DETROIT – The Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (Detroit NABJ) will celebrate turning 40 with a formal and some fun on September 24.
The 5 p.m. event at Motor City Casino, 2901 Grand River Avenue in Detroit, includes a strolling buffet, dancing, a tribute to Black journalists’ legacy in the industry and a roast of longtime journalist Chuck Stokes. General Motors is the event’s presenting sponsor. Other sponsors include Michigan.com, Bridge Michigan, and WDIV Local-4.
“This gala is the culmination of celebrating 40 years of Black excellence in our Detroit NABJ chapter and also highlights one of our legendary journalists,” said Nicole Avery Nichols, co-chair of the chapter’s 40-year celebration and the newly named editor of the Detroit Free Press.
“As an ex-officio board member, I am honored to recognize the chapter founders and shine a spotlight on an organization that has supported and advocated for Black journalists and public relations professionals for 40 years,” Felecia Henderson, the gala’s co-chair, said.
Stokes, the editorial and public affairs director at the ABC affiliate WXYZ Channel 7, hosts the station’s Sunday morning talk show, “Spotlight on the News.”
A Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Detroit Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Stokes was inducted into the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2011. He is the chairman of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation.
“Personally, and professionally, NABJ has been a tremendous resource and guidepost in my life,” said Stokes, who noted that not only did he meet his wife of 40 years at the organization’s national convention, it’s also where he was hired to work in Detroit. “NABJ local and national has always been there for mentorships and friendships. It’s a thrill to be honored by my peers for such a worthy cause.”
In addition to celebrating being one of the longest-serving affiliates of one of the largest journalists’ organizations in the United States, the chapter is providing a record number of scholarships this year.
Founded in 1982 by Black journalists working at print, radio and television outlets, Detroit NABJ also supports emerging and working journalists through mentoring and professional development opportunities. The chapter launched its year-long celebration in August 2022 with a news conference at the William Banks Broadcast Museum.