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To Our NABJ-Chicago Membership, Friends and Supporters:
These are uncertain and scary times for many of us, in light of this week’s fast-moving COVID-19 developments. The National Association of Black Journalists-Chicago Chapter prioritizes the health and safety of our members, event participants and event audiences, and now that the World Health Organization has labeled the novel coronavirus a global pandemic, our attention must be on prevention and precaution, and ensuring the health and safety of Journalists, our families and communities.
Thus, we are joining the nationwide endeavor to contain this devastating virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has urged all Americans toward social distancing as a tool to minimize potential impact, urging that social events be limited to the necessary, to flatten the curve of exposure. The NABJ-Chicago Board of Directors has made the decision to postpone all events programming this month, consistent with the essence of recent directives by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
As you know, the Goodman Theater cancelled our “NABJCC Night at the Theater,” making the decision to forego all performances and events at the theater as of Friday, March 13. For our part, NABJCC has cancelled a scheduled March 24 kick-off of our year of McCormick Foundation-sponsored trainings. From what we are learning of the potential COVID-19 impact, this suspension may additionally affect NABJCC events currently planned through April 30, including our April forum and April training.
NABJCC will continue to monitor short- and long-term developments, communicating with members as they unfold, relying on universal guidance to determine an optimum date for return to normal programming. We have heard the concerns over how unprepared our government was for this crisis, and there will be plenty of time and opportunity to explore this, at a future forum. For now, our focus must be getting through this crisis, while safely meeting our mission as Journalists.
We urge members to please practice universal precautions as we seek to help mitigate community spread of COVID-19. We remain grateful for your continued commitment to your organization, and understanding during these unprecedented times.
Board of Directors
National Association of Black Journalists-Chicago Chapter