Political leaders of the two major parties will offer headline addresses at the National Association of Black Journalists’ (NABJ) 39th Annual Convention and Career Fair, which will be held July 30-Aug. 3 in Boston.
NABJ convention planners cited the current political climate—intensified by concerns about partisan assaults on voting rights and the emergence of identity politics—for the need to hear from the leaders of the nation’s leading political parties as the platforms for the campaign to advance their parties’ ideals and candidates.
“As is often expected, African-American voters are a key demographic in the upcoming election cycle, but some civil rights groups have sounded the alarm about threats to one person, one vote,” NABJ President Bob Butler said in a statement. He added, “It is important that our members hear and can report about from all angles about the Black vote especially ahead of crucial elections nationwide which could tip the balance of power from Washington to beyond.”
Reince Priebus, who was elected chairman of the Republican National Committee in January 2011 and reelected in January last year, will give remarks and be interviewed on July 31 during the convention’s opening plenary. The interview will be conducted by CNN‘s Michaela Pereira and Kelly Wright of FOX News.
“I appreciate President Butler’s invitation to address NABJ membership and look forward to discussing our ongoing efforts to engage Black voters, expand the dialogue in communities across the country and inform the very journalists who help shape the views of a very important constituency,” Priebus said.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the current chair of the Democratic National Committee, will also address the gathering of Black journalists on Aug. 1. An interview and discussion with the Democratic leader will be moderated by ABC News’ “Good Morning America” correspondent Mara Schiavocampo and Wesley Lowery, who covers Congress and national politics for the Washington Post.
“I’m thrilled to be joining some of the nation’s best reporters in Boston this summer ahead of the fall elections,” Wasserman Schultz said in a statement.
“The 2014 midterms are critical to the country’s future, and Democrats are working in cities, counties, and states across America to create opportunity for all, and not just a few. I look forward to continuing that discussion with those who will tell that story to voters this year and beyond.”
In another noteworthy appearance, Dean Baquet, the current and first African-American executive editor of The New York Times, will appear at the convention. Previously the Times’ managing editor, Baquet also served as editor and managing editor of The Los Angeles Times and worked at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans and for The Chicago Tribune, where he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 1988.
A full convention lineup and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks.
For more information and to register, visit: www.nabj.org.