Did you know that the percentage of minorities in today’s newsrooms are at a mere 12%? Lacking diversity, different points of view, and cultures, NABJ/NAHJ was put into place to combat these low statistics. NABJ stands for National Association of Black Journalists, while NAHJ stands for National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Every year these organizations host a massive conference and career fair to increase the opportunity for minority journalists. MSNBC, CBS, Time Inc., Hearst, NPR, ESPN, and many more are in attendance every year to dole out jobs and internships for qualified candidates.
I had the pleasure of attending the conference this year in Washington D.C., and if I had to sum it all up in one word, I would use “game-changer.” Okay, I know that’s two words, but there is no one word that could sum up this amazing event. Not only was every major news company in attendance, but the very people we see on TV reporting news were there: Melissa Knowles of HLN, Cari Champion of ESPN, and Roland Martin of TV ONE just to name a few. It was inspiring and eye-opening to learn how they rose to success. It made us feel like we can actually do this thing. We can actually reach our goals as long as we stay as focused as they did!
Along with these wonderful journalists, you’ll never guess who came to speak at the conference! Loretta Lynch, Attorney General of the United States, and Hillary Clinton came to speak! The Hillary Clinton: democratic presidential nominee. Her support of the conference and her inspiring words validated how important this conference was and how essential diversity is for all of us in all careers. Hillary wasn’t the only household name in attendance; we were able to meet Gabrielle Union and Nate Parker from the upcoming film The Birth of a Nation. I’m not ashamed to admit it: I was absolutely star struck! You don’t just see these people walking down the street every day!
I walked away from this conference with a new found confidence in the career path I have chosen. I walked away with a new plan for success. I walked away having had contact with people who work for and hire for the very companies that I dream to work for.
Next year, the conference will be hosted in New Orleans, Louisiana from August 9th – August 12th. By then I’ll be going into my senior year of college and post-graduation plans will need to be made! I absolutely cannot wait to see what it has in store for me!
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The Future of Journalism: Photo courtesy of Yunuen Bonaparte/NABJ NAHJ