The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) will present its Conference on Health Disparities on January 30-31, 2009 at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. This conference is part of the NABJ Media Institute’s professional development program to better train our journalists on the increasing number of health disparities in the black community and to help empower their newsrooms toward increased coverage.
“This is the first time NABJ is committing to programming that deals solely with the health of the black community,” said NABJ President, Barbara Ciara. “It is our responsibility as journalists of color to bring stories of awareness, prevention and recovery to our newsrooms.”
This two-day event is for journalists and media professionals who want to better report on health disparities that contribute to the high mortality rates in the black community. Issues covered include communities of color disparate representation in clinical trials, the low rate of mental health treatment in African Americans and the high rate of obesity, heart disease and strokes.
“We’re gathering the best and brightest in medicine, research and advocacy to provide black journalists with the necessary tools to reach our community,” said Kathy Times, NABJ vice-president-broadcast and chair of the NABJ Media Institute. Symposia also will focus on health care policy, HIV/AIDS, low-birth weights, heart disease and the inadequate treatment of prisoners in incarceration and the effect on communities of color once they are released.
Invited presenters include former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, Dr. Kevin Fenton of the Centers for Disease Control, Phil Wilson of the Black AIDS Institute, and Marian Wright Edelman of the Children’s Defense Fund. The conference is sponsored by The Shering-Plough Corporation, Morehouse School of Medicine and the Kellogg Foundation.
The NABJ Media Institute offers professional development opportunities, technical training, historical documentation, educational programs, conferences, workshops, entrepreneurial guidance as well as web seminars that consist of quality content and it provides resources for students and journalists of color, relating to the industry.
The Institute also seeks to teach, compile, disseminate and chronicle information about African Americans in the field of journalism, and it acts as a clearinghouse for information to entities interested in the media and in establishing a connection with black journalists.
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation, with over 4,100 members, and provides educational, career development and support to black journalists worldwide.