Feature, International

UVIABJ Press Travel 5000 miles and Explore ‘Black Wall Street’

(l-r) Nico Thomas, Kyra Edwards, Gimel Pinto, Felisha Felix. credit file-

(St. Croix, April 27, 2024) Four University of the Virgin Islands Association of Black Journalists students traveled 2,285 miles one way to join more than 300 professional and practicing television, print, and radio journalists for the 2024 event, “Black Press Meets Black Street.”

They endured more than 10 hours and three airflight changes (both ways) to attend the two-day National Association of Black Journalists Region III Convention in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Felicia, Sam Levrault Media – Sam Levrault

Felisha Edwards, UVIABJ secretary Gimel Pinto, Nico Thomas, UVIABJ Social media coordinator, and Kyra Edwards, UVIABJ president, were warmly embraced and celebrated by media professionals from the southern and southeast U.S. areas, including Dallas, Central Florida, Washington DC, and Atlanta.

Others came from Oakland and Sacramento, California, to participate as panelists and share their expertise. 

The trip was long, but definitely worth it…The experience was amazing.” Felisha Felix

photo credit: Sam Levrault Media – Sam Levrault

Felisha junior communication major, spoke on behalf of the group and stated, “The trip was long but definitely worth it. We learned so much and engaged with so many during this conference. The experience was amazing.”

Nico Thomas, a junior communication major from Fresno, California, agreed and acknowledged his pride in winning a scholarship from the region for his ‘pop-up’ article. 

Nico receives award from Judge Mia of the NABJ Tulsa Chapter. photo credit: Sam Levrault Media – Sam Levrault

This was UVIABJ’s second win in as many years, as all four participants competed in the student collegiate writing segment of the Region III Convention. ” I was surprised and honored to receive this award, Nico said.”

He added, “It was an amazing opportunity to network with so many Black professionals from all areas of media.”  

It was an amazing opportunity to network with so many Black professionals from all areas of media.”  Nico Thomas, 2024 Scholarship Winner, NABJ Region III

Sessions included the Opening Career Luncheon, featuring a keynote from #ReShondaTate, the Healthy NABJ Meditation Sound Bath from #LeahHeals #LeahFrazier, the #CRRJ Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project presentation from Northeastern University School of Law, and the Journalism Jumpstart session.

The Greenwood Rising tour spurred a lot of discussion about ongoing lawsuits by Black residents and survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre; a primary concern is Tulsa’s refusal to acknowledge or accept its’ legal, ethical, financial, and moral obligations to the survivors and their descendants.

Mural painting in the Greenwood District of Tulsa Oklahoma, that pays homage to the history of the wealthiest Black community, nicknamed “Black Wall Street,” in the 1900’s.

Representatives from Justice for Greenwood Movement and the Terance Crutcher Foundation showcased a film. 

They led discussions about the socio-economic realities of the Black community of Tulsa more than 1o3 years after the 1921 race massacre. 

They defended their claim(s) that city and state officials have engaged in a 25-year campaign to ‘whitewash’ the 1921 massacre and its aftermath. 

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  1. Felisha Felix says:

    Great article! So happy to have been given the honor to represent UVIABJ and visit Black Wall Street. It was pure black excellence in every room! NABJ is a blessing for black journalists.

  2. Congratulations to UVIABJ representation at the Regional NABJ. UVIABJ always has the anointing to show up and show out.

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