Special from the NNPA
The family of George Floyd will be honored with the Newsmaker Award for Leadership during the National Newspaper Publishers Association Fund (NNPAF) BLACK PRESS WEEK. This year’s press week will kick off with a two-day virtual conference on Thursday, March 18 at noon.
The NNPAF award recognizes the George Floyd Family for their collective effort for social justice, and their leadership on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. Majority Whip James E Clyburn, a former publisher and the highest-ranking African American in Congress, will also be awarded the Newsmaker of the Year Award for his pivotal role in galvanizing the Black vote across America.
NNPA Fund Chair Pluria Marshall Jr., CEO of the Wave Publications, based in California, stated, “These awardees are dedicated to advancing the progress of Black people. The Black Press of America is honored to recognize their achievements and express our gratitude for their heroic efforts to improve the quality of life of all Americans.”
This year’s virtual Black Press Week theme is “BLACK BUSINESS Challenges, Responsibilities, and Opportunities Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic.” The two-day conference will be held Thursday, March 18, and Friday, March 19, from 11:00, am (EST) to 1:00 pm (EST).
Reportedly, 40% of Black-owned businesses have closed their doors permanently as a result of the pandemic. The challenge now is to sustain the remaining 60% struggling to survive during these uncertain times. Black newspapers are Black businesses that are experiencing similar obstacles created by the pandemic.
Because of this shared burden, the NNPA Fund’s first workshop on Thursday will feature U.S. Congressman and House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-SC) and U.S. Congressman Dwight Evans (D-PA), a member of the Small Business Committee and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Economic, Growth and Capital Access. The two high-ranking legislators will address the plans Congress is developing to help Black-owned businesses cope with various economic issues.
On Friday, the second workshop will concentrate on alternative funding for Black newspapers, including representatives from digital companies including Google, Facebook, and Borealis, that invest in nonprofit and for-profit media organizations.
The cornerstone of Black Press Week is the Enshrinement Ceremony. This year, Carter Walker Wesley (1892-1969), an American lawyer, newspaperman, and political activist from Houston, Texas, will be enshrined in the Black Press Archives housed at the Moorland Spingarn Research Center at Howard University.
Black Press Week is held annually to honor the nation’s first Black-owned newspaper—Freedom’s Journal —on March 16, 1827. Previous NNPAF Newsmakers of the Year include Ben Crump, Al Sharpton, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Barack Obama, and the Trayvon Martin family.
—Information provided by NNPA.