Recap: NABJ 2019 Convention & Career Fair

by Kamari Esquerra

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) held its annual convention this August in sunny Miami, Florida. The JW Marriott Miami Turberry Resort & Spa, both picturesque and refreshing, hosted the historic conference. Founded in 1975, the NABJ continues to deliver quality programs and services for black journalists, worldwide.  As a newcomer to the NABJ this year, I was among the 3,000 + professionals who arrived at the conference to learn from the industry’s top leaders in journalism, media, film, and politics. 

As a rising junior and new into my journalism career, navigating the four-day conference took some planning. At the NABJ, hundreds of scheduled workshops and seminars cater to industry professionals with varying interests. From tech reporting to health disparities and workplace politics, the convention had a session for just about everyone. I focused on seminars addressing career navigation and transformative networking. 

The Career Fair & Expo was among my favorite events at the NABJ. It’s the largest of its kind around the country for minority journalists and media specialists.  Companies are searching to fill internships, full-time jobs, and freelance positions. It’s a great idea to come armed with a stack of resumes and plenty of business cards, and ready to pitch. I seized the opportunity to meet face-to-face with influential professionals and dialogue about competitive skills to develop. 

NABJ is about lifting and paving the way for black journalists to continue breaking barriers in the workplace.  Throughout the convention, attendees have numerous opportunities to meet and build relationships. You never know how one person can impact your life. It’s a win-win. 

Each year, NABJ hosts a variety of panelists and guest speakers from experienced journalists to well-known celebrities. This year’s convention featured Ne-Yo, Ice Cube, Jemele Hill, Anthony Anderson, Sheinelle Jones, and Janai Norman. Past years delivered similar rosters of powerhouse stars and politicians. 

If you’ve never attended an NABJ convention, you are missing out! From innovative programs to remarkable presenters, the NABJ delivers a conference that’s both fun and professional. If you’re considering participating, get active with local chapters and NABJ-sponsored events in your area. The power of networking and access to information is immeasurable.  See you next year!

Kamari is a rising junior, majoring in journalism and radio-television-film, at The University of Texas at Austin.

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