82.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomeCommunityPeopleUVI Communications Department Establishes First Black Journalists Chapter in Caribbean

UVI Communications Department Establishes First Black Journalists Chapter in Caribbean

The founding members of the University of the Virgin Islands Association of Black Journalists student chapter. (Submitted photo)

University of the Virgin Islands Communications Department students have founded a University of the Virgin Islands Association of Black Journalists student chapter, becoming the first student and only National Association of Black Journalists affiliate chapter in the Caribbean. At its annual October meeting, the executive board of the national association made a unanimous decision to officially grant UVI’s Association of Black Journalists chapter status.

NABJ is committed to strengthening ties among Black journalists, sensitizing all media to the importance of fairness in the workplace for Black journalists and expanding job opportunities and recruiting activities for veteran, young and aspiring Black journalists.

UVIABJ joins 883 professional and student journalists from 11 states and 33 student chapters as part of Region III of NABJ. “Welcome to the NABJ family,” said Dorothy Tucker, NABJ president. “We are thrilled to have our first NABJ chapter from the USVI and tickled black it’s a group of young aspiring journalists.”

George Francis, one of the founding members of UVIABJ. (Submitted photo)

“Congratulations to our students in the Communication Department,” said Kimarie Engerman, Ph.D., dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. “Being granted membership exposes our students to careers in journalism, the chance to network with other Black journalists, as well as scholarship and internship opportunities,” she said. “I encourage all students at UVI to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Founding members Maxiene Cabo, Jada Roberts, George Francis, Kalyna Nielsen, Lana Cuffy, Aja La-Fleur Scott and Nikiyah Gerson will serve as executive board members under the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation.

“Indeed, this is a monumental achievement for students in the Communication Department,” said Sharon Albert Honore, Ph.D., associate professor of Communication and faculty advisor. “The founding members of UVIABJ demonstrated tenacity and dedication in their initiative to establish affiliation with NABJ, renowned for its efforts to increase racial diversity in the media arena,” said Honore.

NABJ chapters are primarily comprised of full-time, freelance and student journalists as well as media professionals. UVIABJ and other student chapters agree to follow strict journalistic guidelines that include adherence to ethical rules of conduct. In alignment with NABJ rules, UVIABJ plans to execute programs that benefit student journalists as well as members of the community.

Jada Roberts, a founding member of UVIABJ. (Submitted photo)

“We look forward to serving our community and representing the department, our university and the V.I. in newsrooms across America and the world,” said Maxiene Cabo, UVIABJ chapter president. The UVIABJ student chapter consists of more than 20 active members on the St. Thomas and Albert A. Sheen campuses.

“We are proud to be affiliated with NABJ,” said George Francis, UVIABJ secretary. “We hope being granted chapter status encourages other professional and student journalists on neighboring islands to also establish NABJ chapters.”

Founded on Dec. 12, 1975, by 44 men and women in Washington, D.C., NABJ is an organization of journalists, students and media-related professionals who provide quality programs and services to and advocates on behalf of Black journalists worldwide.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.