Click here to view the proposed Constitution & Bylaws amendments for consideration by the voting membership during the February 2019 general meeting.
We, the members of the National Association of Black Journalists-Chicago Chapter, in pursuit of the full benefit that arises from African-American journalists in current practice uniting 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 monitoring media regarding racial messages; and sensitizing media to racism in its varying degrees, do, hereby, establish, amend and enact this Constitution and Bylaws for the governance of the National Association of Black Journalists-Chicago Chapter and its membership.
Constitution and Bylaws:
Article I. Name and Symbol of the National Association of Black Journalists–Chicago Chapter
Section 1. The full and complete name of the Organization shall be “National Association of Black Journalists-Chicago Chapter.” Reference to the Organization may be abbreviated and referred to as “NABJ-CC” or “NABJ-Chicago Chapter” or “NABJ-Chicago.” The Board of Directors shall adopt rules guiding the use of abbreviations. In this document, “NABJ-CC” or “Organization” shall hereafter be used to refer to the “Association.”
Section 2. The symbol of the NABJ-CC shall include the full name of the Organization. The Board of Directors shall approve an authorized symbol for NABJ-CC.
Chapter of Vernon Jarrett, NABJ Founding Member
Article II. Purpose of NABJ–CC
Section 1. The purpose of the NABJ-CC shall be to bring about a union of Chicagoland African-American journalists in current practice and dedicated to truth and excellence in news gathering and reporting, and equality in the media industry. To accomplish this mission, the Organization’s pursuits may include efforts to:
Section 2. NABJ-CC may, after approval by of a majority of its Board of Directors, take positions or act on issues of social or professional concern. NABJ-CC may not endorse or support any candidate for public office.
Article III. Board of Directors and Officers of the Organization.
Section 1. Titles of Officers of the Organization shall be President, Vice President/Print, Vice President/Broadcast, Vice President/Digital, Secretary, Treasurer and Parliamentarian. The officers comprise the Executive Board of the Board of Directors.
Section 2. The Board of Directors shall consist of the President, Vice President/Print, Vice President/Broadcast, Vice President/Digital, Secretary, Treasurer, Parliamentarian and no less than five nor more than nine At-Large Directors.
Section 3. The Executive Board shall consist of the President, Vice President/Print, Vice President/Broadcast, Secretary, Vice President/Digital, Treasurer and Parliamentarian.
Section 4. The Immediate Past President and the Executive Director in good standing may serve as ex officio members of the Executive Board and shall serve in a non-voting, advisory capacity while maintaining the continued approval of the Board of Directors.
Section 5. The Executive Board shall share responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Organization and will be responsible for the development of an annual planning calendar and the scheduling of NABJ-CC events.
Section 6. All candidates for the Board shall be in good standing as of the date of submittal of the Candidate Application. Only persons who are in good standing can serve on the Board of Directors.
Section 7. The Board of Directors shall meet at least once every sixty (60) days.
Section 8. In order to conduct official business, three officers must be present at a Board of Directors’ meeting.
Section 9. The Board of Directors shall have the power to set policy within the parameters of the Constitution and Bylaws, establish ad hoc committees and pass resolutions. A simple majority of the Board of Directors must approve all such actions. Policies and resolutions must be dated and approved in writing.
Section 10. The Board of Directors shall establish a standing rule to govern resolution of matters in the event a vote before the Executive Board results in a tie.
Article IV. Duties and Descriptions of Officers.
Section 1. The President shall preside over all meetings of NABJ-CC and function as its principal executive officer. The President shall ensure that all resolutions, orders and contracts authorized by the Board of Directors are executed.
Section 2. The President shall also have the power to appoint or remove committee chairs, except as otherwise provided in the Constitution and Bylaws. The President, in cooperation with the respective committees, may meet with the given committee chairpersons to plan
strategy and provide direction for the committee, according to the policies of NABJ-CC.
Section 3. The Vice President/Broadcast, Vice President/Print and Vice President/Digital shall assist the President in the discharge of the duties outlined in Article IV, Section 2, as assigned by the President. In the absence of the President, the Vice Presidents shall jointly and cooperatively assume the duties of the President.
