By Zsana Hoskins,
Special to the AFRO

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Convention and Career Fair will be held in Birmingham, Ala. at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex from Aug. 2 to Aug. 6. Journalists and other media industry professionals from across the country are traveling for over 200 training sessions and workshops with over 90 companies in attendance for the career fair.

Over 4,000 NABJ members and colleagues attended last year’s convention, which was held in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace. 

D.C. journalist Philip Lewis serves as senior editor at Huffington Post and will be in attendance this year. Lewis has been a member since 2018 and has attended the conference twice.

“I think I’m looking forward to being in Alabama. My grandfather and my great-grandfather were from there, and I’ve never been to Alabama. There’s going to be a civil rights tour. So being around all of that history really influenced my decision to go,” Lewis said about the convention’s location.

Lewis is looking forward to meeting other journalists as well. 

“For a lot of us, our only interactions are online. So it’s cool to actually put a face to a name,” Lewis expressed.

Lewis is also speaking on three panels this year: “Dear Brother: What You Need To Know About Your Job,” a panel dedicated to men in journalism, “TurboCharge Your Career: Skills You Need To Take Off Today,” which will include general career advice and “Investing in our Future to Advance Health Equity, Jobs, and Justice,” a luncheon panel that will discuss water access, infrastructure and climate change. 

Other panels and workshops throughout the multi-day event include “Media Money Matters,” “Political Reporting for the People,” and “HBCU Made: Higher Ed Leaders Share the Keys to Remaining Relevant.” There will also be over 17 breakfasts, luncheons and receptions.

Darlene Superville, White House reporter for The Associated Press, has been attending the NABJ Convention since the nineties. For Superville, there’s a “family reunion aspect” to the event.

“It’s usually just a time for me to catch up with people that I don’t see because we’re all in different newsrooms around the country. I also look forward to some of the professional development,” Superville shared.

She will speak on a panel titled “Black At AP” and to recruit for her company.

“I’m now at a point in my career where I can be on panels and share what I know. I spent a couple of years working with the students who do the convention newspaper—working in the NABJ newsroom. You get something out of it, and there comes a time when you’re able to give something back,” Superville said.

The convention will also feature sessions and panels dedicated to authors in attendance. There will be several author showcases featuring the work of NABJ attendees.

Amir Vera, breaking news editor at CNN, is most looking forward to the election results for NABJ officers. Vera is running for his second term as vice president of digital.

“I am running for national office and NABJ will also have a new president after this convention. I’m also looking forward to networking and seeing my friends,” said the NABJ member of 7 years. 

Along with officer elections, there will also be caucus meetings and an awards ceremony. The Salute to Excellence Awards Reception and Gala will take place on Saturday evening and highlight specific pieces of collegiate or professional work within radio, print. digital and more. Other special honors, such as Journalist of the Year and the Legacy Award, will be announced at the Opening Ceremony on Wednesday evening.

Khorri Atkinson, president of NABJ’s Washington Chapter, hopes to bring home the Professional Chapter of the Year.

“We are two-time finalists for NABJ Professional Chapter of the year, and we’re hoping to take home the title this year,” Atkinson said. 

Atkinson also hopes to build a new network at this year’s conference. 

“I’m very glad to be there with my company trying to get more talented journalists of color to join our team. And I’m also looking forward to reconnecting. NABJ is like a family. It’s a large organization, but it’s very tight-knit,” said the longtime member who is also the senior labor and employment reporter at Bloomberg.

This year’s conference partners include ABC News, ESPN, FOX, NBCUniversal, Warner Bros. Discovery and more. These companies are also exhibitors at the career fair portion of the convention, which will take place Aug. 2 through Aug. 4. 

“I know people who have gotten jobs by just going up to the recruitment booths at the convention. It’s a great place if you are looking to pursue a career,” Lewis said about the career fair.

Besides the career fair, there are still opportunities for job-seeking journalists to network and get hired. Vera managed to get his first CNN job through his NABJ membership.

“CNN held a workshop. I applied, was accepted and attended. Through asking questions and networking, I was offered and accepted a job as an associate writer,” Vera said. 

Many NABJ members have similar stories about how their membership has helped them kick start their careers.

Atkinson has been involved with NABJ since he was a college student and has worked in several leadership roles to give back to the organization for how it has helped him. After serving as the national student representative and then the parliamentarian, Atkinson joined the board as president of the Washington Chapter in 2021.

“I’ve met several people who have helped me with my career. All of the opportunities that I have been blessed with have been through NABJ–connections that I’ve made through NABJ. Even the work that I’m doing with the D.C. Chapter is just my way to give back to the organization because it has poured a lot into my career,” said Atkinson. 

The support from NABJ isn’t just professional. Superville recalls attending her first convention and feeling seen amongst all the other Black journalists.

“I started going to NABJ when I was a young journalist. When I got to my first convention, I just didn’t realize there were that many Black journalists out there,” said Superville. “When you’re in a newsroom, you’re the only one. Then, when you show up at NABJ, there are hundreds of others like you. It’s reassuring,” Superville said. 

To find more information on this year’s NABJ convention, visit