Compensated Influencer: In 1975 forty-four men and women gathered at the Wardman Park Marriott in Washington, DC. Their meeting became the first gathering of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). This year was the forty-first year and my first time attending, there were over 4,000 people in attendance. The National Association of Black Journalists partnered with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NABJNAHJ), and together they delivered an amazing unforgettable conference. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect, but the conference really surprised me. The conference was fantastic because I was able network, be entertained, and gain more knowledge about journalism and media.
We were educated by the best in the field of journalism and media!
Ed Gordon, Gwen Ifel, Roland Martin, Byron Pitts, Geraldo Rivera, and many more. On day one we listened to an extraordinary panel (Narrative Change in the Entertainment and the Media) moderated by Ed Gordon. The conversation was about how non-white communities are portrayed in the media and the media’s responsibility to these communities. Ed Gordon stated, “The narrative has not changed.” What does that mean? Well, many years after television first aired, stories from non-white communities continue to stay the same; basically, we are still fighting for and equal airtime and positive portrayal.
The NABJNAHJ sessions had something for everyone.
At first, I was unsure which sessions would be in line with my own goals, but I quickly discovered there were sessions about health, branding, social media, etiquette, ethics, finance, leadership, etc. As an entrepreneur the conference still applied to me and my interests.
Some of my favorite quotes from sessions I attended are as follows:
— Cleverly Changing (@Cleverlychangin) August 12, 2016
— Cleverly Changing (@Cleverlychangin) August 3, 2016
— Cleverly Changing (@Cleverlychangin) August 12, 2016
— Cleverly Changing (@Cleverlychangin) August 4, 2016
— Cleverly Changing (@Cleverlychangin) August 5, 2016
One session that stood out from the rest was AT&T’s Inspired Mobility session. The session was different because it helped me understand the importance of inspiration in my life and restored my hope that good still exists in the midst of chaos. You see, it can be discouraging watching TV, the news, and other shows that shine a negative light on black and Latin American communities. Our country also seems so divided right now, but on Thursday in the Inspired Mobility session everyone seemed to be on one accord. Alfred Edmund facilitated a conversation with Rev Run that personally impacted me. Rev Run was full of positive energy and wisdom. He promoted love, marriage, and family, which I am extremely passionate about. He stated that he doesn’t have a tangible pulpit, but that he is a twitter preacher. His words caused me to reflect on the 2016 AT&T Inspired Mobility report that stated, ” . . . think twice before you tell someone to put down their mobile device to tune into something more constructive . . . they could be making the world better.” Rev Run is doing just that, through his inspirational tweets he is inspiring the world!
Rev Run a.k.a. Joseph Simmons, is a prominent figure in the entertainment industry. By sharing his own story from rapping to inspiring, he encouraged his audience to be authentic. I felt relieved. I love the person I am, and hearing his words affirm us in the audience, helped validate that its OK for me to be pro family, pro marriage, pro abstinence, pro God, etc. It’s perfectly find to feel compelled by your own convictions. His ability to integrate his faith with his work without being preachy is admirable. Thus, I gained a new respect for him because he lives what he believes.
Meet amazing people at the NABJNAHJ who are living their dreams
The NABJNAHJ was a networking heaven. If you are planning to attend the conference, sharpen up your resume, print out at least 50 copies and share them with prospective employers. The career hall had over 150 businesses represented. Even if you’re not a journalist, there positions for social media experts, editors, photographers, producers, videographers, writers, and more. Being at the conference encouraged me to think creatively about my future career goals.
I’m pictured here with my local DC news anchors:
I first met Michelle Singletary in 2011 at an event where she was promoting her book, The Power to Prosper: 21 Days to Financial Freedom. It was a honor to see her again and be able to glean from her wisdom.
The other AT&T Influencers, were wonderful intelligent people who I can’t wait to hang out with again!
The NABJNAHJ is inter-generational. I loved that there were people at the NABJ who were different ages and the older journalists were willing to mentor the younger journalists. The organizers of the conference were also accessible. They were genuinely caring and available to answer attendees questions. For example, on my first day, I ran into the NABJ president, Sarah Glover, while I was trying to find my session. She kindly guided me to the room I needed.
The NABJNAHJ Let Preview New shows/movies
I was also completely captivated by the shows I was able to see: I can’t wait for September!
Queen Sugar Season premiere SEPT 6 & 7 AT 10|9C ON OWN
Queen sugar is a new show coming to OWN TV in September. Queen sugar is also amazing because it has an all female director team. The story follows the trials and triumphs of one black family. During the screening, I was in tears because the show touched me emotionally. The acting and casting is phenomenal, and the cinematography is spectacular
. I’m already hooked.
Underground Season 2 coming 2017
WGN America has renewed Underground for another season. Three stars (Alano Miller, Amirah Vann, and ) from the show were in attendance at the NABJNAHJ. The show helps us see how far we’ve come from the past so that we can better understand present life in America.
Queen of Katwe Release date SEPT 23, 2016
This movie took me on an emotional ride. I cried so much when I left the theater there were dried tears on my face. The movie itself is outstanding a true inspiration for anyone who wants to understand others living in developing countries. The film depicts an authentic experience of a family growing up in Uganda. It was truly an honor to be able to see and hear award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o discuss the importance and timeliness of this film.
I fell in love with the NABJ organization so I am now a proud member. I am also looking forward to next years conference in New Orleans. Thank you ATT for making this experience magical!
READER QUESTION: Were you already aware of the NABJ and the NAHJ? Do you have any questions about the conference or my overall experience?
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Disclosure: I had the amazing opportunity to attend this years NABJ conference as an ATT Influencer. All opinions expressed are my own.
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