KCABJ Newsletter for July 2021

Farewell Send Off

   KCABJ members turned out June 30 in great pre-pandemic numbers at the Soiree Steak and Oyster House in the 18th & Vine District to wish KCABJ President Kaci Jones well in the new job she has taken as an anchor at FOX46 WJZY in Charlotte, N.C. About 25 persons attended the send-off party that KCABJ member and former President Kia Breaux organized.

   Kaci, a native of Richmond, Va., and graduate of Florida A&M University, came to Kansas City about two years ago from Rochester, N.Y., where she worked as a broadcast journalist. She first worked at KCTV-5 in Kansas City as a reporter and later switched to WDAF, FOX4 on New Year’s Eve 2020.

   As a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Kaci reached out to KCABJ, and then took the added step of re-invigorating the organization with new members. She then was elected president of the organization. Because of the Great Recession and recurring layoffs in the news industry, KCABJ’s membership dwindled to about six persons. Because of Kaci and her then-co-worker at KCTV-5 Breland Moore, who left Kansas City for a sports anchor position in Philadelphia, the organization’s paid membership increased to 38.

   The loss of Kaci and earlier this year Breland, leaves open two key executive board positions in KCABJ. Kaci reported at the July membership meeting that she plans to stay on with the organization until the executive board picks a new president and vice president/broadcast. Persons interested in having the KCABJ executive board consider them for the positions should send email to Lewisdiuguid@gmail.com.

   Also discussed during the membership meeting was a Watch Party at The Kansas City Star. It would feature this year’s NABJ convention. KCABJ member and past President Glenn E. Rice will be the host. The convention will take place Aug. 18-21. No date for the watch party has been set yet. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the convention will be virtual again. Refreshments will be served.

   During the July membership meeting, Kaci had Melesa Johnson speak to the organization as part of the association’s Talk of the Town feature. Johnson is a lawyer and special adviser to Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas. She has been in the position since February pushing public safety as well as equity for businesses owned by women and people of color. She reported that she and others at City Hall closely follow local news and that the stories that journalists do affect the mayor’s office.

   Johnson said that “troubling stories” typically don’t come from journalists of color. “We’re in a very divisive and polarizing time,” Johnson said. It is filled with “trigger phrases and trigger words.”

   Johnson shared that the city is examining its affirmative action policy, reforming the certification process and updating the website.

   The next meeting of KCABJ will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 14. Look for the email notice soon.


   The National Association of Black Journalists Convention & Jobs Fair will take place Aug. 18-21. It will feature more than 140 convention sessions, special events and activities, including more than 70 sponsored opportunities to engage with major companies, organizations and influencers at networking receptions, workshops, cocktail hours, luncheons, breakfasts, and upfronts/screenings. For more information, go to nabj.org.

   Meanwhile, NABJ officers have asked to meet with heads of the Disney Corporation over New York Times and other news reports on a toxic culture at ESPN, which Disney owns. Learn more at https://nabjonline.org/blog/nabj-calls-for-meeting-with-disney-heads-after-treatment-of-espns-maria-taylor-reveals-toxic-culture-of-bias/.

News to Go Places

   “Journal-isms,” an on the website of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education covering news about journalists of color, is seeking a part-time assistant editor. For more information, go to https://www.journal-isms.com/about/.

   Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City is seeking:

  • Program: 90-Day Match Support Specialist
  • Program: Volunteer Enrollment & Matching Specialist
  • Operations: Facilities & Office Manager

The deadline to apply is July 16. For more information, go to https://www.bbbskc.org/careers?cached=0.

   The Inez Y. Kaiser GKC-PRSA Memorial Scholarship Application Portal is now live via registration here. Read more about this national Black public relations pioneer and apply for this $2,500 scholarship today. It is open to all African American/Black junior or first semester undergraduate registered seniors and enrolled in a public relations or communications program at an accredited college or university in Kansas or Missouri. The student must live in Kansas or Missouri at the time of application. Preference is given to PRSSA members and affiliate chapters, however, membership or affiliation is not a requirement for eligibility. The applicant must have earned at least a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale overall. The application should reflect the applicant’s commitment to volunteerism, a hallmark of Inez Kaiser’s legacy. Two scholarship recipients will be announced at the GKC-PRSA chapter Prism event Thursday, October 21, 2021.Applications are due Sept. 24, 2021. For more information visit http://www.kansascity-prsa.org.

   The Federal Reserve of Kansas City is seeking freelance writers. For More information, contact Stan Austin, stan.austin@kc.frb.org.

   WDAF FOX4 is seeking a digital producer. For more information, go to https://nexstar.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/nexstar/job/MO-Kansas-City3030-Summit-WDAF/Digital-Producer_REQ-10674.

   FOX4 also is seeking a multimedia reporter. For more information, go to https://nexstar.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/nexstar/job/MO-Kansas-City3030-Summit-WDAF/Reporter-I–MultiMedia-Journalist_REQ-9956.

KC People

   KCABJ’s membership grew with the addition of Nathaniel Taylor.

   Anita K. Parran, a current member of KCABJ and past president of the organization, is a Community Advisory Board member for the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center. She would like to introduce KCABJ members to new opportunities that would be of benefit to you and other individuals in communications. As you will see in the flier, MyAlliance for Brain Health and is a resource for brain health and is for anyone dealing with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. Customized information is provided for everyone, whether you are a family member, caregiver, a friend of someone who has been diagnosed, or simply someone who has an interest in overall brain health. Join MyAlliance at http://www.kumc.edu/kuadc/join-my-alliance-for-brain-health.

   Feel free to share this information about MyAlliance for Brain Health with members of the communications community and ask them to share it with family, friends, and others. It is important for everyone to have access to this free resource so they can stay informed and make good brain-health decisions. 

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