Newswire: The Black press honors Senator Kamala Harris with NNPA’s 2018 ‘Newsmaker of the Year Award’ during Black press week

Senator Kamala Harris (D CA)

WASHINGTON, D.C.—(NNPANewswirePR)—The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) will honor Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) with the 2018 Newsmaker of the Year Award during the NNPA’s 2018 Black Press Week. The Newsmaker event will take place at the Rayburn House Office Building on Wednesday, March 14 at 7pm.
“The Honorable Kamala Harris, the second African American woman and first South Asian American senator in U.S. history, is an outstanding choice for the NNPA’s 2018 Newsmaker of the Year Award,” said Dorothy Leavell, the chairman of the NNPA and publisher of the Crusader Newspapers in Chicago and Gary, Ind.
The NNPA will also celebrate the senator’s efforts to raise wages for working people, reform the criminal justice system, and expand healthcare access for all Americans.
“In all of my years of covering news in our community, Senator Harris has been one of the smartest, most fearless, steadfast and caring politicians that I have come to know,” said Amelia Ashley-Ward, the new NNPA Foundation chair and publisher of the San Francisco Sun-Reporter. “She has a lot to offer the world…we are so fortunate to have her advocating on our behalf.”
The theme of this year’s Black Press Week is “Celebrating 191 Years of the Black Press of America: Publishing Truth to Empower.” Black publishers, media professionals, civil rights leaders and lawmakers from across the country attend the annual event, taking place March 14-16. On Friday, March 16, Democratic strategist and author Donna Brazile will deliver a keynote address on the state of the Black Press in America.
“When John B. Russwurm and Samuel E. Cornish printed that first issue of Freedom’s Journal they sought to empower Black people to determine their own destiny and to define themselves,” said Leavell. “How iconic, that in 2018, our theme still rings true: ‘Publishing Truth to Empower.’”
Black Press Week will also feature sessions on business development, education reform, and sickle cell disease. Outstanding leaders in the Black community will be honored during the Torch Awards Dinner.

The Torch Award recipients are: Dr. Amos Brown, the pastor of the San Francisco Third Baptist Church; Rep. Barbara Jean Lee (D-Calif.); and James Farmer, a senior consultant for General Motors.
Ken Barrett, the global chief diversity officer for General Motors, said that “Jim” Farmer dedicated his career to transforming the automotive industry through diversity and community service. “I am proud of the invaluable support Jim continues to provide GM and he is truly most deserving of this prestigious honor,” said Barrett.
Chairman Leavell agreed. “The NNPA Foundation, under the leadership of Chairman Amelia Ward, the publisher of the Sun Reporter in San Francisco, Calif., has chosen some of the most outstanding leaders and trailblazers in the Black community to receive Torch Awards, this year,” said Leavell.
The 2018 Black Press Week partners include the Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Reynolds American (RAI), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Pfizer, Inc. The 2018 Black Press Week sponsors include AARP, Amerihealth, Comcast, Koch Industries, Wells Fargo, AT&T, and Volkswagen.
Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., the president and CEO of the NNPA, said that the NNPA and the NNPA Foundation have joined together to celebrate the 191-year anniversary of the Black Press in America. “This year, Black Press Week convenes at a time of profound opportunity and responsibility to ensure a record turnout for Black American voters in the upcoming midterm elections across the nation,” said Chavis. “The new strategic alliance between the NNPA and the NAACP bodes well to advance civil rights and the economic, political, and cultural empowerment of Black America.”

The National Newspaper Publishers Association represents more than 200 Black-owned media companies in the United States. The NNPA promotes the profession of journalism and the business of publishing, while celebrating the evolution of the Black Press in America.

100 Black Men,  General Motors encourage young people to pursue stem careers

By Brelaun Douglas (NNPA/DTU Fellow, Atlanta Voice)

Cadillac 30th Anniversary 100 Black Men Convention

A young participant shares his art work during a workshop titled ““Bringing STEM Education to Life,” at the 30th Anniversary 100 Black Men Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. (Todd Burford/Cadillac)


In an effort to boost minority participation in science and technology, 100 Black Men of America recently hosted a panel discussion with representatives from General Motors to encourage young minorities to think outside the box when it comes to their career paths.

This summer, 100 Black Men of America, an organization dedicated to educating and empowering African American youth, held their annual conference in Atlanta, Ga., that focused on topics like civic engagement and managing money. The event also included a panel discussion titled, “Bringing STEM Education to Life,” a workshop geared towards getting youth interested in science, technology, engineering and math fields, commonly known as “STEM.”
Panel members included Sherwin Prior, managing director for General Motors Ventures; Tobin Williams, executive director of human resources and corporate staff for General Motors; and Aaron Richardson, senior manager for IT development for General Motors who discussed how STEM was involved in something young boys often love: cars.
“[Technology] is absolutely essential. Over 33 years, the company that I work for [has become] a very different company,” said Williams. “Thirty-three years ago it was primarily a manufacturing company. Three years ago it was primarily a finance company and today it’s pretty much a software company. We are continuously looking for individuals who have the capability in software. There is a blending in terms of the software skill capability between engineering and computer science.”
Prior agreed, stating that STEM is all about “ thinkers and problem solvers” and that the panelists were some of the people who drive the technology behind cars.
The panelists also talked about the challenges that the young people may face in an industry or career path where most people don’t look like them.
In 2012-2013, Black males accounted for just 8.7 percent of the people who earned degrees in STEM fields, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
“Opportunities are rarely convenient,” said Richardson. “They’re often disguised in something that seems like, ‘oh, I got to do this,’ or ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do that.’ It’s always disguised in challenge. So I challenge you to think about that as you think about how you want to continue your learning in the STEM area to think about the sacrifices that you have to make that will ultimately lead to significant benefits in the long term.”
Prior also told the youth not to be discouraged by the lack of diversity in STEM fields.
“It’s about changing the narrative,” he said. “Don’t believe that African Americans aren’t doing phenomenal fantastic things. They just aren’t talked about in the media like they should be.”
After the discussion, participants lined up to ask the panelists questions about how the technology in the cars worked and about the science and engineering that goes into building the cars. Questions included things such as what is the future of jobs for workers when more and more jobs are becoming automated, how safe the vehicle is and what the future of the technologic capabilities of the car looked like.
Participants were then invited to draw their own cars and decide what type of technology, old or new, the cars would include. The young men designed everything from cars that could hover and drive themselves to cars that could be unlocked with a fingerprint rather than a key.
The crowd was populated with young, Black boys, mainly middle and high school-aged, from across the nation including 13-year-old Noel Towson, who finds the 100 Black Men beneficial to him.
Towson, along with five other young men from the South Bend, Ind., chapter, came to the conference with his chaperone Eldridge Lewis Chism Jr., who is also a 100 Black Men member. Chism has been involved with the organization for years and found the conference and panel beneficial because it gave the young men “new thoughts and new ideals and hopefully provide[d] them an opportunity.”
“My mom took me to the ‘100 Black Men’ the first time,” said Towson. “I liked what they taught us, the life lessons and how to better prepare ourselves for the future, so I just stuck with it.”
Brelaun Douglas is a 2016 NNPA “Discover The Unexpected” (DTU) journalism fellow at the Atlanta Voice. The DTU journalism fellowship program is sponsored by Chevrolet. Check out more stories by the fellows by following the hashtag #DiscoverTheUnexpected on Twitter and Instagram. Learn more about the program at