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UVI COMM Dept celebrates a Historic FIRST: UVIABJ Student Chapter

 

The executive board of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) cast a unanimous decision at its annual meeting in October, that led to a historic event for UVI, the USVI territory and the entire Caribbean area.

The University of the Virgin Islands Association of Black Journalists (UVIABJ) became the first student chapter as well as the only NABJ affiliate in the USVI and the Caribbean. UVIABJ join 883 professional and student journalists from 11 states and 33 student chapters as part of Region III of NABJ. “Welcome to the NABJ family,” said Dorothy Tucker, NABJ President. “We are thrilled to have our first NABJ chapter from the USVI and ‘tickled black’ it’s a group of young aspiring journalists.”

“Welcome to the NABJ family,” said Dorothy Tucker, NABJ President. “We are thrilled to have our first NABJ chapter from the USVI and ‘tickled black’ it’s a group of young aspiring journalists.”

Founding members Maxiene Cabo, Jada Roberts, George Francis, Kalyna Nielson, Lana Cuffy, and Nikiyah Gerson serve as executive board members under the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation.

UVIABJ Executive Team Members back row (l) Maxiene Cabo, (c) George Francis, (r) Nikiyah Gerson
front row (l) Jada Roberts, (c) Kalyna Neilsen, (r) Lana Cuffy

Dr. Sharon Albert Honore, faculty advisor stated, “Indeed, this is a monumental achievement for students in the Communication department. The founding members of UVIABJ demonstrated tenacity and dedication in their initiative to establish affiliation with NABJ, renowned for its efforts to increase racial diversity in the media arena.”

The dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) also recognized UVIABJ’s achievement. “Congratulations to our students in the Department [Communication] said Dr. Kimarie Engerman. “Being granted membership exposes our students to careers in journalism, the chance to network with other Black journalists, as well as scholarship and internship opportunities,” she added.

NABJ chapters primarily comprise full-time, freelance and student journalists as well as media- professionals. (UVIABJ) and other student chapters agree to follow strict journalistic guidelines which include adherence to ethical rules of conduct. In alignment with NABJ rules, UVIABJ plan to execute programs which benefit student journalists as well as members of the community. “We look forward to serving our community and representing the department, university and the USVI in newsrooms across America and the world,” said Maxine Cabo, UVIABJ chapter president.

“We look forward to serving our community and representing the department, university and the USVI in newsrooms across America and the world, ” Maxiene Cabo, President, UVIABJ 

Maxiene Cabo, UVIABJ President photo credit, Albert Pierre

UVIABJ members total about 20 active students on STT and STX campus. They agree that being ‘first’ is great but it’s more important that they don’t continue the distinction in the Caribbean of being the ‘only.’

UVIABJ Executive Board
l-r- Lana Cuffy, Kalyna Neilsen, Nikiyah Gerson, George Francis, Maxiene Cabo, Jada Roberts. photo credit-Albert Pierre

George Francis, UVIABJ secretary stated, “We are proud to be affiliated with NABJ and will reach out to student journalists and media professionals on other islands and encourage them to become part of this organization.”

Founded on December 12, 1975 by 44 men and women, NABJ is an organization of journalists, students and media-related professionals that provide quality programs and services to and advocates on behalf of Black journalists worldwide.

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