As you know by now, the National Association of Black Journalists is very important to me (www.nabj.org). In large part, it's how I got my start in the business. It has continued to be the support and "annual therapy" I need via the convention. And I continue to give back as best I can - having sat on the Board and also produced and hosted big events - like last year's "Dreamgirls" preview with Jennifer Hudson. I also Chair the NABJ Arts & Entertainment Task Force, which allows me to do wonderful programming for an awesome organization. VEGAS is our destination this year and it's going to be a stone gas!!!! See our press release below... and look forward to my reflections next week.
Each year convention attendees look forward to the quality entertainment and social events planned by the NABJ Arts & Entertainment Task Force. The task force offers opportunities for stimulating and engaging fellowship, as well as keeping members abreast of hot topics in the entertainment world - a world in which African-Americans play a major role as consumer and creative professionals.
On Thursday, the NABJ A&E Task Force presents a special Disney event hosted by NABJ A&E Task Force Chair Patrick L. Riley. The evening's event will culminate with a performance of Cirque du Soleil's 'Mystere.'
On Friday, please join us for the roundtable discussion "Extra Access to the TV Talent on the Inside of Entertainment", featuring a panel of African- American personalities currently hosting some of today's biggest mainstream entertainment news shows. Moderated by Shaun Robinson of 'Access Hollywood,' the panel includes Kevin Frazier ('Entertainment Tonight'), Jon Kelley and Tanika Ray (both from 'Extra'), April Woodard ('Inside Edition') and Touré (BET's 'Black Carpet'). This is sure to be an enlightening discussion.
The NABJ Film Festival allows convention attendees to view preview screenings of some of the year's biggest films - often well in advance of the general public. The screenings are followed by a Q&A session featuring filmmakers and/or actors who are available to attend. This year's film lineup is:
'Illegal Tender' - When the thugs who killed his father come looking for him, a young Latino man (Rick Gonzalez) and his mother must flee from their home. Starring Rick Gonzalez and Wanda De Jesus.
'American Gangster' - A drug lord smuggles heroin into Harlem during the 1970s by hiding the stash inside the coffins of American soldiers returning from Vietnam. Starring Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe and Common.
'Resurrecting the Champ' - Up-and-coming reporter (Josh Hartnett) rescues a homeless man (Champ, played by Samuel L. Jackson), only to discover that he is, in fact, a boxing legend believed to be dead. What begins as an opportunity to resurrect Champ's story and escape the shadow of his father's success, becomes a personal journey as the ambitious reporter reexamines his own life and his relationship with his family. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Alan Alda and Josh Hartnett are scheduled to attend.
For more information about the 32nd NABJ Convention & Career Fair, visit www.nabj.org.
NOTE: Members of the working press who will be covering the NABJ convention are required to obtain media credentials. As part of the process, reporters must submit a request for credentials on company letterhead signed by their supervisors. The letter must also include the specific days that the reporters will be covering the convention and the names and titles of all staff members who are requesting media credentials. A photo ID or press pass will be required for each person. For additional information on obtaining credentials, contact Kristin Palmer, NABJ Communications Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.