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NABJ Convention to be held in Philadelphia

CYRIL JOSH BARKER Amsterdam News Staff | 7/27/2011, 4:18 p.m.

Thousands of journalists are scheduled to descend on Philadelphia for the 36th annual National Association of Black Journalists Convention and Career Fair. The convention will take place in the City of Brotherly Love from Aug. 3 though 7 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The five-day convention is slated to bring out journalists of color across the nation. This year, the convention is focusing on digital journalism education, career development and the nation's leaders in media, business, arts and entertainment and technology.

Professional journalists, students and educators will take part in full- and half-day seminars designed to strengthen and enhance their skills. Workshops throughout the convention will highlight journalism ethics, entrepreneurship, specialized journalism and transitioning journalism skills to book publishing, screen writing and media relations.

Several news organizations will be on hand at the NABJ Career Fair looking for more journalists of color to fill their newsrooms. The job fair is considered one of the few in the nation that caters specifically to media professionals. Black authors are also going to showcase their books at the NABJ Authors Bookstore.

"What excites me about Philadelphia is something you can't see, but you can feel it and you can touch it," said NABJ President Kathy Times. "People are very proud of this city, and I can see why. There is a lot of pride [and] excitement about the National Association of Black Journalist coming to this city."

Convention chair Rod Hicks said that having the convention in Philadelphia this year will allow journalist to see what the city has to offer while having a great time at convention. He encouraged all those attending to explore the city.

"I'm looking forward to all of my NABJ friends to come to Philadelphia this year and enjoy what is Philadelphia," he said.

Along with an array of workshops and seminars for journalists, several events are scheduled for the convention. Major names in the world of media are also going to be at the convention, including Soledad O'Brien, Roland Martin and Michael Baisden.

On Aug. 4, convention-goers will be treated to an opening ceremony featuring a discussion between Arianna Huffington, president and editor in chief of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Dr. Cornel West, Michael Steele and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed about President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.

A panel discussion on Black press in the 21st century will take place on Aug. 5. The panel will include Gary Anthony Ramsey, president and CEO of Our News Now, Irv Randolph of the Philadelphia Tribune and Donna Bryd of theRoot.com.

Several journalist will be honored at the Salute to Excellence Awards on Aug. 6, which will be hosted by journalist Jacque Reid and co-host of "The Insider" Kevin Frazier.

Entertainment acts are also scheduled for the convention, including Richard Smallwood and Karen Clark Sheard at the NABJ Gospel Brunch and ?uestlove of the Roots and Kindred the Family Soul performing at the Philadelphia Chapter Party.