The National Association of Black Journalists-Chicago Chapter was founded in the early 1970s by Christine Harris, Vernon Jarrett, Francis Ward and Monroe Anderson, among others, to unite journalists for the common purpose of bettering our profession, our professionalism and our profession’s societal role by increasing Black employment in the media; increasing the number of Blacks in managerial positions; encouraging and educating young African-Americans interested in pursuing careers in journalism; and sensitizing media to racism in its varying degrees. The original name of the organization was the Chicago Association of Black Journalists.
Four Chicago members – Vernon Jarrett, Francis Ward, Paul Delaney and Max Robinson – joined more than a dozen other journalists from across the country to found the National Association of Black Journalists in 1975.
The purpose of the NABJ Chapter is to bring together Chicago-area African-American journalists dedicated to truth and excellence in newsgathering and reporting, and equality in the media industry. To accomplish this mission, the organization seeks to: strengthen the ties between Blacks who work in majority-owned media and Blacks who work in the Black-owned media; assist Black journalists in upgrading their skills for upward mobility toward managerial and supervisory positions; encourage students to identify careers in journalism; and award scholarships to Black journalism students of accredited colleges and universities.
We host at least 10 gatherings each year. Sometimes those meetings are forums on topics of interest to journalists, while others are networking sessions. On occasion our members are invited to theater and other events. We also host training sessions for our members as well as events for journalism students.
The NABJ Chicago Chapter is respected within the NABJ community as a thriving, progressive and active chapter with members who are greatly involved in the national organization as well. In 2009, NABJ Chicago was honored as “NABJ Chapter of the Year.” We are proud to have members who have been inducted into the NABJ Hall of Fame and recognized with national awards.