Section 4. The Secretary shall serve as the principal communications officer. S/he shall keep, or cause to be kept, proper minutes of all meetings and shall maintain formal records. The membership shall have appropriate access to minutes of all meetings of the Board of Directors. Access shall accordingly be granted at a time and place reasonably determined by the Secretary. The Secretary shall be responsible for providing timely notices of general and annual meetings to the members. Approval by the Board of Directors shall be necessary to release copies of the minutes of the Board of Directors’ meetings.
Section 5. The Treasurer shall serve as the principal financial officer of NABJ-CC. S/he shall be responsible for the maintenance and submission of all financial records of NABJ-CC, the submission of monthly financial reports and an annual financial report to the membership, the deposit of funds authorized to NABJ-CC in an account and/or accounts designated by the Board of Directors and the disbursement of funds of the Organization on order from the President and/or the Board.
Article VI. Duties and Description of the Parliamentarian.
Section 1. The Parliamentarian shall be a non-voting member of the Executive Board. The Parliamentarian shall be selected from the Organization’s membership by the President and approved by the Board of Directors. The Parliamentarian shall be responsible for ensuring compliance of NABJ-CC to its Bylaws and Constitution, maintaining proper parliamentary procedure and overseeing elections and amendments.
This provision is not to be construed as a restriction on the Parliamentarian in casting ballots on matters before the Organization.
periodically consider provisions of or changes to the Constitution and Bylaws.
Article VI. Eligibility for Office and Term of Office.
Section 1. To be eligible for elected office in the Organization, a candidate for an Executive or At-Large position on the Board of Directors must be a Full Member in good standing with NABJ-CC and the National Association of Black Journalists, and, once in office, shall maintain good standing throughout the duration of his/her term.
Section 2. Each elected Board member is required to be in good standing, which is to be current in the practice of journalism, maintain the established standards of conduct for the journalism profession and remain financially current in the payment of Chapter and NABJ dues.
Section 4. Associate Members, Student Members and General Members shall not be eligible to hold elected office in the Organization.
Section 5. A term of office is a two-year period. The full Board of Directors and Ex Officio members shall serve concurrently and in cycles of two-year terms.
*Article VII. Authority of the Directors to Appointment Advisors and the Role of Appointed Advisors.
Section 1. Authority of Board of Directors to Appointment Advisors.
(a) The Board of Directors shall have the authority to appoint an Advisor with a select field of expertise to serve at the pleasure of the Board. Multiple fields of expertise may have a representative Advisor appointed.
Section 2. Role of Appointed Advisors
(a) Each Advisor may attend Board meetings as requested by the Board and shall provide regular advice and counsel to the Board in its consideration of various aspects of the specialty area of his/her expertise. Each Advisor may Chair a committee on behalf of the Board and, as deemed appropriate by the Board, may fully engage with multiple committees providing advice and counsel in the specialty area.
(b) Each Advisor to the Board must be a full member in good standing with NABJ-CC.
Article VIII. Membership Criteria.
Section 1. Each Full Member is required to be in good standing – which is to be current in the practice of journalism, meet and maintain the established standards of conduct for the journalism profession and remain financially current in the payment of Chapter dues. Student, Associate and General Members must conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to ethic standards of acceptable professionalism and remain financially current in the payment of Chapter dues.
Standards of conduct represent the highest standards of the profession as appropriately adopted by NABJ on April 24, 2005. NABJ-CC wholly adopts the NABJ standards of conduct. Organization members are held to the standards as follows:
Section 2. All membership applications for Full, Student, Associate or General status will be subject to the review of the Board of Directors or, as its designate, the Membership Committee. The Board maintains full and final authority to accept or reject any recommendation of the Membership Committee.
Section 3. Full Membership:
Section 4. Associate Membership:
Section 5. Student Membership:
Section 6. General Membership:
Section 7. Disciplinary Actions and Revocation of Membership:
subject to disciplinary action or revocation of membership if judged by the Executive Board to have breached journalistic ethics, misrepresented the Organization, engaged in improper conduct or behavior that could injure the good name of the Organization, disturb its well-being or hamper it in its good work.
Article IX. Membership Meetings, Powers and Voting.
Section 1. The membership shall assemble at least six times per year at such times and places as may be determined by the Board for the purposes of:
(a) Hearing and acting upon the reports of the President, Treasurer, Secretary and various committees.
(b) Participating in education and professional development forums, seminars and workshops.
(c) Hearing and acting on such business that may be of interest to the membership.
