Archive for November, 2017

KCABJ Newsletter for November 2017
November 20, 2017

KCABJ Meeting

KCABJ is exploring the possibility of having its December membership meeting as a holiday get-together that would include a discussion of a cultural and professional exchange in March in Cuba.

Henry N. Heredia, an educator and international coordinator for Cuban writers and artists, will discuss U.S.-Cuba relations at the KCABJ holiday gathering. Heredia is on a visa from Cuba, speaking in several cities in the United States. Members of KCABJ who have traveled to Cuba with the National Association for Multicultural Education have met with Heredia and other Cuban educators the last three years to learn more about Cuba’s incredible literacy rate of more than 97 percent, its high-functioning public education system from preschool through college and about community service groups such as Espiral, of which Heredia is a longtime member.

Heredia will have other speaking engagements while he is in Kansas City. KCABJ members who have traveled to Cuba are KCABJ Treasurer Bette Tate-Beaver, who leads the trips for NAME as its executive director; KCABJ President Lewis Diuguid; KCABJ Secretary Anita Parran; KCABJ member and former KCABJ President Kia Breaux and former KCABJ member Michelle Watley.

Details about the location, date and time for the KCABJ holiday gathering are being worked out. Look for the information in the next few days in the KCABJ Newsletter.

KCABJ members have been invited to be a part of the 2018 NAME-Cuba delegation, scheduled for March 3-16. The focus of the 2018 exchange is “Race, Revolution and the Re-Education of Americans.” The trip will begin in Santiago De Cuba and end in Havana. The itinerary will follow the post-revolution journey, across Cuba taken by Fidel Castro and Che Guavera. This cultural and professional exchange will be the longest for NAME since the exchanges began in 2015.  For more information email

Members of KCABJ at the meeting also learned that KCABJ received a sizable donation from a relative of Laura Hockaday after her death. Hockaday died on Oct. 24 at the age of 79. Her 38-year journalism career at The Kansas City Star ran from 1962 to 2000.

Hockaday was best known as the newspaper’s society editor, a job she held from 1982 until her retirement in 2000. It was in that job that Hockaday included in society pages of the newspaper African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Asian Americans — groups that previously had been excluded.

Upon her retirement, then-Star Publisher Arthur Brisbane and then-Star Vice President for Community Resources Lewis W. Diuguid named a scholarship in Hockaday’s honor and had it awarded annually with other scholarships presented by the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists to the top graduating students in the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy. The Star annually funded the scholarship until Brisbane left the newspaper as publisher in 2006. KCABJ then took on the cost of providing the scholarship to students who merited the honor. Hockaday also contributed to the continued funding of the scholarship. It is among three scholarships that are annually awarded to journalism academy graduates. The other three are the KCABJ-Roy Wilkins Scholarship, the KCABJ-Lucile Bluford Scholarship and the KCABJ-Nancy Diuguid Scholarship.

KCABJ sent a letter to Hockaday’s family thanking them for the generous gift.


The National Association of Black Journalists had to issue a statement about the “body shaming” on social media that traffic reporter Demetria Obilor of WFAA-TV in Dallas was subjected to.

“The negative comments lodged at Demetria Obilor are very disturbing. The rhetoric is classic cyberbullying, and the undertones are hurtful and demeaning,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover. “We hope that employers abhor this kind of harassment and online hate when they see it, support their employees, and cultivate diversity and inclusiveness.”

Obilor is a University of Kansas graduate and had just started the job in Dallas.

NABJ has officially opened requests for proposals for convention site selections for NABJ conventions in 2019 and 2021. Cities and hotels interested in hosting the annual convention may do so by requesting an NABJ RFP directly from NABJ’s designee, Ms. Rusty Jackson of HelmsBriscoe. Cities and hotels may reach Ms. Jackson at and 864-363-1160. Ten cities are being considered. They are Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas, Las Vegas, New Orleans, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

   NABJ and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists will have a joint convention in 2020, a presidential election year. It will again take place in Washington, D.C. NABJ and NAHJ held a joint convention in 2016 in Washington, D.C.

The recent NABJ election resulted in Sarah Glover entering her second term as the association’s president. What follows are the vote tallies for the other offices: Gayle Hurd, candidate for Vice President-Broadcast: 168; Dorothy Tucker, candidate for Vice President-Broadcast: 280; Cheryl Smith, candidate for Secretary: 411; Johann Calhoun, candidate for Region I Director: 145; Ken Lemon, candidate for Region III Director: 131; Kyra Azore, candidate for Student Representative: 66; Lawrence Malloy, candidate for Student Representative: 31.