MU Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists Wins Student Chapter of the Year

The Honor Reflects the Group’s Commitment to Growth and Increasing Diversity in Journalism

By Rebecca Dell

Columbia, Mo. (Sept. 3, 2014) — The University of Missouri chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists was named the student Chapter of the Year during the organization’s annual convention in Boston in July. On hand to accept the award for the Missouri School of Journalism were executive board members Kandice Head and Chelsea Land. Adviser Karen Mitchell, chapter president Alexis Rogers and member Lauren Elliott also attended the convention.

Lauren Elliott, Alexis Rogers, Karen Mitchell, Kandice Head and Chelsea Land
Attending the National Association of Black Journalists convention from the Missouri School of Journalism are, from left, Lauren Elliott, Alexis Rogers, adviser Karen Mitchell, Kandice Head and Chelsea Land.

NABJ chooses honorees based on criteria that include chapter activity in the community, chapter programming and number of new members. The MU chapter hosted biweekly meetings and offered discussions on a wide range of topics such as social media branding, internship opportunities and personal finance. It developed a mentoring program so underclassmen could benefit from the insight of upperclassmen.

NABJ-MU partnered with other MU student organizations to host its second annual UNITY conference on diversity and leadership during the 2013-14 academic year. The group also organized its annual media tour, this time to Washington, D.C. About 30 students visited this top-10 market, networked with professional NABJ members and learned about job and internship opportunities.

“NABJ is a reflection to how far and progressive the MU community has come,” said Rogers, BJ ’14, who now works as a reporter for KATV Channel 7 in Little Rock, Arkansas. “NABJ-MU provides a platform and opportunity for all students to be able to understand the importance of diversity in the newsroom and train of thoughts. We are a direct reflection of the evolution of our industry.”

The other finalists for the national award were the York College Association of Black Journalists at the City University of New York and Temple Association of Black Journalists.

Founded in 1975, NABJ is dedicated to providing a network and resources for black journalists, as well as educating all journalists on the importance of workplace fairness and increasing the number of black journalists in management positions. The association awards scholarships, internships and fellowships every year.

In 2013, the MU chapter was the recipient of the NAACP Organization of the Year award. Arianna Poindexter serves as current president and Ebony Francis as vice president.

Updated: May 1, 2020

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