Section 2. Powers.
Article X. Fiscal Year and Membership Dues.
Section 1. The fiscal year of NABJ-CC shall begin on January 1 and end on December 31 of each calendar year.
Section 2. All NABJ-CC members are required to pay dues. The term of a membership is 12 months beginning on the date of payment of dues. The fee amount for annual dues shall be set by periodic resolution of the Board of Directors.
Article XI. Elections.
Section 1. Election of the Board of Directors, including the Executive Board, shall occur at an Annual Meeting. All members of the Board of Directors shall concurrently serve the two-year term of their respective positions.
Section 2. The Board of Directors shall adopt rules governing the Organization’s nominating procedure. The Nominating Committee shall oversee all elections and voting procedures on ballot issues.
Section 3. Voting.
than three days prior to the election. In the event of an electronic submittal of Absentee Ballot, it shall be acceptable only if it is cast from the verifiable and verified e-mail address-of-record for the Full Member who requested the Absentee Ballot.
Article XII. Committees.
Section 1. NABJ-CC shall have six standing committees: Membership, Program Planning, Communications, Fund-Raising, Nominating and Media Advocacy.
Section 2. Ad hoc committees may be formed by the President, at the discretion of the Board, as needed. Each Ad hoc committee shall be respectively established at the pleasure of the Board and shall expire, respectively, at a time determined by the Board.
Section 3. Membership to a committee will be open to all categories of NABJ-CC membership. The number of members serving on a committee may be determined by the Committee Chair and the limitation is subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee is excepted from Board approval. The Nominating Committee composition requires approval by a voice vote of the Full Membership present at a regular meeting.
Article XIII. Vacancies, removals from office and successions.
Section 1. The President shall appoint a Full Member to fill a vacancy created by the departure, resignation or removal from office of any member of the Board of Directors. The appointment shall be limited to the time remaining in the term of the vacated position. Such appointment requires both the approval of a minimum of three members of the Executive Board and an official notification of the appointment to the general membership.
Section 2. A member of the Board who does not attend three successive, regularly scheduled meetings of the Board may be deemed to have resigned his/her position and such resignation may be accepted by action of the Board.
Section 3. A member of the Board may be removed from his/her position and the Organization for dereliction of duty or unethical behavior. A two-thirds majority of the Board vote in favor of removal is required for removal action to succeed.
Section 4. In the event the President is unable to serve, the remaining members of the Executive Board shall have the power to appoint an Acting President. The Acting President may hold office for a period of no more than 12 months. An open election is then required to officially fill the President’s office. The election must take place no more than 12 months from the effective date of the vacancy.
Article XIV. Meetings.
Section 1. Annual Meetings
Section 2. Regular Meetings
Section 3. Special Meetings
Section 4. Limitations in Audio/Video Recording and Broadcast/Publication/Internet Distribution
Advanced permission to record any portion of an NABJ-CC meeting must be requested of and granted by the Executive Board. Upon the granting of such permission, a full and complete copy of the audio and/or visual
recording must be provided to the NABJ-CC Board by the recording party within twelve (12) hours of the conclusion of the meeting. NABJ-CC reserves the right to confiscate any recording made at a Chapter meeting without Board permission and to eject from the meeting any party involved in the recording effort. This provision refers to audio and/or visual recordings and is not intended to limit manual note-taking. The
Executive Board’s permission is activated only upon the requestor’s signed agreement to these terms.
Article XV. Constitutional Amendments and Effective Date.
Section 1. Proposal of Amendments.
Section 2. The Constitution may be amended as follows:
Article XVI. Parliamentary Authority.
Section 1. Robert’s Rules of Order, as revised, shall be used to provide guidance in governing all NABJ-CC meetings and apply to all matters of the
Organization not covered by either the NABJ-CC Constitution and
Bylaws or the National Association of Black Journalists’ Constitution.
Article XVII. Procedural and Regulatory Compliance.
Section 1. Upon adoption, the provisions of this Constitution, shall, as necessary, be subject to compliance with applicable Federal and State of Illinois laws and City of Chicago ordinances governing the transaction of NABJ-CC business.
Section 2. NABJ-CC shall conduct its activities as acceptable and in accordance with guidance for non-profit corporations in Section 501 (c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code, as amended, and the rulings and regulations there under.