NABJ-MU wins Student Chapter of the Year Award from National Association of Black Journalists

L-R: [First] Harrington, Jada Glass, Ron Kelley and Amari Foster

L-R: Carrington Peavy, Bethany Cates, Ron Kelley and Amari Foster

By Austin Fitzgerald

COLUMBIA, Mo. (Aug. 15, 2023) — NABJ-MU, the Missouri School of Journalism’s chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, won the NABJ Student Chapter of the Year Award during the organization’s annual national convention in Birmingham, Alabama, this month.

“Over time, NABJ-MU members have built a strong structure of leadership development that continues to lead to remarkable opportunities,” said David Kurpius, dean of the School of Journalism. “These students are some of the best leaders in the School, and this award makes it clear they are also among the best in the country.”

This is the second such award for the chapter, the first coming in 2014. In addition, adviser Ron Kelley won an MU NAACP Image Award last year for his advising role.

“I’m so proud of the work that this group of students has done over the past year,” Kelley said. “They have a successful peer mentoring program for first-year students, they produce a number of professional development opportunities throughout the year for members and it’s a well-run organization that gets things done. This award is well deserved.”

A highlight of these professional development opportunities was the annual media tour, which saw the students visit and network with media, public relations and public policy organizations in Washington, D.C. The first in-person media tour since 2019, it was organized by the chapter’s executive board, led by then-president and graduate student Amari Foster.

Foster said a major factor in the chapter’s success is its ability to help students find a bedrock of support in both academic and professional worlds.

This is a good space for people to find themselves, to find their community inside and outside the J-School.

Amari Foster

“This is a good space for people to find themselves, to find their community inside and outside the J-School,” Foster said. “Students are working really hard to not only get the experiences they need to build careers but to make connections that help them get the positions they deserve.”

Members like to call that support “NABJ love,” and Foster felt that love firsthand when the award was announced in Birmingham.

“To see our logo on the screen, and to hear the Mizzou alumni in the crowd, it was very rewarding,” she said. “It was amazing, for sure.”

Executive board members are elected annually, and Foster recently passed the torch to Jada Glass, a junior studying strategic communication.

“Although everything we do is for our organization and its members, it was so exciting to see our hard work be recognized and rewarded,” Glass said. “The 2022-23 executive board worked so hard to provide its members with insightful yet memorable opportunities, and I know our NABJ chapter here at Mizzou has so much to offer.”

The NABJ-MU student chapter was founded in 1996 and is not the School of Journalism’s only association with the national organization. In collaboration with the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the School, NABJ launched a news platform that produces and aggregates journalism about Black life — Black News and Views — last year.

Founded in 1975, NABJ is dedicated to providing a network and resources for Black journalists. The association awards scholarships, internships and fellowships every year.

Updated: August 18, 2023

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