ABOVE: Rev. Dr. Toni Murphy Draper, daughter of Francis Murphy and Karen Carter Richards, Forward Times Publisher
The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) kicked off Black Press Week in Washington, D.C., with a welcome reception at the Dupont Circle Hotel.
Celebrating 192 years of the Black Press, the NNPA Foundation and NNPA’s member publishers engaged in several workshops throughout the week that centered on this year’s theme: “Publishing, Power & Purpose.”
Among the highlights of the annual Black Press Week, which ran from March 20 to March 22, was the enshrinement of two publishers into the Black Press Archives and Gallery of Distinguished Black Publishers at Howard University. Nationalist, Pan-Africanism movement leader and Negro World newspaper founder Marcus Mosiah Garvey and Washington AFRO-AMERICAN publisher emeritus Francis L. Murphy II.
Additionally, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-Washington D.C.) was recognized for her lifetime of service and Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza received the NNPA 2019 Newsmaker of the Year Award.
“It’s such an honor to be recognized by the Black Press in this manner,” Garza said. “What we do is for the people, to benefit the people,” she said.
Pfizer Rare Disease, Reynolds American Inc., General Motors, Ford, Wells Fargo, Collaborative for Student Success, AmeriHealth Caritas, Ascension, Koch, Volkswagen, API and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation count among the partners and sponsors of the NNPA and Black Press Week.
Among the topics on the week’s schedule were “How Public Policy Can Help Shape the Future of Sickle Cell Disease;” “Education Equity: Parent and Family Engagement Using Public Awareness and Outreach;” and the presentation, “2020 U.S. Census,” which featured senior advisor in the Office of the Director of the United States Census Bureau Tasha Boone.
Panelists this year included Angela Reimer, the senior director of federal government relations for Pfizer; Dr. Angie Snyder, research associate professor at Georgia State University and the director of Health Policy and Financing at the Georgia Health Policy Center; Beverley Francis-Gibson, president and CEO of Sickle Cell Disease Association of America; and General Motors Corporate Giving Communications & Strategic Business Planner Lester Booker, Jr.
NNPA Foundation Board Chair Amelia Ashley-Ward, NNPA National Chairman Dorothy R. Leavell, NNPA Convention Committee Chair Jan Michelle Lemon-Kearney and NNPA President & CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., also provided remarks.
A fireside chat with Cherie Wilson, the director of Federal Affairs for General Motors while Reynolds American Inc. presented the topic, “Municipal, Regional and National Public Policies That Impact the Quality of Life for Black Americans and Wells Fargo presented “Minding the Wealth Gap.”
The special week of activity concluded with a luncheon presentation and library tour at the Library of Congress which had the theme, “The Black Press in the United States: History, Legacy and Heritage,” co-hosted by Dr. Carla Hayden, the 14th Librarian of Congress and the first African American to hold the post.