everyday journalism and media pursuits.

  • Laura Coleman, Media Relations Manager, Advocacy – American Heart Association | Voices for Healthy Kids (Emcee)

  • William J. (Bill) Bynum, Founder/CEO, Hope Enterprise Corporation, Hope Credit Union & the Hope Policy Institute (Remarks)

  • Munson Steed, Founder/CEO Steed Media Group/Rolling Out (Keynote Speaker)

9 PM – 12 AM

Jackson Association of Black Journalists Conference Wrap-Up Party

Mississippi Museum of Art, 380 S Lamar Street, Jackson, MS 39201

Join the Jackson Association of Black Journalists (Jackson ABJ) as they host the conference wrap-up party at the Mississippi Museum of Art!

Circle PNG, Download Circles Transparent Background - Free Transparent PNG Logos PARTNERS & SUPPORTERS

Title Sponsor